Comment on Danielou /2011/07/28/comment-on-danielou/

Comment on Danielou

Comment on Axial Age and meditation:

Richard
207.138.47.153 2011/07/27 at 1:29 pm
Interesting comment here:

…there are some surprising parallels too, both between Dionysian myth and Tantric lore

I think the most well-known advocate of a purported connection between Dionysus and Saivite Tantra (and indeed, the bhakta movement) is Alain Danielou, in particular his book Gods of Love and Ecstasy. However, I’d advise caution in taking too much of “Gods” on face value. Danielou, like some other orientalists, sees “Saivism” (and by extension, tantra) as an ur-religion predating the Vedic-Brahmanical religion – for example, he sees the famous Marshall Seal as a definite representation of Siva – a view which is highly speculative, to say the least. In his efforts to demonstrate that Saivism is a kind of primeval wellspring of ecstatic religions, he takes some liberties with translation, for example, in Gods of Love and Ecstasy he asserts that Yin & Yang are “Chinese transcriptions” of the words Yoni and Linga. Similarly, in his translation of the Kama Sutra one can see Danielou’s desire to read evidence for Classical India’s tolerence for homosexuality (a hotly contested subject, needless to say) turning into some “creative translations” such as svairini as “lesbian” or auparistaka as “homophile relations”.

Danielou’s an interesting character – a “Traditionalist” very much in the mold of Julius Evola and Rene Guenon – he believed that modernisation was bad for India, hated Gandhi (he refers to him as a “silly idealist”), and wrote a great deal praising the Indian Caste System, from which he believed the west could learn a thing or two. His book Virtue, Success, Pleasure & Liberation for example, explains that:

“a woman who has had a lover or has been raped is no longer fit for her role as mother because the heredity of her children is believed to be affected … Henceforth she will belong to the corporation of women who have had relations with several men, i.e. prostitutes, and her duties will be those of that group.”

He’s also famous for claiming that the British Empire lost India because of the influx of Middle and Upper-class women (“memsahibs”) into the country – interfering with Western men’s ability for enjoying the delights of native sexuality. Danielou’s another of those writers who, like Richard Burton, sees western sexuality as stultified and Asian sexuality as “natural”. For a brief account of Danielou in India, see Robert Aldrich’s Colonialism and Homosexuality (previewable through Google Books).

http://liminalnation.org/discuss/discussion/179/western-tantra-the-dionysian-kaula-was-intelligent-magick/p1

Interesting comment here:

…there are some surprising parallels too, both between Dionysian myth and Tantric lore

I think the most well-known advocate of a purported connection between Dionysus and Saivite Tantra (and indeed, the bhakta movement) is Alain Danielou, in particular his book Gods of Love and Ecstasy. However, I’d advise caution in taking too much of “Gods” on face value. Danielou, like some other orientalists, sees “Saivism” (and by extension, tantra) as an ur-religion predating the Vedic-Brahmanical religion – for example, he sees the famous Marshall Seal as a definite representation of Siva – a view which is highly speculative, to say the least. In his efforts to demonstrate that Saivism is a kind of primeval wellspring of ecstatic religions, he takes some liberties with translation, for example, in Gods of Love and Ecstasy he asserts that Yin & Yang are “Chinese transcriptions” of the words Yoni and Linga. Similarly, in his translation of the Kama Sutra one can see Danielou’s desire to read evidence for Classical India’s tolerence for homosexuality (a hotly contested subject, needless to say) turning into some “creative translations” such as svairini as “lesbian” or auparistaka as “homophile relations”.

Danielou’s an interesting character – a “Traditionalist” very much in the mold of Julius Evola and Rene Guenon – he believed that modernisation was bad for India, hated Gandhi (he refers to him as a “silly idealist”), and wrote a great deal praising the Indian Caste System, from which he believed the west could learn a thing or two. His book Virtue, Success, Pleasure & Liberation for example, explains that:

“a woman who has had a lover or has been raped is no longer fit for her role as mother because the heredity of her children is believed to be affected … Henceforth she will belong to the corporation of women who have had relations with several men, i.e. prostitutes, and her duties will be those of that group.”

He’s also famous for claiming that the British Empire lost India because of the influx of Middle and Upper-class women (“memsahibs”) into the country – interfering with Western men’s ability for enjoying the delights of native sexuality. Danielou’s another of those writers who, like Richard Burton, sees western sexuality as stultified and Asian sexuality as “natural”. For a brief account of Danielou in India, see Robert Aldrich’s Colonialism and Homosexuality (previewable through Google Books).

http://liminalnation.org/discuss/discussion/179/western-tantra-the-dionysian-kaula-was-intelligent-magick/p1
Richard

my comment????
Type danielou in the search box and you will find a lot on this author here, including the issue of his ‘Traditionalism’ as discussed in the book Against the Modern Age.
Danielou suddenly resolved for me the issue of the antiquity of Indic spirituality with its primoridal Jainism, and Shaivism. A hindu traditionalist who adopted this perspective (along with many Indian gurus and philosophers) such as Danielou was strong testimony against the OIT debate, etc…
We will review these posts again later but I note Richard’s valuable indication of some resemblance between tantra and dionysian cults in the Occident: Danielou discussed this in one of his many books on these subjects.
I cannot say for sure what truth there is in this, but the birth of many religious themes in the Neolithic, and in parallel zones, Oriental and Occidental, is very likely, and the resemblance of Shiva and Dionysus is considerable (but we could also be the near a mistake).
I think that Danielou simply took it for granted that Indian religion was very ancient, and the questions of primordial Shaivism suggest how yoga/tantra might have emerged in earlier forms ages ago.

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