Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Niel Pert, Rush and the Buddha

Niel Pert of Rush had picked up Harish Johari's painting 'Leela, The Game of Self Knowledge' as cover art for their new album Snakes and Arrows.

Leela (Hindi for 'the game') was at least 2,000 years old, and had been created by Buddhist saints and sages as a game of karma-like many games, a metaphor for life...The Leela player rolls a single die, said to be affected by his or her karma, and moves around the board. Each square on the grid represents a stage of consciousness or existence, and the player is raised to higher levels by arrows, and brought low by snakes.

The children's game 'Snakes and Ladders' (sometimes called 'Chutes and Ladders') was adapted from Leela by the British during the 19th century Colonial period. After that, the original game almost disappeared-apparently only two gameboards existed in India when scholar Harish Johari revived the game and brought it to America in the 1970s.

Talking about the album itself "this disc is really an instruction manual for how one conducts themselves with grace and hope through unendurable pain and the vagaries of life". Well, ive had two to three listens so far....seeming to quite like it.

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