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Japanese version of Shiva and Dionysus Publishers Kodansha, Tokyo.

Shiva and Dionysus are the Hindu and Greek gods of magical power, intoxication, ecstatic sexuality, and transcendence. For centuries their initiatic rites have led men and women into communion with the creative forces of life. Estranged from the natural environment and our role in the universal plan, we in the contemporary world find ourselves alienated from one another and from our fellow creatures. By reestablishing our links with the archetypal energies of Shiva and Dionysus, we realize that there is no creature, no object, nothing that has been created to which we are not intimately connected. When we enter the states of ecstasy and love – our most primordial response to the world around us – we experience the paradox of self-abandonment that unities us with all things.

Revealing the earliest sources of the Shivaite and Dionysian traditions, Alain Daniélou reconstructs the fabric of our ancient Relationship with creation, vividly relating practices that were observed from the Indus

Valley to the coasts of Portugal more than six thousand years ago. He shows us signs that Shiva and Dionysus are returning today, breaking down the barriers between people, pushing aside the conventions of society, and asking us to participate in the joy of creation.

One of the world’s most distinguished Orientalists, Alain Daniélou spent more than twenty years in India studying music and philosophy. He is the author of numerous books, including The Myths and Gods of India, While the Gods play, and Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of the Universe.

Shiva and Dionysus

Transl. by Kenneth F. Hurry, East-West Publications London & The Hague, 1982 ; Reprint under the title :

Shiva and Dionysus, the omnipresent Gods of Transcendance and Ecstasy

Inner Traditions International, Rochester – New York, 1984 ; new edition under the title : Gods of Love and Ecstasy, 1992.

Shiva et Dionysos, la Religion de la Nature et de l’Éros
Éditions Fayard, coll. « Documents spirituels », 1979, 1985 ; Le Grand Livre du Mois, 1999.

Siva e Dioniso, la Religione della Natura e dell Eros

Astrolabio, Roma, 1980.

Shiva e Dioniso, A religiao da Natureza e do Eros

Martin Fontes, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1988.

Shiva y Dionisos, la Religion de la Naturaleza y del Eros

Kairos Editor, Barcelona, 1987.


Editorial: J. J. Olañeta e Indica Books
ISBN: 9788497164160
Fecha de Edición:06/2007
Traducido por :De la versión inglesa de Alain Danielou por Jesús Aguada

Tiempo de Expédition: Hast 5 Días Tamaño: 150 X 210 mm.
Páginas: 170

Shilappadikaram (the Ankle Bracelet)

One of the great classics of Indian culture is the Shilappadikaram, or Lay of the Ankle Bracelet, a verse romance in the ancient Tamil language which is attributed to Ilangô Adigal, a Jain prince of the Third Century A.D.

This is a tale of wonders and misfortunes, of hapless mortals and capricious deities, of magic and heroism in a Bright but also cruel world in which he law of Karma rules : « actions committed in past lives must always bear fruit. » Thus the peerless Young Kôvalan will leave his loyal wife Kannaki for the courtesan Mâdhavi, and though he returns to her, still meet his death because of her ill-omened ankle bracelet ( Books I & II). Book III celebrates the exploits of Ilangô’s Brother, King Shenguttuvan, who conquers the Kings of the North to secure a great stone from the Himalayas for his temple to Kannaki, now apotheosized as the Goddess of Faithfulness.

The Shilappadikaram has been called a, epic and even a novel, but it is also a book of general education. The ancient bards had to be teachers as well as poets, and Ilangô packed his story with information : history merging into myth., religious rites, caste customs, military lore, descriptions of city or country life ; he will pause in his tale to catalogue the rules and types of music and dance, while for Cantos are little anthologies of the poetry of the period ( seashore and mountain songs, hunters’ and milkmaids’ songs). Thus the Shilappadikaram gives us a vivid picture of early Indian life in all its aspects.

We are indebted to Alain Daniélou, author of the Bollingen Series Hindu Polytheism and studies of Asian music, for a new translation that is both scholarly and extremely readable.

Manimekhalaï :

The Manimekhalaï is one of the great classics of Indian culture. A second-century Tamil verse epic, it is a sequel to the Shilappadikaram, which was also masterfully translated into prose by the acclaimed musician and scholar of Hinduism, Alain Daniélou.
Rich with details of the period’s arts, customs and religions, the Manimekhalaï provides an extraordinary picture of an age that suddenly comes back to life. It is the story of a beautiful young dancer who decides to forego her looming career as a courtesan in order to dedicate her life (with the aid of gods, demigods, and a magic bowl called the Cow of Abundance) to charity and to attaining the “bright light of knowledge.”



Collection UNESCO de musique traditionnelle du monde

The UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music of the World included more than a hundred pioneering audio recordings of the world’s traditional music published from 1961 to 2003 on a number of different recording labels. The series was launched in 1961 in collaboration with ethnomusicologist Alain Daniélou (1907-1994) and the International Music Council (created by UNESCO in 1949). Quelques éléments de la Collection UNESCO de musique traditionnelle du monde

The UNESCO Collection was composed of several subseries of recordings published on LP vinyl records and produced, published and distributed by different labels and companies:

* “Musical Sources”,
* “Musical Atlas”,
* “A Musical Anthology of the Orient”,
* “An Anthology of African Music” and the
* “Anthology of North Indian Classical Music”.

The recordings in the Collection are mostly field recordings made in situ, in their original context. Each recording was accompanied by scholarly annotations and photographs. Together, these disks are a reflection of the immense variety of music making and of the position music holds within cultures around the globe.

From the beginning of the 1990s, most of these recordings were reissued on CD by the label Auvidis, which later became Naïve. Until 2003, a total of 115 CD titles were released. These reissues, new issues and compilations were made available under five new series:

* “Music and Musicians of the World”, * “Anthology of Traditional Music”,
* “Traditional Music of Today”,
* “Celebration Collection” and

* “Listening to the World”.

In 2005, the collaboration with Naïve ended, and the titles are currently not available for purchase. However, a new partnership is in preparation in order to make the titles of the Collection available again to the general public. In addition to the previously released issues, some 15 unpublished titles will finally be released. More information will be posted on this internet page when it becomes available.

Responsabilité · Protection des données personnelles · Accessibilité · Copyright © UNESCO 1995-2008

Tagore’s Songs of Love and Destiny
Translated and specially transcribed for voice and piano by Alain Danielou (1907/1994)
Presented by Francesca Cassio (vocalist) and Maestro Ugo Bonessi (piano)

Introduction and presentation of Tagore’s songs in Bengali by Dr. Reba Som

Collaboration: Italian Embassy Cultural Institute; Alain Danielou Center; and Delhi Music Society, Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata

“Songs and Poetries of Rabindranath Tagore

As Alain Daniélou writes in his biography, Tagore requested him to transcribe some songs from the Rabindra Sangeet according to the western vogue of the time, for voice and piano. It was infact The Poet’s wish that some of his songs could be sung also in the West. It was an innovative concept that Tagore himself

wanted to promote, and that up nowdays nobody has yet performed in this form. Alain Danielou worked over 50 years on this project. He translated into english and transcribed for piano only 18 songs, in a way that the original melodies -with their embellishments and peculiar raga movements- could be recognized, but with a piano harmonic accompaniment that could support and emphasize the meaning of the poetries. The work of Danielou shines mostly in the elegant piano arrangement, and in the beautiful translation into english (and french) that match with the melodies as well as with the meaning. The blending of the musical Indian language with the western notation, and harmony, requires skills in both discipline, and for this reason for long time these song have never been performed. Due a professional training in both Classical Western and Hindusthani vocal music, in 2007 Dr. Francesca Casio and Ugo Bonessi have been in charge on the behalf of the Danielou Foundation to perform and record -for the first time- the cycle of the 18 songs of Tagore transcribed by Alain Danielou.

The concert will be introduced by the rendition of some songs in the original bengoli version performed by Dr. Mrs. Reba Som, one of the leading scholar and performer of Rabindra Sangeet.

Dr. Mrs. Francesca Cassio is an Italian singer, and phd scholar, trained in Indian vocal music. Lecturer of Indian Music at the Conservatory of Vicenza and Lecturer of Ethnomusicology at the University ofTrento (Italy).

Started her studies in Indian Music in 1991 at the Fondazione Cini, Venice with Sangeeta Chaterjee. Trained since 1994 in the tradition of dhrupad singing by Padmabhushan Ustad Rahim FahimuddinDagar, and Amelia Cuni. She studies since few years the romantic genre of thumri under the precious guide of Padmabhushan Smt. Girija Devi, and Saira Begum.

Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology (in affiliation with BHU, under the guide of Prof. Ritwik Sanyal), with a fieldwork-research on last living courtesans of India (baiji-s), she had the chance to learn from them their rare musical and danced repertoires. Dr. Cassio regularly performs and records for Italian national television, theatres, radio and cinema. Her music and performances are realised on cads by Warner bros., and other international companies. Composer of music and lyrics, she won national awards in this field. Among her collaborations, the Oscar Awardees Luis Bacolod and Nicola Giovanni, the winners of Mercury Prize Talvin Sing and Robert Miles, the international best seller Taffetas, Eddi Powell, Paolo Vivaldi, Susanna Tamaro, Roberto Laneri. Author of the book: “Percorsi della Voce”, Ut Orpheus Ed, 2000, Bologna: and writer of several articles on international journals.

Maestro Ugo Bonessi:
Ugo Bonessi was born in Rome in 1961. He took his degree in piano with Maestro Fausto Di

Cesare. He has been present on the Rome music scene for many years, not only on the concert stage, where he has performed as a soloist, in duo piano performances, with orchestra, and in duos for piano and voice, but also as a musicologist, teacher, and organizer of concerts. He has organized and performed in several festivals of Russian music sponsored by the Soviet Embassy, as well as in festivals dedicated to Scriabin and Satie. As a musicologist he has contributed to the Treccani Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, and has published numerous articles and held conferences on western classical, arabic and indian music. A frequent traveler to India, he has studied the classical singing traditions of khyal and dhrupad. His recordings are published by “III Millennio”.


Athena and the Great Goddess of India by Bernard Sergent, Les Belles Lettres, 396p., €27.00

Author of many essays on Indo-European mythology, Bernard Sergent is a disciple of Georges Dumézil. In his latest book, he reveals the unsuspected ties between the Greek Athena and Devi (or Durga, or Kali), India’s great goddess. His comparison of festivals, rites and hymns in honour of these two deities evidences links going back at least to the fourth millennium BCE, and owing nothing to direct reciprocal influence, leading to the assumption of a prehistoric model of the undivided tribe. The proof? Sergent discovers dozens of parallels between Athena, Devi and a great Celtic goddess, from one end of the Indo-European area to the other, originally a horse-riding, warrior goddess, armed with spear and shield, and symbolised by the swastika. This innovating work, which however overlooks Jean Haudry’s discoveries on the primordial role of the dawn of civilisation, lead one to muse on the parallel proposed not long since by Alain Daniélou between Shiva and Dionysos.
Christopher Gérard.

Article from le Bulletin de la Tribune Côte d’Azur, December 2008. Le Tour du monde en 1936

Alain Daniélou, Editions du Rocher, 254p, 19,00€
Less familiar in the ’sixties to the public at large th

an his cardinal-brother, Alain Daniélou was a precocious “multiform” artist, as brilliant in music as in dance or painting, with many ties to intellectual circles between the wars. At 29,he was commissioned by the major journal “je suis partout” – as a morsel of exoticism, rightly deemed so at the time – to write a series of reports to be published between September 1936 and July 1937, a commission which he accepted. Already critical of the Christian world of the West, with its sterile sensitivity and spirituality, he felt the desire to rub up against cultures still close to that original paganism that was to inspire his existence and his work, and that he would seek to inject into the West through his books which merit immediate rediscovery. His long tour started at le Havre, making his way to the east coast of the U.S., then on to Hollywood, China, Japan, India, and returning through the Suez Canal, in the West confirming the vulgarity and evil of money (well! well!), and in the East revealing refinement and virginal innocence. The impertinent tone, the freshness of the notes, embellished with pen drawings, are a pleasure that deserves a de lure edition. AB


We highlight a fine article by Jean-François Lanier, in Connaissances des Arts, January2009, on the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho.
Article is accompanied by numerous photos: La Collection /Jean-Louis Nou.

The Erotic Sculptures of Khajuraho:
Either abominated or appreciated, the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho have not always been properly understood. Their sacred character, as well as their artistic dimension, however, disclose a particularly rich culture.

When, in 1938, the British engineer T.S Burt discovered the temples of Khajuraho, hidden beneath a luxuriant vegetation, he was unable to disguise his surprise and disapproval. In his diary, he noted “some extremely indecent and shocking sculptures that I was horrified to find in the temples”. The lewd exhibition of unbridled love-making on the walls of a sacred edifice was, it must be said, somewhat disconcerting for a man of the nineteenth century, and an Englishman at that! Nowadays, although tourists from all over the world gaze on these reliefs with complacence, misunderstanding about the real meaning of these sexual acrobatics has not necessarily been removed.
Why erotic scenes on a cultural site?
The history of this spectacular site is, on the other hand, well-attested, Located in the State of Madhya Pradesh, the region of Bundelkhand was dominated, starting from the tenth century, by a local dynasty, the Chandelas, who remained in power up to the beginning of the twelfth century, when they were ousted by Muslim pressure……………..

When God makes love

If one takes the trouble to sift some narrative coherence from this maelstrom, the existence of a discourse connecting the many dimensions of these scenes is undeniable and clarifies the presence of erotic scenes on a cultural site. “In the West, God is love; in India, God makes love” is the way Indian scholar Michel Angot sums it up in a striking phrase. It is not by chance that the famous volumes of the Kama Sutra were written in the sacred language, Sanskrit. ……………………….. divine desire with a view to fecundating the universe and ensuring its reproduction. In the iconography of Vishnu we find a similar overlapping of the human and cosmic dimensions of creation. At the Lakshmana, dedicated to the female principle Lakshmi, the couples give themselves to the act of love with a fervor that can hardly be found even in prayer.


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Virtue, Success, Pleasure, Liberation
The Four Aims of Life in the Tradition of Ancient India Inner Traditions International, 1993.
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Among the Hindus, self-realisation includes four aims to be achieved by every man at a given moment of his life. These four aims are the acquiring of knowledge, self-realisation at a physical level, material achievements and, lastly, detachment. Individual realisation cannot be achieved outside the social structures.

The first part of this book explains the caste system and its origins. At the time of the Aryan invasions, Shivaite religion and philosophy predominated among the peoples of India. As a regulator of stability between the Aryans and the indigenous populations, the caste system avoided any pernicious crossbreeding and preserved differences, establishing an organised society ensuring a livelihood for all, with the right to keep their own beliefs and social institutions. Daniélou then describes the creation of an artificial, ideal, perfect, scholarly language: Sanskrit, belonging to no one and to everybody, used for communication among the various groups.

The second part expounds the basis of the social order. Daniélou first explains that history and the movements of the universe are conceived of as a cycle. The universe is not made of continuous matter, but of relations between two governing energy forces – centripetal and centrifugal – which determine the movements of the planets, stars and atoms. This view of the universe, founded on discontinuity and non-Euclidean geometry, recalls the post-modern perception of the world. Daniélou then describes the different cycles of mankind. The first beings appeared on earth during the Golden Age, the Satya Yuga. They were known as “the Far-Seeing”, and were able to detect the laws that govern the world, in some ways recalling the Celtic Druids, to whom exceptional powers and knowledge were also attributed, and who were also known as “seers”.

More than any other work, The Four Aims of Life is a eulogy on respect for diversity:
For the Hindu, such levelling is indicative of the suicidal tendency of a species, inasmuch as the intensity of life

is based on its wide range of differences, while levelling in any order of things is always the symbol of death itself.1

This book is an excellent guide, proposing rules of life and conduct from a Hindu point of view, and also covers the preoccupations of westerners today.

This book presents the caste institution and the often surprisingly modern conceptions of an archaic society whose structures, ways of life, beliefs and ethics have survived in spite of wars, invasions, reforms and progress, Bulletin du livre, juillet 1976

Anne Prunet and Marie- Laure Bruker Alain Daniélou, Catalogue des œuvres, le parcours multiple.

Alain Daniélou, Catalogue des œuvres, le parcours multiple.



2008 will be the year of India, which is why Casa Asia and the General Direction of Communication and Cultural Co-operation of the Spanish Ministry of Culture have signed an agreement designed to find spaces for presenting the cultures of both countries. Today India is one of Asiaʼs emerging powers, and not only its economic growth but also its age-old culture and new global vision are attracting world attention, as Casa Asia and Spainʼs Ministry of Culture hope to explore through multidisciplinary and intercultural exchange between the two countries. This cultural project is proposed as a first large-scale introduction to modern and contemporary Indian art and culture in Spain. Among the different activities planned is MODERN INDIA, an exhibition that will present a historical journey from the early twentieth century to today. The show will complement the ASIA FESTIVAL of music, theatre and stage arts at which India will be guest country.

Two texts in this book concerning Alain Daniélou:

Page 132: La vida en la India.
Page 134: El descubrimiento del mundo hindû.




Jacques Cloarec’s open Letter to Mr Vivek Datta, in reponse to his Interview in La Revue de l’Inde, N° 9, October-December 2007.

Dear Vivek,

I was pleased to find some articles not just in his praise in this issue in honour of Alain Daniélou. Although not a specialist, I feel I know his works and thought sufficiently well to understand that many people may not agree with some of his points of view. Criticism should, however, be circumstantial and make reference to his writings.
Your article was very welcome, therefore, but I feel it is my duty to rectify some of your assertions that do not square with the facts.
Consequently, it cannot be said that ‘Daniélou owes much to the pandits for his musical studies, and for his translations from Sanskrit, but that he never acknowledged this debt and acted as though they didn’t exist’. This is not true, and is easily verifiable: not only did Daniélou always seek to collaborate with the pandits and deemed that they were more knowledgeable than he, but he never failed to mention them in his books. Thus, his The Myths and Gods of India contains a vibrant tribute to Pandit N. Ramachandra Bhatt at the beginning of the book:
His translations of the two Tamil novels Shilappadikaram and Manimekhalai clearly bear on the title page the names of the pandits (R.S. Desikan and T.V. Gopala Iyer) who collaborated with him on these works, since Daniélou never laid any claim to speaking Tamil. Reproaching him for ‘relying too much on the pandits’ aid’ is once more exactly the opposite of what Daniélou thought, since he always wished to associate competent Indian scholars in his works. He was strongly against the university circles where Indian civilisation was studied as though it were as dead as that of the Pharaohs. Here, I can use my own evidence: when at the age of eighty he decided to translate the Kama Sutra, his first thought was to find some pandits to help him in this task. He found none and, to my great surprise, I saw him working alone for four years, with just his Sanskrit-English dictionary, on a very difficult text in ancient Sanskrit. His perfect mastery of Hindi helped him a lot.
On the musical level, he followed the rule of his master, Shivendranath Basu, who, not belonging to the musicians’ caste, refused to play in public or to be paid.
On a social level, he always considered himself a Mleccha and never a Brahmin. Here, too, he neither wished to teach, have pupils, nor usurp the work of the pandits. He didn’t hesitate to choose as the title of the Notebooks in which he collected some of his works “The Mleccha’s Notebooks”, although quite aware of its pejorative meaning.
I feel it important, particularly for Indian scholars, pandits and brahmins, for whom he had the greatest respect and admiration, to bear witness to his attitude toward them as well as his own unerring witness to Shaivite Hinduism, as written in his autobiography:

“The only value I never question is that of the teachings I received of Shaivite Hinduism, which rejects any kind of dogmatism, since I have never found any form of thought that goes as far, so clearly, with such depth and intelligence in comprehending the divine and the structures of the world. No form of thought comes close to that marvellous research that comes down to us from the dawn of time. None of the ideologies, none of the theories that divide the modern world seem to me worthy of my assent, or of my defending them. I find them puerile, even when not merely aberrant.”
(The last lines of the supplement to “Le Chemin du Labyrinthe”, pages 381 and 382, Editions du Rocher, 1993. Unfortunately, these lines do not appear in the earlier English version.)