Harish Johari-A Man of Many Talents
Leela-The Game of Cosmic Consciousness
I first heard the word Leela through one of my spiritual teachers, Gangaji, whose teachings I was introduced to while working in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is an American born woman who found her master teacher, H.L. Poonja, who was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi, an Indian sage in the early twentieth century.
During the three years that I followed Gangaji I would travel to California for retreat and satsang. Gangaji offers ‘satsang’ , (Sanskrit for ‘association with truth’), in various places throughout the United States and the world. The talks would recount the ‘Leela’, or Divine play, that people would fixate on-that we all get caught up in, while never realizing that this is the play of life. So, whenever I would catch myself getting hung up about a problem that I created in my illusionary world, the awareness would make me pause and appreciate the ‘Leela’ in my own life.
The word Leela is Hindu meaning ‘play’ or ‘Cosmic play of life’, and it references how we engage in our everyday life. God loves to create. God’s creations are manifestations that will reflect the divine that is in all places, in all things. Our egos sidetrack us into believing that we have created what we have in the world and forgetting that these forms of energy are from a source that works through our own minds and hands.
It is the Leela that reminds us of our fallibility and brings us down a peg or two. If we are able to recognize this gentle slap and laugh at the humor of it, we are in the place of learning to wake up to our connection to our Divine self. If we do not ‘get it’ we continue to stay ‘asleep’ to what is the truth of our being.
Author and More...
Harish Johari is the author of the book: Leela-the game of Cosmic Consciousness. I was led to this book, as I have been led to many during my lifetime, out of curiosity and purpose. I was curious about the Leela board game and found more than I bargained for during my exploration of the book and game. There is purpose to all things regardless of whether we personally understand what it is at the moment-or ever. The lessons of the book are the lessons of life: Leela, or ‘the Divine play’; Karma, or the ‘law of cause and effect’; and Maya, the ‘illusion’ that we come to believe in our unrealized state are all part of the game, Leela, just as it is part of our own lives.
Johari, born May 12, 1934 died on August 20, 1999. During his lifetime he wrote many books, earned two degrees, ran a family business, became a painter and sculptor, created a guide to the game of Snakes and Arrows-the Leela Game; and was a family man with children. He taught, travelled and lectured.
The Sanatan Society
His students and teachers have reveled in his multiple talents and artistic abilities. They honor him with two websites: www.sanatansociety.org, which is an international networking center for anyone interested in the teachings of Harish Johari. This site will take you to explanations of Hindu philosophy, Ayurvedic home remedies, vegetarian recipes, paintings, mantras, and other very useful and free information. The second website is www.sanatansociety.com, which offer and promote products that can be purchased to help support the teachers who continue to do Johari’s work.
The entire Sanatan Society has been created to continue the teachings without glorifying the man. According to the website information, the word, “Sanatan means original, universal, eternal and is mostly used as, “Sanatan Dharm”, the ancient word for “Hinduism” as the original, universal, eternal truth, values, laws, religion”. There is such a wealth of information available to the reader on the two websites that it is easy to see why they would want to honor the man: Harish Johari.
Johari's art work
Johari's Committment to His Students
Besides Leela-the game of Cosmic Consciousness , Johari was an avid teacher of the chakras in relationship to their tone, color, and vibration. These are explained through his book, Chakras: energy centers of transformation and the companion CD: Sounds of the Chakras. I have both the book and CD and they are written in an easy to follow manner with plenty of diagrams.
Harish Johari was a natural teacher and these ‘lessons’ of life are evident even through his children’s stories. One of the children’s stories he wrote is called, The Monkeys and the Mangos. He has also written a children’s version of the story of Krishna.
If you have visited the hub: Before chutes and ladders there was leela-the game of self-knowledge you will already be familiar with the name of Harish Johari. I was prompted to invite the reader to learning a little bit about the man who authored the guide to the game. Although a version of Leela has been around for 2,000 years, I am hoping that this short bio about Johari will spark an interest that will lead the reader to investigate more about both him and his wonderful contributions to our planet.