Johnson copped what appeared to be a premeditated attack when he walked to the wicket on day three in Brisbane, with several Indian fielders having plenty to say in early in his innings.
Australia were in trouble at 247 for six when Johnson came to the crease, still 161 runs behind India's first-innings total of 408.
When he departed 26 overs later, the Aussies were just 13 runs in arrears after a 148-run partnership between Johnson and captain Steve Smith that featured 19 fours and a six.
Johnson said India's aggression allowed him to take his mind off the perilous position the Australians found themselves in and play with the freedom that has now steered him to 10 Test half-centuries.
"It took my mind off the game, which was a good thing because I wasn't focused on the scoreboard," Johnson was quoted as saying in Cricket Australia (CA) website.
"I was able to go out there and play my shots. I wanted to play with good intent. I had a bit of a throw down (before play) and it wasn't quite the session I wanted."
"Then to go out there and cop it from a few of their boys, it just played into our hands. I was able to play my game and not worry about anything.
"It's all part of the game but I think it took them off their game. They went a bit too far maybe."
Johnson said he enjoyed the exchanges with India's close-in fielders and singled out batsman Rohit Sharma as the aggressor of the group.
Rohit was stationed at leg slip when Johnson began scratching out his guard, but walked in several paces towards the left-hander to have a few words.
After initially firing back a few barbs of his own, Johnson decided to simply smile back at Rohit as the sledging continued.
"I said a few words early and then just let it go after that and just started smiling at Rohit Sharma," Johnson said.
"He seemed to come in a fair bit and had a fair bit to say. I don't think he had the greatest game and I think maybe he was just a bit frustrated."