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Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus Paperback – May 1 1992
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"Danielou's books are remarkable for their clarity, scholarship, and uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy." (Interview Magazine)
"Gods of Love and Ecstasy makes compelling reading with so much information on the role played by gods and goddesses, revealing the theological complexity of this ancient cult. This book also includes many references and sources along with a fascinating chronological chart dating back to 15,000 BC. Highly recommended!" (Jane Lee, New Dawn, May-June 2002)
"While written nearly thirty years ago, the message of Gods of Love and Ecstasy is more critical today than ever, as it points the way towards reestablishing our links to the energies these archetypes represent, and their power in the material world." (The Institute of Hermetic Studies, Dec 2007)
About the Author
One of the most distinguished living Orientalists, Alain Danielou was an intimate of Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau, and Nabokov, and spent more than 20 years in India studying music and philosophy with eminent pandits of the Hindu tradition. Danielou is the author of Myths and Gods of India; While the Gods Play; Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of Matter and the Universe; Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation; The Phallus; The Complete Kama Sutra and Music and the Power of Sound. He is the founder and former director of the International Institute for Comparative Musicology in Berlin, is a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and Officier du Merite National.
Top Customer Reviews
The bulk of the material is about Siva, (which is understandable given the background of the author and the relative amounts of material available on each of the subjects) though this leads to a somewhat fragmentary portrait of Dionysus.
In places it has the tone of a polemic for a return to 'natural' or 'ecstatic' religion as a basis for saving the planet. It treats the 'good' features of such an approach at length but fails to adequately address the fact that 'Siva/Dionysus' is at heart a 'mad' and ambivalent God (CF. W Otto above). I am not sure I can stomach a return to ritual or cult prostitution or to human sacrifice. Feminists may be interested in his description of the 'natural' role of women.
At first he appears to be anti-christian though this turns out to be more anti Roman-Catholic and Institutional Church. He believes that Christianity in its original, unadulterated form was very close to 'natural' spirituality and points to the many parallels between Dionysus and Christ.
I would suggest that readers get a good background in both subjects before reading this book.
However, the discussion of civilisations so remote from ours in time and spirit (Dravidian, Indus, Cretan, etc...) is mind-boggling and challenging. It makes our own culture seem very narrow-minded in some ways and ignorant of so much of human nature. The author was a native Frenchman yet deeply immersed in Hindu/Shaivite culture and religion from a young age. His insights are rare and precious. Thank you Monsieur Danielou.
before it was bastardized by modern man. The Shivaite
tradition, and its Bachannalian equivalent in the West,
is the basis of all world religions, and this book does a great
job of explicating and delineating concepts in terms of yesyeryear and
Most recent customer reviews
I bought the book for a friend, I did not read it myself. My friend had heard of the book before and was happy to receive it as a gift.Published 21 months ago by Maria Bedek
Daniélou's book is rare in its international cultural outlook. Ancient mediterranean paganism becomes much clearer through approaching it from an Indian perspective. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2003
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