Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and by Alain Daniélou

By Alain Daniélou

Shiva and Dionysus are the Hindu and Greek gods of magical energy, intoxication, ecstatic sexuality, and transcendence who start up us into communion with the inventive forces of existence. Revealing the earliest assets of the traditions of Shiva and Dionysus, Alain Danielou reconstructs the cloth of our historic dating with production, vividly referring to practices that have been saw from the Indus Valley to the coasts of Portugal no less than six thousand years ago. 

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Those in w h o m the pati (master) element is dominant are the wise, w h o are close to the gods, understand the rules of divine activity and creation, and take part in i t . M e n in w h o m the animal element predominates are called pashu (cattle). T h e abstract element, pasha (bond or snare), expresses the unity and interdependence of all forms of life. Pasha, the bond, is the body of laws connecting the various elements of matter and l i v i n g being bound up i n creation. T h e r e is no morality other than that of respecting the pasha, or bond, meaning the interdependence of the animal w o r l d , the divine and ourselves, and of realizing the place we occupy in the overall plan of the divine w o r k , the affinities w h i c h bind us to the animal and vegetable species and the responsibilities w h i c h are implicated thereby.

I n the eighth century, w h i c h was a period of great Shivaite renewal, Shankaracharya published his very i m p o r t a n t commentaries on the Upanishads, and the Tirumurai, the Shivaite canon i n eleven books, was compiled i n T a m i l . Certain i n f o r m a t i o n o n more ancient periods is sometimes given by the opponents of Shivaism, as is the case w i t h the Dionysian rites and, later o n , w i t h their survival i n the Christian w o r l d . I n the last hundred years, i m p o r t a n t commentaries on Shivaite doctrine and rites have been published i n various Indian languages, thus m a k i n g available to a m u c h wider public those teachings w h i c h had been previously reserved for initiates.

Linga Purdna, chap. ) T h e modern conception of ecology may appear as an attempt to r e t u r n to a true ethic, even t h o u g h it may be anthropocentric. I t is not only a question of preserving nature for the service of m a n k i n d , but rather of rediscovering man's role i n nature, as a co-operator i n the w o r k of the gods. A religion w h i c h does not respect the indissoluble oneness of creation, and w h i c h is not fundamentally ecological, is n o t h i n g but a fraud. It serves as an excuse for h u m a n depradations, and cannot claim to have any divine o r i g i n .

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