Alain Daniélou (4 October 1907 – 27 January 1994) was a French historian, intellectual, musicologist, Indologist, and a noted Western convert to and expert on Shaivite Hinduism.
== Quotes ==
Symbolically, Ganesha represents the basic unity of the macrocosm and microcosm, the immense being (the elephant) and the individual being (man). This highly implausible identity is however a fundamental reality and the key to all mystic or ritual experience as well as to Yogic possibilities. Without being aware of Ganesha, and without worshipping him, no accomplishment is possible.
Alain Daniélou, in Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus (1992), p. 90.When the two boys [Ganesha and Skanda] were of marriageable age, Shiva and Parvati did not know which of the children to marry off first. So they proposed a competition: We shall celebrate the marriage of the one who first returns after having gone round the world. The clever Ganesha walked around his parents and said to them “You are the Universe”. He was considered the winner and his wedding was celebrated with Siddhi (Success) and Buddhi (Intelligence), the two daughters of the Lord of the World - Visharupa.
Alain Daniélou in: "Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus" Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus, 1992, P.96.Sanskrit is constructed like geometry and follows a rigorous logic. It is theoretically possible to explain the meaning of the words according to the combined sense of the relative letters, syllables and roots. Sanskrit has no meanings by connotations and consequently does not age. Panini's language is in no way different from that of Hindu scholars conferring in Sanskrit today.
Alain Danielou in: Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation: The Four Aims of Life in the Tradition of Ancient India, Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1 August 1993, p. 17.Sanskrit was a complete success and became the language of all cultured people in India and in countries under Indian influence. All scientific, philosophical, historical works were henceforth written in Sanskrit, and important texts existing in other languages were translated and adapted into Sanskrit. For this reason, very few ancient literary, religious, or philosophical documents exits in India in other languages. The sheer volume of Sanskrit literature is immense, and it remains largely unexplored.
Alain Danielou in: Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation: The Four Aims of Life in the Tradition of Ancient India, Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 1 August 1993, p. 17.The creation of Sanskrit, the “refined” language, was a prodigious work on a grand scale. Grammarians and semanticists of genius undertook to create a perfect language, artificial and permanent, belonging to no one, that was to become the language of the entire culture. Sanskrit is built on a basis of Vedic and the Prakrits, but has a much more complex grammar, established according to a rigorous logic. It has an immense vocabulary and a very adaptable grammar, so that words can be grouped together to express any nuance of an idea, and verb forms can be found to cover any possibility of tense, such as future intentional in the past, present continuing into the future, and so on. Furthermore, Sanskrit possesses a wealth of abstract nouns, technical and philosophical terms unknown in any other language. Modern Indian scholars of Sanskrit culture have often remarked that many of the new concepts of nuclear physics or modern psychology are easy for them to grasp, since they correspond exactly to familiar notions of Sanskrit terminology.
Alain Danielou in: A Brief History of India, Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 11 February 2003, p. 58.From the time Muslims started arriving, around 632 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions. It is, as usual, in the name of 'a holy war' of their faith, of their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilizations, wiped out entire races. Mahmoud Ghazni was an early example of Muslim ruthlessness, burning in 1018 of the temples of Mathura, razing Kanauj to the ground and destroying the famous temple of Somnath, sacred to all Hindus. His successors were as ruthless as Ghazni: 103 temples in the holy city of Benaras were razed to the ground, its marvelous temples destroyed, its magnificent palaces wrecked.
Alain Danielou: Histoire de l' IndeIndia whose ancient borders stretched until Afghanistan, lost with the country of seven rivers (the Indus Valley), the historical center of her civilization. At a time when the Muslim invaders seemed to have lost some of their extremism and were ready to assimilate themselves to other populations of India, the European (British) conquerors, before returning home, surrendered once more to Muslim fanaticism the cradle of Hindu civilization.
Alain Danielou, Histoire de l'Inde - Alain Danielou p. 355The faithful of Shiva or Dionysus seek contact with those forces which...lead to a refusal of the politics, ambitions and limitations of ordinary social life. This does not involve simply a recognition of world harmony, but also an active participation in an experience which surpasses and upsets the order of material life.
Alain Daniélou, in Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus
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