history of Harish Johari starts at birth on the 12th of May 1934
in Faridpur, a small village in Uttar Pradesh, India.
In 1937 the family moved to their ancestral home in
Bareilly. From childhood Harish Johari was gifted with sharp intelligence,
amazing memory and multiple artistic talents. At the age of three
he delivered a speech and recited revolutionary poems at an Arya
Samaj meeting, where the Vedas and Dharma
A considerable portion of his wide knowledge and talent
came from his family background. His father, Bankey Behari Lal Johari,
a magistrate, practitioner of vedic
Yoga and student of Vedanta and his mother, Tara Devi, served
as role models for him. That was also true for his grand uncle,
Acharya Chandrashekar Shastri, who had a great command of many subjects
and wrote more than one hundred books.
In 1948 Harish's father was appointed as a judicial
magistrate to Basti, a post that brought frequent changes of residence
and transfers to Jaunpur, Banda, Rampur, and Saharanpur. Thus Harish
Johari received his education in many different cities. In Jaunpur
he made his B.A. I in 1953, and also joined the wrestling ground,
where famous wrestlers of his country instructed him in wrestling,
body culture and massage (see his book Ayurvedic
Massage, in the Preface).
In Rampur Harish came into a circle of poets and musicians,
among which Jagdish Mohan, a well known singer and composer, who
became his lifelong friend. Music was another field in which his
creativity and his power of analysis matched. The effects of sound
on consciousness and the nervous system had always facinated him.
His findings and knowledge found a form and synthesis in his meditative
music compositions and in the teachings that he was invited
to give in the West. You can find an overview of his music and mantra
In 1957 Harish completed his M.A. II in Philosophy
at the College in Bareilly. In 1959 he obtained his M.A.I in Urdu
at the University in Lucknow. His skills in Urdu poetry brought
him in the company of Sufi Saints and he gained a reputation at
poet gatherings and competitions.
At the death of his father in 1960, Harish returned
to his home in Bareilly to give support to his mother and his six
unmarried brothers and sisters. He was 26 at the time. In 1961 he
was employed as secretary and translator in the Lummus Company in
Bareilly. After his wedding in 1962, he left his job and made sculpting
his profession, having worked with clay sculptures from childhood
The first order Harish got was to make a huge sculpture
of the monkey god Hanuman
for a temple in Bareilly. While sculpting in temples for longer
periods of time, he came in close contact with the saints
who lived there. He questioned them about a wide range of subjects
connected to the sculptures he was making, the gods they represented
and the yags and sadhanas that come with worshipping them. Harish
Johari began to see that everything is interwoven and developed
his own, though typically Hindu, unified view on matter, spirit
and mind. But most of all the work in the temples made him a noble
"Bhakta", a lover and worshipper of God.
Simultaneously he developed his painting skills, of
which the current Harish
Johari Paintings Gallery only gives a very limited overview.
It was a family tradition to paint the life story of Lord Krishna
on a wall as a fresco, every year on Krishna's Birthday. Yet his
special style of painting evolved with the help and guidance of
his art teacher, Master Chandra Bal
in Bareilly (see the Harish
Johari Wash Painting Technique).
In 1967 Harish met David Padwa and Dr. Richard Alpert,
who later became known as Baba Ram Dass, as mentioned in Baba Ram
Dass's book "Be here now". In 1969 Harish Johari was invited
to America to work on a film project. Although the project got canceled,
it brought another opportunity for him to fulfil a part of his destiny.
Once in the U.S., Harish Johari was introduced to artists, scientists
and scholars, who were interested in the ancient wisdom of Hinduism
philosophy and Indian culture. He was around 36 at the time.
Scholars, medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and artists
were asking questions and he explained to them the principles of
and their effect on consciousness, as well as many other sciences.
In 1974 the first book "Dhanwantari"
by Harish Johari was published in America, followed by "Leela
- the game of Cosmic Consciousness". In that same year,
at the age of 40, Harish decided to return with his family to India.
From 1976 onwards, Harish regularly visited America
and Europe where he lectured on many subjects such as painting,
That year also, the famous "Chakras"
book was published for the first time and this in Germany.
In 1978 his paintings were for the first time exhibited
at an art gallery in Amsterdam. Postcards of the planets and posters
of the gods were printed by Verkerke in Holland. In 1983 Harish
met Ehud Sperling in New York, who soon became the publisher of
all his books and music cassettes and a close friend and confidant.
From 1986 onwards, Harish Johari produced 5 books
in only 4 years time : "Tools
for Tantra" in 1986, "The
healing Power of Gemstones" and "Ayurvedic
Healing Cuisine" in 1988 (first in German), "Breath,
Mind and Consciousness" in 1989 and "Numerology"
in 1990. Later came the "Ayurvedic
Massage" book in 1996.
In 1997 Harish Johari shifted with his family to Hardwar,
knowing from his 104 years old Astrologer, Swamiji Narayan Rishi,
that he would have to face a death inflicting astrological constellation.
Though in these years he was focusing mostly on his
students, Harish Johari was still writing a lot. "The
Birth of the Ganga" was published in 1997 and the "The
Monkey and the Mango Tree" in 1998.
Harish Johari left his body on August 20, 1999, at
his home in the holy town of Hardwar.
He was a complete human being, who enjoyed life as divine "leela",
a play of cosmic consciousness. He lectured and taught the art of
living in awareness, knowing that all knowledge only lives when
it is shared with others.
The revised edition of the "Chakras"
Book was the last manuscript Harish was working on. It was edited
and published after his death. Another project, "The
Planet Meditation Kit" came out at the end of 1999.
With the recent publishing of the new "Little
Krishna" book, Harish Johari's life's work and writings
continue with the help of his youngest daughter, Sapna
Johari, who lives in India, and his other students around the
world. His brother Suresh
Johari created the sketches and concept for Little Krishna and
his long-time Dutch student Pieter
Weltevrede created the finished color illustrations.
Anybody who can offer details, tapes, art work, photographs,
etc... of Harish Johari's life, please email our Harish
Johari Resource Manager. The objective is to attach texts about
specific parts of Dada's history to this general text.