Alain Danielou, Shiva and Dionysus and Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae - Peter Myers, November 12, 2001; update May 9, 2009. My comments within the text are shown {thus}.

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(1) Alain Danielou, Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus (also published as Shiva and Dionysus) (2) Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae

Some streams of Feminism claim to be about the recovery of a long-lost pre-Patriarchial Civilization. These two authors are important for considering questions such as "Did such a Civilization exist? Was it viable? How was it Destroyed? Is it Recoverable?".

Shiva represents the male role - male potency - in those "Goddess" cultures.

The Shivaite/Goddess/Great Mother cultures featured Woman as Lover and Destroyer, Wife and Mother. Feminism, influenced by Marxism, urges a "masculine" character for women: "assertiveness" rather than "feminity", the collectivisation of child-nurture, rather than the maternal bond.

Alain Danielou was a linguist, a musicologist, and an Orientalist, a specialist on India's religions and philosophies, and brother of Cardinal Jean Danielou.

Canvassing the overthrow of the patriarchial religions which suppressed Shivaism, Danielou has much in common with Feminism; yet he supports the caste system of India because it retains ancient cultures intact. Danielou says the Aryan invasion destroyed the Harappa civilisation, of which Shivaism was the religion.

In his autobiography The Way to the Labryinth, he explains that because, by rules of the caste system, he was not supposed to marry an Indian woman (he being a non-Indian, therefore of different caste), he remained a homosexual instead (pp. 63, 136, 322-4). Although I oppose today's "Gay Lib" movement, for its materialism and its in-your-face attempts to change heterosexuals, I find nothing offensive about Danielou's homosexuality.

Danielou reminds me of Camille Paglia, who, like him, is captivated by the struggle between the Dionysian and Apollonian cultures, is appalled by Marxism and materialism, and embraced homosexuality not through any dislike of the other sex, or of heterosexuality, but simply because (I recall she says) a male partner was unavailable to her.

Camille Paglia has many similarities to Danielou's views, but she thinks it unrealistic to try to reinstate the lost culture Danielou calls Shivaism.

I don't endorse Danielou's ideas in toto, but I think his sketch of history is probably correct.

(1) Alain Danielou, Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont 1992 {also published under the title Shiva and Dionysus} Translated from the French by East-West Publications.

{p. 7} FOREWORD

This book is not an essay on the history of religions. It reflects my personal experience of discovering the most fundamental of religions in that veritable museum of world history which is India. Prior to Vedic Hinduism, Greek religion, Zoroastrianism and even Abraham, this early religion is the outcome of man's efforts since his remotest origins to understand the nature of creation in its balanced beauty and cruelty, as well as the manner in which he can identify himself in the Creator's work and cooperate with him. This religion is naturistic, not moralistic, ecstatic and not ritualistic. It strives to find the points of contact between the various states of being and to seek their harmonious relationship which allows every man to achieve his self-realization on a physical, intellectual and spiritual level and to play his role more fully in the universal symphony.

It gradually dawned on me that all those things which seemed of value in later religions were only partial and deformed survivals, often perverted or skilfully disguised, of that ancient wisdom found in the cults of Shiva or of Dionysus. This religion, so often persecuted but always reborn, appeared to me to still correspond to the deepest needs of man today. What is usually called "Primordial tradition" can, ultimately, only be linked to this stream of knowledge the origins of which go back to the first ages of the world.

Throughout its long history, humanity has inevitably produced men of exceptional intelligence and it is from their experience and accumulated intuition that all cultures and civilizations derive. Humanity begins by using language forms as an instrument, so that symbols and myths express the relationship between man and the invisible world of spirits and gods.

Shivaite concepts concerning the nature of the material and subtle world, as well as the Shivaite methods, such as Yoga, Sankhya (cosmology) and Tantrism, constitute an unparalleled knowledge of the nature of human beings and of the cosmos. A rediscoery of Shivaism-Dionysism would allow an effective return to the source

{p. 8} and the re-establishment of that almost-broken link with a multi-millenarian knowledge of which we are the unwitting and ungrateful heirs.

This does not involve any exotic innovation for the Western World. European religious sources are the same as those of India, and their traces have only been lost in the relatively recent past. The legend according to which Dionysus sojourned in India is an allusion to the identification of his cult with Indian religion. The rediscovery at the beginning of this century of the joyful and peaceable Cretan civilization and religion, which is so similar to Shivaism and which appears to be the deepest root of Western civilization, may thus be considered a premonition, a return to what Arnold Toynbee calls "a right religion".

I spent more than twenty years in the traditional Hindu world, as far removed from the modern world as though I had been miraculously transported back to the Egypt of the Pharaohs. On returning to Europe, I was amazed at the childishness of theological concepts, and of the barrenness of what is called religion. I found a rudderless humanity, clutching the dying tree of Christianity, without even understanding why it was dying. Those people, feeling this vacuum, were searching for their equilibrium in a visibly threatened world, but could find no help. They have to content themselves with having "their own religion", or else they become the easy victims of countless false prophets, market-place gurus, or of false initiations, "drawing-room Yoga" or "transcendental meditation". Sometimes they seek to escape by entering communities of "hippies" or ecologists, which can only isolate them and lead to nothing, because their approach is too restricted, negative and improvised. The return to Christianity or Islam in countries suffering from excessive materialism, as in Poland, Iran and elsewhere, are also expressions of the same need. Unfortunately, these dogmatic and tyrannical religions cannot supply man with what he is seeking.

The dark forces which seem to rule the modern world have shown great ability in diverting, deforming and annilating all man's instinctive urges toward basic realities and the divine order of the world. As soon as a spark of light is glimpsed, it is taken over by those whose mission it is to pervert and exploit it, thus transforming what is beneficial into something maleficent.

It is difficult for man to attain true knowledge and wisdom. Men, say the Upanishads, are part of the gods' cattle, and it displeases the gods to lose heads of cattle. This is why the gods place obstacles in the

{p. 9} way of knowledge which would otherwise allow man to free himself, to escape from slavery and from the ties (pasha) of the natural world. During their training, yogis acquire magical powers which become more and more astonishing. These are temptations which, if allowed to take hold, will turn them aside from their goal. In the same way, when humanity as a whole becomes a peril for other species and for the balance of nature, the gods inspire men with the madness which leads them to destruction. A way is always open, however, for man to return to his proper role of cooperating with the divine plan. This way, as taught by Shivaism, has nothing to do with false virtues, or with artificial moral or social problems in which modern religion and society take such delight, and whose precise aim is to deceive the soul, keep man from seeking true values, and thus lead him to suicide. The way of Shiva-Dionysus is the only way by which humanity can be saved.

I have written this book, insufficient though it may be, for men of goodwill lost in a world of false values, so that it may remind some that a "way of wisdom" did exist, and still exists. This "way" consists simply in seeking to comprehend the nature of the world and in cooperating in the divine work. Whoever honestly seeks this way will find it, but it is necessary to question almost all established values and to ignore all senseless words, all those slogans which nowadays pass for ideas or doctrines. The present adherents of the Judaic monotheistic religions and of [their] post-Christian substitutes... are, all of them, ex-pantheists. This historical fact suggests that there might be some hope of their reverting to the pantheistic attitude, now that they have become aware of the badness of the consequences of the monotheistic lack of respect for nature." (Arnold Toynbee, Choose Life, p. 298.)

I do not claim to present a solution. On the basis of my personal experience, I have made a small effort to clear the ground which seems to be encumbered with ignorance and error. and to remind those who believe that "Religion" and 'Christianity" are synonymous that the way of the divine is found outside the prison of dogmatism. This essay is not an instruction manual. The ritual elements indicated herein serve only as a starting point for reflecting on the nature of man, of the world and of the divine as taught by the most ancient, and at the same time, most modern of religions. It is evident that certain rites and practices of ancient Shivaism or Dionysism, such as human sacrifices, could not be contemplated

{p. 10} nowadays. Perhaps I should have avoided mentioning them, as they could easily be used as a pretext for rejecting the whole of Shivaite concepts, but, in my opinion, it was necessary to do so because they reflect tendencies of the human being and aspects of the nature of the world, which it would be imprudent to ignore. They form part of our collective unconscious and risk being manifested in perverse ways if we are afraid to face up to them. We regard with horror the "crimes" of certain fanatical sects, without seeing their relationship to war, genocide, and the destruction of some animal species, all of which we too easily accept. We live in a world in which we must come to terms with the gods without cherishing illusions. We should always be conscious of our responsibilities and share them with the gods who conceived the world as it is, not as we like to believe it should be. This is the profound message of Shivaism, the only message which can help us face the divine reality of the world and cooperate with the work of the gods. There is no other true religion.

{p. 11} INTRODUCTION

The universe is a wonderful work of harmony. beauty and balance. There may be other universes, founded on other formulae. Man's universe is the result of a choice made in the mind of the immense, unknowable, indefinable Prime Cause, out of whom came the gods, matter and life.

Nothing exists which is not involved in its own cause. If thought exists in individuals, then thought must perforce be part of the cosmic principle from which they themselves came. There exists therefore a universal thought, a universal self-consciousness, and thus creation is not simply a chance matter, but the choice of a transcendant will which caused it to be as it is. All the elements which constitute the world are interdependent, and form part of the whole. There is no break or discontinuity in the Creator's work. The mineral, vegetable, animal and human worlds, as well as the subtle world of spirits and gods, exist through and for each other. No true approach to, or seeking after, the divine, no knowledge, religion or mystery, can possibly exist which does not take into account this basic unity of the created world.

From the beginning of time itself, we can see the appearance of this search, this thirst for knowledge, for an understanding of the nature of the world and the purpose of life, and thus the desire to draw closer to the Creator and to take refuge in him. In order to have any value, this search can accept no barriers or preconceptions and cannot ignore any aspect of beings or things. It traverses the most diverse civilizations, religions and ways of thinking, and inevitably puts them in question. The idea of the profound oneness of the creative thought and of all the aspects of creation is always present in man's consciousness, if only at a latent level. It only needs a messenger from the gods to awaken this consciousness and to remind us that the only way to happiness and self-realization is to cooperate wholeheartedly in the Creator's work, in the love and friendship which should unite plants, animals, men and the subtle world. It is not a question of

{p. 12} sentimentalism of loving one's garden and one's dog or painting everything in rosy colours, but rather of man's humble search for his proper place in this savage, wonderful and cruel world which the gods have created.

It is the principle of Shivaism that nothing exists in the whole universe which is not a part of the divine body and which cannot be a way of reaching the divine. All objects, all natural phenomena, plants and animals, as well as all aspects of man himself, may be starting points to bring us nearer to the divine. Thus there is neither high nor low, inferior or superior function, sacred or profane. If we recognize the divine order in all our tendencies, all our physical functions, and in all our actions or potential, we become masters of ourselves, companions (kaula) of the god, and participants (bhaktas or bacchants). If, on the other hand, we ignore or refuse to see the universal order in all those things which constitute our physical and mental being, and the bonds which unite us at all levels to the natural and cosmic world. we shall bring upon ourselves that destructive madness which is the manifestation of the wrath of the gods.

{p. 13} Chapter 1

ORIGINS

The Two Sources of Religion

Since the beginning of urban civilization, religious phenomena among sedentary peoples have been manifested and established in two opposed and contradictory forms. The first is tied to the world of nature, the second to the organization of communal city life. Primordial religion represents the sum of man's efforts to understand creation, to live in harmony with it and penetrate its secrets, to cooperate in the Creator's work, drawing nearer to Him and becoming identified with Him. This approach does not separate the physical from the intellectual and spiritual domain, which are all indissolubly linked together. The body is the instrument of all human accomplishment and, as taught by Yoga, should be treated as such.

The entirety of Creation in its beauty, cruelty and harmony, is the expression of Divine thought and is the materialization, or body of God. Only those who understand this, identifying themselves with the natural world and taking their proper place amongst the trees, flowers and animals, may truly draw near to the world of spirits and gods, and have an understanding of the Creator's plan and perceive His divine joy. For the man who is conscious of creation not only as the work of God, but as the form of God himself, all being, all life, every act takes on a sacred character and becomes a rite, a means of communication with the celestial world.

"To conform to what one is, is dharma." ( Svalakshana-dhararad dharmah".) Dharma is a word which means "natural law". To conform to it is the only virtue. There is no other religion than that of conforming to what one is by birth, by nature, by one's natural disposition. Each must play, as best he can, his assigned role in the great theatre of creation. Man's happiness and survival depend on his conforming to the position he occupies as a species amongst living creatures and as an individual amongst men. Should he seek to take on a role which is anti-social, he becomes an enemy of humanity. If he is a predator - an enemy of other species - he becomes the enemy of the gods, the enemy of creation.

{p. 14} The other form of religion is the religion of the city, the society of mankind which claims to impose divine sanctions on social conventions. It exalts human laws as sacred enactments. It serves as an excuse for the ambitions of men who seek dominion over the natural world and make use of it, claiming for themselves a unique position to the detriment of other species, whether vegetable, animal or supernatural. Due to a strange and evil perversion of values in the modern civilizations and religions which characterze the Kali Yuga - the Age of Conflicts in which we are now living - man has renounced his role in the universal order embracing all forms of being or life. Taking no interest except in himself, he has become the destroyer of the harmony of creation, the blind, vain and brutal instrument of his own decline.

Under the influence of the rudimentary religious concepts of the nomadic conquerors {he means the Aryans}, the religions of the city took on an anthropocentric character. Nomadic peoples have no true contact with the world of nature. They do not live together in communion with places, trees and animals, except those they have subjugated or domesticated. They take their gods and legends with them and are inclined toward monotheistic simplification. Nature is seen as an anonymous pasture to exploit and destroy, and the gods as guides in the service of mankind. Anti-Dionysiac beliefs are always at the basis of nomadic religions, whether Aryan, Hebrew or Arab. Such characteristics are retained even when the nomads become sedentary. Any religion which considers its faithful a chosen race - claiming to have received from a god the right and duty to propagate their beliefs and customs. and to destroy or enslave "unbelievers" - can only be an impostor! Crusades, missions and holy wars are the masks of hegemony and colonialism.

"The number one is the symbol of illusion", say the Tantras and the religion of the city finds its justification in monotheistic illusion. The philosophic concept of causal unity is a speculation which cannot be transferred to the plane of life or action. It is evident that the Prime Cause, or origin of that first explosion which gave birth to matter and antimatter, space and time, galaxies, stars and the principles of life, is by no means comparable to a sort of village guardian-angel who troubles about whether we have kept the Sabbath or tasted so-called forbidden fruit, giving instructions to prophets, all in the interest of civic law and order. The danger of monotheism is that it succeeds in reducing the divine to the image of man, an appropriation of God to

{p. 15} the service of a "chosen" race. This is contrary to true religion since it serves as an excuse for subjecting the divine work to man's ambition.

According to Toynbee: "The belief that what I have called the spiritual presence in and behind the universe was concentrated in a single transcendent humanlike god, involved the further belief that nothing else in the universe is divine ... God placed the whole of his nonhuman creation at the disposal of his human creatures to exploit in any way that they might choose. . . The salutary respect and awe with which man had originally regarded his environment was thus dispelled by Judaic monotheism in the versions of its Israelite originators, and of Christians and Muslims... Communism is an outcome of Christianity ... I diagnose Communism as a religion, and specifically as a new representative of the Judaic species, in which the Judaic mythology has been preserved under the disguise of a montheistic vocabulary." (Arnold Toynbee and Daisaku Ikeda, Choose Life, pp. 39 and 179, Oxford, 1978.) We shall speak again of the origins and role of monotheism in connection with the religions of the Kali Yuga.

Shivaism is essentially a nature religion. Shiva, like Dionysus, represents but one of the aspects of the divine hierarchy, that which concerns terrestrial life generally. By establishing a realistic coordination between subtle beings and living creatures, Shivaism has always opposed the anthropocentricity of urban society. Its western form, Dionysism, similarly represents the stage where man is in communion with savage life, with the beasts of the mountain and forest. Dionysus, like Shiva, is a god of vegetation, of trees and of the vine. He is also an animal god, a bull-god. The god teaches man to disregard human laws in order to rediscover divine laws. His cult, which unleashes the powers of soul and body, has encountered a lively resistance from city religions, which have always considered it antisocial. Shiva, like Dionysus, is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods. The Rig Veda (VII, 21, 5), which is the sacred book of the Aryan invaders, prays that the god Indra will not allow the followers of the cult of Shiva - whom they call Shishna-devas or worshippers of the phallus - to approach their ritual sacrifices. However, the power of the god's mysterious magic can never be ignored with impunity, and a place had to be left

{p. 16} for the cult of Shiva-Dionysus, despite the hostility of the masters of the city.

{Selections from the Rig Veda are at rig-veda.html}

"With the growth of Neo-Brahmanism the non-Aryan phallic rite came to be associated with the Aryan belief, as an essential element of historic Shivaism." (P. Banerjee, Early Indian Religions, p. 41.) Even the greatest Hellenic sanctuaries, doubtless unwillingly, were forced to give him considerable importance. God of the young, of the humble (shudras) and of ecology, the protector of animals and trees, Shiva is accused of teaching the secrets of wisdom to the humble, and of being accompanied by bands of youthful delinquents who mock the institutions of society and the rule of old men {sounds like today's teenagers}. "In Shivaism, transcendence, in relation to the standards of ordinary life, is interpreted on a popular level by the fact that Shiva, among others, is represented as the god or 'patron' of those who do not lead a normal life and even of outlaws." (Julius Evola, Le Yoga tantrique, p. 92.) The faithful of Shiva or Dionysus seek contact with those forces which animate both the infrahuman and suprahuman and 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. "It is not through (passive) contemplation of divine order, but through the frenzied impulse preceding and preparing the intimate union with the god - by a total self-abandonment to his all-powerfulness and the abasement of reason before this power, - that Dionysism seeks the way of salvation." (H. Jeanmaire, Dionysos, p. 423.) The god's followers are called bacchoi (bacchants) in Greece and bhaktas (participants) in India. It is in their intoxication of love and ecstasy that true wisdom lies. Communion with nature and with the gods thus becomes possible, whilst the calculations and frustrations imposed by city religions isolate the world of men from the rest of creation. According to Euripides, the message of Dionysus is a call to joy in communion with nature and simplicity of heart. Those who pretend to assert the superiority of reason and refuse to heed his call will be confounded. The god inspires in them the madness with which they destroy themselves.

Throughout the course of history, urban and industrial societies - those exploiters and destroyers of the natural world - have been opposed to any ecological or mystical approach to the liberation of man and his happiness. Wars, genocide, and the destruction of entire civilizations have always had as a basis the religions of the city. Abel

{p. 17} "looked after the beasts," but Cain. who cultivated the soil, "became a builder of cities." (Gen. 4. 7 and 17.) The first murder is thus accomplished by a man who in some way is the incarnate symbol of technology and of urban society." (Mirea Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses, pp. 180-181.)

Whenever it has reappeared, the cult of Shiva or of Dionysus has been banished from the city, where only those cults in which man is given paramount importance are acknowledged, allowing and excusing his depredations and condemning all forms of ecstasy which permit direct contact with the mysterious world of the spirits.

Throughout the history of India, we find diatribes against the various Shivaite sects, their practices, bloody sacrifices and rites. Such diatribes recall Livy's malicious and perfidious descriptions of the Dionysiac rites, made in order to justify the persecution of their followers. The political persecution of bacchants was also known in Greece. Throughout Brahmanism, official Greek or Roman religion, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islam, we always find the same opposition to the survival of the ancient religions of Shivaism, Dionysism, Sufism and mystic sects in general, founded on the love of nature and the pusuit of ecstasy. One of the weapons of city religion is moral tyranny, based on dogmas which allow it to discipline man and to oppose his self-realization. Puritanism is totally unknown in the primitive or natural world. Christianity in its later forms - which must be distinguished from the teaching of Christ - represents a characteristic deviation of the religious concept, which no longer envisages the overall picture of the Creator's work, but solely the indoctrination of man in the interest of power. The colonial expansion of the Christian world is a clear illustration of this. "Especially in things of the flesh, the Christian religion imposes an extremely strict moral code. It condemns love in itself, the pride of life. It therefore goes against the most powerful instincts of the human animal... Having introduced for moral transgressions the theological notion of sin, which is to say a direct attack on God, this religion weighs down man's entire existence with an unbearable load of guilt, and with the expectation of judgement and eternal punishment, which threatens to hamper every action and kills all joy. There is nothing of all this in ancient religions." (A J. Festugiere, Etudes de religion grecque et hellenistique, p. 240.) The persecution of sexuality - the essential element of happiness - is a characteristic technique of all patriarchal, political or religious tyrannies.

{p. 18} India, where Shivaism has remained an essential component of religious life, has been partly preserved from the moral fetishism which has unfortunately overrun the West. It has attributed no absolute value or categorical character to standards of behaviour. In the present-day practice of Indian Shivaism we find a great number of elements which are identical to those mentioned in the most ancient Hindu and Greek texts. Shivaism, Yoga and Tantrism constitute a profoundly realistic approach to the natural and supernatural world, and tend to re-establish their influence in those periods when men come to realize that urban religion has diverted them from the observance of the natural law. They try to return to those practices and rites which they feel are more in accordance with the raison d'etre of creation.

In India, the deep influence of Shivaism on the country's whole philosophy, including the Hindu's attitude toward animals, men and gods has largely safeguarded a respect for the Creator's work, as well as providing a rare spirit of tolerance. After the attacks suffered from Vedism and Buddhism, and later on from Christian and Islamic puritanism, Shivaism has tended to withdraw into esotericism.

The modernized classes of India pretend to ignore it, a fact which, however, does not affect its deep vitality. Shivaism remains essentially a religion of the people, but at the same time it is also the religion with the highest degree of initiation in the Hindu world. Indeed, there exists no other true initiation except the Shivaitic one. All mystery cults have a Shivaite or Dionysian character.

The heritage of Shivaism remains the basis of Hindu spiritual experience, although often in a form which has been degraded and dulled by puritanism and "sexual avarice", the endemic disease of Vedic Brahmanism and of all other State religions. Certain Dionysiac currents have survived in Islam. In the Christian world, on the other hand, repeated persecutions have little by little almost wiped out the tradition. Temporal power, riches and authoritarian hierarchy of the Church are incompatible with the freedom required for any research, whether for mystical experience or scientific discovery. The Church has sought to eliminate both mystics and scientists. Her sacraments have become mere social rites and are no longer the transmission of sacred power. Her moral teaching is reduced to a persecution of the sexual element, making those who submit to this tyranny frustrated, aggressive and dangerous people.

{p. 19} Historical elements

Due to the Indian social system, the various races of that subcontinent have been able to coexist and survive without intermixing or being destroyed, and thus retain a large part of their own institutions and culture. Religious rites, symbols and beliefs are still found in a living form, the existence of which elsewhere is only known through archaeological remains and literary allusions. In India it is still possible to relive and understand the rites and beliefs of the Mediterranean world and the Middle East in ancient times. Apart from their physical characteristics, the ethnic groups of India are also linguistically recognizable, the main ones corresponding approximately to the three great epochs in the development of civilization: palaeolithic, neolithic and modern. In India, these linguistic families are represented by the Munda, Dravidian and Aryan languages. Sino-Mongolian languages play only a secondary role.

Each group, with its particular ethnic, linguistic, religious and social elements, represents the various stages of evolution peculiar to the human race. These stages are not necessarily synonymous with progress and their traces can be discovered all over the world, sometimes only in prehistoric remains. The great racial and linguistic families of India may be a key to the understanding of civilizations which elsewhere have disappeared.

The much-decried caste system has allowed the survival of the most diversified peoples, especially those who are least aggressive and least suited to an industrial civilization. In so-called democratic societies, the weakest are inevitably dispossessed, destroyed, or culturally annihilated. We have examples today of the genocide of Pygmies and Australian Aborigines. Over several centuries the ethnic peoples of the Americas have lost their culture, their religion and their language and have been left without even a memory of their own history.

Devastating invasions and cultural revolutions which are the tragedies of history, are always backed up by new cults. Communism is effectively a cult in this sense like Christianity or Islam. The most barbarous and least advanced ethnic groups are those who massacre the possessors of knowledge, burn libraries and destroy monuments in the name of often rudimentary ideologies. Nothing remains of the stupendous City of Mexico which the first Spanish conquistadors describe as the most beautiful in the world. Whether it is a question

{p. 20} of outside invaders or of internal revolution the results are the same. It can take centuries to recover vestiges of a lost heritage.

The Proto-Australoids

The Proto Australoids, in India called adivasi (first inhabitants), speak Munda or Mom-Khmer languages. They form one of the great racial and linguistic groups, the other two being the Dravidians and the Aryans. According to S.S. Sarkar (Aboriginal Races of India), the Proto Australoids are "the most archaic race which has survived". They show affinities with Neanderthal man (according to Huxley, Sollas, Von Luschon and Howells), a more ancient race than the Negroids. To this group belong the Veddas of Ceylon and the Khonds of Central India, the Khasis of Assan and the Shom Pen of Great Nicobar. Outside India, the Sakai of Malaysia, the Moi of Indochina, the Orang batin, Lubu and Ulu of Sumatra, the Toula of the Celebes, certain populations in Southern Arabia and the Dhofar, as well as the Aborigines of Australia, may all be included in the same anthropological group. Their relationship with the African Pygmies and Bushmen of the Kalahari appears probable. They seem to have been the most ancient inhabitants of Europe, India and Africa. Skeletons of this type have also been discovered in predynastic Egyptian tombs. as well as at Mohenjo Daro in present-day Pakistan.

"The hunting tribes of whom the Bushmen and Pygmies are the last remnants, once covered all Africa. Even the Caspian art of the late Palaeolithic period, found in areas around the western Mediterranea,n has affinities with Bushman painting... The Bushmen represent an early group of humans ancestral to the larger and darker skinned peoples who lived around the fringes of the Indian Ocean before they in turn spread to all parts of Africa. except for the far south." (Cottie Burland. "Africa, South of the Sahara." in Primitive Erotic Art, p. 198. ) It was this race of small, gracile men who peopled Europe at the beginning of the Neolithic Age and who were eliminated by the stronger Cro-Magnon-type men.

The Dravidians

During the Neolithic Age a new race appeared amongst the Mundas in India. They had brown skin, straight hair and spoke an agglutinative language. The origin of these people, who are called Dravidian (from the Prakrit damila: Tamil), is obscure, but they and their religion,

{p. 21} Shivaism, played a basic role in the history of humanity. According to tradition, they came from a continent situated to the southwest of India which was engulfed by the sea. This myth recalls that of Atlantis. The possibility cannot be excluded that other branches of the same people may have reached Africa and the Mediterranean - hence the difficulty of attributing with any certainty a place of origin to Shivaite or Dionysiac revelation. "The people who created and developed the first Greco-oriental civilization, of which the Isle of Minos was the principal centre - despite their relations with Mesopotamia and Egypt - confirm that they were neither 'Greek', nor Semitic, nor Indo-European. . . It is possible to suppose. . . that the people involved spread throughout the whole of Greece.. . There was in the Greek language a substratum of words of foreign origin . . . which must have survived from long before, despite the occupation of the country bv various invaders. . . Their Anatolian, Pelasgian. and even Proto-lndo-European origin is still being debated ........ The language thus formed was spoken throughout the Aegean, the whole of Greece and southwest Anatolia." (Charles Picard, Les Religions prehelleniques, pp. 53-54.)

The Dravidian language and culture, which even today are those of the population of Southern India, seem to have spread their influence from India to the Mediterranean before the Aryan invasions. It was this civilization, some of whose linguistic vestiges - such as Georgian, Basque, Peuhl, Guanche and the dialects of Baluchistan - survive still in outlying areas, which served as a vehicle for ancient Shivaism. It appears that Sumerian, Pelasgian, Etruscan and Lydian, as well as Eteocretan, also belonged to the same linguistic family: the relationship between Sumerian, Georgian and Tamil leaves no doubt as to their origins. Moreover, the Basque language (Eskuara) and Georgian both have the same structure and, even today, have more than three hundred and sixty words in common. Again, Basque songs and dances are related to those of the Caucasian Iberians.

Herodotus (Histories. I. 57) speaks of the barbarian language used by the Pelasgians who in his time were living in Southern Italy and at the Hellespont. He considered that the Pelasgian language was closely related to Etruscan and Lydian. Saint Paul, who was shipwrecked at Malta in 69 A.D., mentions the "barbarian" (non-Aryan) language which was still spoken there. "The main provenance of the Pelasgians was ... from the far side of the Black Sea. There is some possibility that they did not arrive in Crete before the beginning of the second

{p. 22} millennium B.C .... [The name of the place where they lived, Larisa, proues it]." (R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, pp. 135 and 136.)

According to Jacques Heurgon (La Vie Quotidienne chez les Etrusques, pp. 14-15), "The Etruscans were not newcomers to Italy, but the first inhabitants of a land whose sovereignty was taken from them by the Indo-European invasions, without eliminating them entirely... They were the indomitable descendants of the Bronze Age... The relationship betueen Etruscan, Caucasian, Lycian and the speech of Lemnos points to the existence of an Etruscan-Asiatic language, at first in current use in Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, the Aegean and Asia Minor and then thrust aside by the linguistic pressure of the invaders."

"The Eteocretan language spoken by the inhabitants of Praisos in Crete, up to the third century B.C., was thus the remnant of the common non-Greek language which was once spoken in Greece, Crete and the other islands as well as in the south-west of Asia Minor. Inscriptions at Praisos in Greek characters have not yet been deciphered." (R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, p. 133.) This was apparently a Dravidian language. It appears that modern linguists have never dreamt of using the agglutinative Dravidian languages, which are still widely spoken in the south of India, as a basis for their research into the ancient languages of the Mediterranean world.

The myth concerning the Aryan origin of civilization, which Rene Guenon termed the classic illusion, is still far from being forgotten. Dravidian languages have a common origin with Finnish-Hungarian languages (Balto-Finnish, Hungarian, Volgaic, Uralian, Samoyedic) and Altaic languages (Turkish, Mongolian and Eskimo), but it seems that the division between this great linguistic family and the Dravido-Mediterranean group during the Palaeolithic Age took place long before the formulation of Shivaism as we know it.

In the Middle East and the Mediterranean world, there was an important civilization of Asian origin, or which was at least linguistically related to Asia before the Aryan invasions. The megalithic monuments, myths and religious traditions common to India and the Mediterranean indicate moreover that this civilization was indeed the vehicle of Shivaism.

Even before the sixth millennium, "the myth of Anat may be classified as belonging to the common elements of the old agricultural civilization which stretched from the Eastern Mediterranean to the

{p. 23} Ganges plain". (M. Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses, p.169.)

After the last Ice Age, the great migrations from India to Portugal began in a climate which finally became more temperate during the fifth millenium. However, it is only starting from the third millenium, that we find remains of an advanced level of civilization. These cultures bear the undeniable stamp of Shivaite thought, myths and symbols, and all of them are more or less contemporary in the cities of the Indus, Sumer, Crete or Malta. The megalithic sanctuaries which are found everywhere from India to the British Isles and America, belong to the same culture, but are often the only vestiges of this stupendous civilization to have survived. The fact that the principal archaeological remains are all of the same period, but at apparently different technological levels, does not exclude the possibility of an advanced civilization. Their preservation depends entirely on the materials used and on prevailing climatic conditions, or sometimes on the total destruction of sites by invaders or bv natural catastrophes, such as the eruptions of Santorini or Vesuvius.

The civilizations of the Indus

On the Indian continent the centres of pre-Aryan Dravidian culture which have left important archaeological remains are mainly found in the Indus valley in present-day Pakistan, especially at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The siting of these important cities in a region which has become almost a desert has preserved certain elements. This civilization spread over a large part of India and towards the West.

"The contacts [of the cities of the Indus] with the ancient proto-historic and historic civilizations of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt and the Aegean, are important... There exists proof of contacts with Sargon of Akkad (about 2370-2284 B.C.), and with King Urnammu (about 2100 B.C.), although Mohenjo Daro was in existence long before. Objects coming from Mohenjo Daro have been found at Tel Asmar and at Troy (about 2300 B.C.), as well as in a royal tomb at Ur. Bronze objects from Luristan and Mesopotamian weapons have been discovered at Mohenjo Daro... Identical painted steatite necklaces have been found at Harappa and at Knossos... A great number of steatite seals bearing inscriptions in characters of the Indus were discovered at Bahrein (Dilmun), as well as at Ur (about 7350 B.C.) and La~yash (Larsa period)." (Mortimer Wheeler, The Indus Civilizations, pp. 111-115)

{p. 24} The towns of the Indus were founded before 3800 B.C. and lasted until their destruction in 1800 B.C. by the Aryan invaders. The principal religion of the Indus civilization was withbut doubt Shivaism. Extant seals represent an ithyphallic and horned Shiva seated in a Yoga position. or dancing triumphantly as Nataraja. Numerous Shivaite symbols are also found there, such as stone phalli, swastikas. and the images of the bull, the serpent and the Goddess of the Mountains.

"The likelihood that both Shiva and linga (phallus) - worship have been inherited by the Hindus from the Harappans is perhaps reinforced by the prevalence of the bull ... [and also] in less degree, to the tiger, elephant... and 'Minotaurs'... as well as man-faced animals." (Wheeler, ibid., p. 109. )

Given the importance of the contacts mentioned above. it is not at all surprising that the same religion and symbols are found extending from India to the Mediterranean. The problems posed by the Aryan invasions are the same and the survivals of this ancient religion and its periodic reappearance are similar in India, the Middle East and the West.

The Aryans (Indo-Europeans)

The migration of the nomadic Aryan peoples - erroneously called Indo-Europeans - played a considerable role in the history of mankind. They left the regions which today compose the Soviet Union probably for climatic reasons, and successively invaded India, the Middle East and Europe.

"The irruption of the Indo-Europeans into history is marked by terrible devastation. Between 2300 and 1900 B.C., numerous cities in Greece, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia were sacked and burned, such as Troy about 2300 B.C., Beycesultan, Tarsus, and some three hundred towns and settlements in Anatolia ... The dispersal of the Indo-European peoples had begun a few centuries before and was to last through two millennia ... The Dorians from Thessaly descended on Southern Greece towards the end of the second millennium B.C. By about 1200, the Aryans had penetrated into the Indus-Ganges plain, the Iranians were firmly installed, Greece and the islands were Indo-Europeanized ... This process only ceased in the last century. It is not possible to find another such example of linguistic and cultural expansion." (M. Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idees religieuses, p. 199.)

{p. 25} The Aryan tribes who occupied Latium around 1000 B.C. and founded Rome in about 753, were one of the principal agents of Aryan linguistic expansion. Aryan colonization under the form of Hindi in India, and French, English, Portuguese and Spanish in the rest of the world, still continues today especially in the African and American continents. We do not hesitate to speak of French- or English-speaking Africa and of Latin America, as though we were speaking of something clearly beneficial.

The Vedic texts evoke the struggles against the dasa or dasya and the pani, the continuators or survivors of the Indus civilization who rejected the Vedic cult. They are described as being dark-skinned and having small noses. They spoke a barbarian language and venerated the phallus (shishna deua). They owned large herds and lived in fortified towns (pur). According to the Purana genealogies, it is calculated that the Mahabharata war, which completed the Aryan conquest of India, took place about 1400 B.C. in the Madhyadesha, near Delhi. Other Hindu sources, however, seem to indicate an earlier date.

Primaeval religions

The four religions {animism, Shivaism, Jainism, Aryan i.e. Indo-European polytheism}

We know almost nothing of the religious and philisophical thought of mankind since his appearance nearly two million years ago. Since the beginning of that very recent period which we can consider historical, traces of highly developed civilizations are everywhere to be found, together with languages which, whatever the level of material life, whether primitive or refined, are all equally suitable for expressing the most abstract notions and bear witness to an extremely long evolution of thought.

In India, four main religions correspond to the different approaches to the problem of the supernatural. These have often influenced or opposed each other throughout the course of their long history. They demonstrate mankind's attainment of religious thought since remote prehistory. All later religions can only be considered as adaptations of elements deriving from this marvellous heritage. Really new elements are never found, whatever their claims. The four religions of ancient India correspond to four distinct concepts of the world and of the gods, whose extension well beyond the frontiers of India seems to have been universal. The first of these concepts could be termed animistic.

{animism - first of the four religions}

{p. 26} In the natural order of the world living beings know what they require in order to ensure survival. Side by side with a perceptive mechanism of a practical order all beings are conscious that there is a limit to their senses. They feel more or less confusedly the presence of "something inexplicable", of more subtle powers with which they eventually try to communicate. These powers, which mankind respects and worships, are called spirits or gods. The man who finds his proper place in the natural world becomes conscious of spirits, or aspects of the divine to be found in mountains, springs, rivers and forests. "For all people who live in harmony with the consensus of the powers which surround them ... many animals are sacred, and therefore, in this sense, everything is sacred: sky, earth, fire, air ... The whole life of 'primitive' man is a succession of magical operations aimed at creating an 'affective tie' between himself and the world around him, 'to bind', 'to put a spell on', 'to conjure up' the powers of nature." (Paolo Santarcangeli, Le Livre des Labyrinthes, p. 108.)

Animals too are conscious of invisible presences and have a foreboding of the wrath of the gods, which is made manifest in what we call natural catastrophes. The sudden and absolute silence of the forest during the moments preceding an earthquake is a startling phenomenon. Never do so called savage animals kill for pleasure {wild dogs and cats do sometimes kill prey in a frenzy, more than they need for eating}. They always avoid disturbing the balance of nature. Animistic man behaves in the same way and thus acquires a very acute sense. He asks pardon of the spirit of the tree from which he has to cut a branch. He tries to conciliate the divinities whom he believes protect the world. His life is a perpetual ritual. Respect for the spirit which dwells in all things, in all beings, is thus the basis of all morality and religion, and allows man to reach a level of intuitive knowledge which the logical mind can never grasp. Animistic concepts have been perpetuated amongst the "primitive" tribes of India. Animism is opposed to the appropriation of land, to property, and to agriculture which destroys natural order and to anything which subjects nature to man. It is against the development of urban and industrial civilization. Such a concept, however, appears to be one of the most fundamental approaches to the religious problem. The animistic attitude is not sentimental or "naturist". Hunting is the basis for survival, and the cruelty of the gods and spirits requires sacrifice. It is in this climate that the cult of Murugan or Kumara (the youth) developed, corresponding to the Kouros (the youth) in Crete. He is an infant or adolescent god, a god of Beauty and War, avid for the blood of the

{p. 27} animals sacrificed to him. Indeed, his cult originated amongst the adivasi (the first inhabitants), of which such tribes still existing today speak Munda languages. The symbols associated with this cult are the hunting-spear, the cock and the ram. The Munda legends which Rudyard Kipling has transcribed in the Jungle Book give an interesting insight into the poetic level of Indian Animism.

{Shivaism - second of the four religions}

During the Neolithic Age and early part of the Old Bronze Age, the cult of Pashupati, the Lord of the Animals, and of Parvati, the Lady of the Mountains, became established amongst the Dravidian invaders. It involved a great philosphical and religious movement which under the name of Shivaism was superimposed on Animism, and became the principal source from which later religions have been drawn. The Lord of the Animals and the Lady of the Mountains, who are found in Crete under the names of Zagreus and Cybele, are also found in all the civilizations which are linguistically or culturally related to the Dravidian world. The salient features of this religion are the cult of the phallus, the bull and the snake and, to a lesser extent, of the tiger and lion, the mounts of the goddess. Historical Shivaism was codified towards the end of the sixth millennium B.C. as the result of a fusion between the religions of Pashupati and Murugan, and was designed to satisfy the world's religious needs up to the end of the present cycle. Murugan becomes the son of Shiva. He is called Kumara (the youth), or Skanda (the jet of sperm). The two cults are closely intermingled in their later forms. Murugan, born in a reedy marsh and nourished by nymphs, is elsewhere called Dionysus. Pashupati corresponds to the Cretan god, husband of the Lady of the Mountains. He is called Zan, then Zagreus, and later, Cretan Zeus (Kretagenes). His legend, as in the case of Shiva and Skanda, gradually becomes merged with that of Dionysus.

{Jainism - third of the four religions, early Buddhism being a variant of it}

Another religion which can claim a very long history is Jainism, a puritan religion which believes in transmigration, in the development of the human being through many lives, both in human and animal form. Without being precisely atheistic, Jainism does not envisage the possibility of contacts between man and the supernatural. According to Jainism man can never know with certainty whether or not there exists a creative principle, a god, or prime cause, and there is therefore no reason to be concerned with it. This religion which is more moralistic than ritualistic, insists upon the protection of life, on strict vegetarianism, and total nakedness amongst its followers. Original Buddhism is an adaptation of it.

{p. 28} Mahavira, the last Jaina prophet, was the contemporary and rival of Gautama Buddha. Like the Buddhists, the Jainas sent missionaries to all parts of the world. The influence of these naked ascetics was very important in Greece, as can be perceived in certain of the philosophical schools and in Orphism. Later Hinduism took from Jainism the theory of transmigration and vegetarianism which originally existed neither in Shivaism nor in Vedism.

{Aryan polytheism - fourth of the four religions}

With the Aryan invasions, the great religion of the nomadic peoples of Central Asia was imposed on India and the whole of the Western world. The gods of this religion are in fact natural phenomena and personified human virtues. Indra is the god of the Thunderbolt, Varuna the god of the Waters, Agni the god of Fire, Vavu god of the Wind, Surya god of the Sun, Dyaus the god of Space, while Mitra represents Solidarity, Aryaman Honour, Bhaga the Sharing of goods. Rudra is the Destroyer, Time, the principle of death. He is subsequently identified with Shiva. Although seeking to propitiate the powers of nature by means of sacrifice, the Aryan religion is not a nature religion. It is a religion centred on man which only seeks the aid of the gods in order to ensure his safety and dominion.

{Hinduism is a synthesis of those four religions}

From the second millennium, Shivaism was gradually absorbed into the Aryan Vedic religion, forming on the one hand later Hinduism, and on the other, Mycenaean and Greek religion. However, Shivaism has resisted this merger and periodically reappears in its ancient form in India as well as in Hellenic Dionysism, and in many later mystic or esoteric sects up to modern times.

Orphism is derived from the influence of Jainism, which was very important in the ancient world for its impact on Shivaism-Dionysism. Mithraism, on the other hand, is the attempt of a soldier community to rediscover part of the ritual and initiatory aspects of original Shivaism.

These four great currents of religious thought spread throughout the world combining with local divinities, legends and cults, as did Christianity at a later period. They remain the basis of almost all existing forms of religion, including the Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which derived from ancient Hebrew polytheism. The great Semitic civilization of Egypt absorbed numerous Shivaite elements, in particular the cult of Osiris, and was able to avoid the danger of monotheism, despite the attempt of Akhnaton in the fourteenth century. Monotheism was later to isolate the Semitic religions from ancient cosmological and religious thought.

{I find it difficult to see Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam as derivatives of those four religions; I think Danielou should have made Zoroastrianism a fifth founding religion ... then the origin of Judaism and its offspring would be accounted for. But Danielou presents Judaism, Christianity and Islam as Western morality religions, correlates of Buddhism & Jainism, on p. 224 below. He also sees Judaism's derivation from Akhnaten's religion, on p. 228 below. Perhaps Akhnaten's religion needs to be added to the above five, to make six founding religions}

{p. 29} The religions of the Far East will not be included in the scope of this book. although Shivaite influence on Taoism is evident and Jaina rationalism had a great influence on Confucianism. Later, through Buddhism, Jaina and Shivaite influences again made themselves felt in China, Southeast Asia and Tibet, by means of Mahayana Tantrism, which was largely a fusion of the two religions. Indian Tantric texts moreover, often mention the existence of "Chinese rites" (Cinachara).

Mythology

Whether dealing with heroes, divine incarnations or gods, all mythology is founded on the personification of certain cosmological principles or particular virtues. "Together with the gods, I will tell of the birth of the elements which they personify," says Hesiod. What counts in mythology are the inherent principles and not the legends with which they are surrounded in order to make them more readily understood. It is of no importance that these legends are legion, differing from one region to another, from one visionary poet to another. We should not lose sight of the fact that such myths or legends are only there to make abstract ideas and universal realities more comprehensible.

The wicked fairy remains the wicked fairy even if we invent new fairy-tales. Heroes are attributed with certain acts which surpass reality, but which are designed to emphasize their virtues and the teachings which they personify. To attribute to Jesus of Nazareth the miracles and legends of Dionysus or Krishna does not detract from his message, but serves to make his divine nature more easily understood. To try to see only strictly historical facts is to deny his divinity and his value as an eternal symbol.

The legends surrounding a particular divine aspect in the various civilizations only differ in the indigenous names given to the heroes and gods. These wonderful tales illustrate universal cosmological or philosophic concepts by incorporating them in a local pantheon to make them more accessible and, occasionally, to mask their meaning from the uninitiated who take these legends literally. The same process is found everywhere, whether in the myths of Dionysus, Bacchus, Zagreus or the Minotaur, of Egyptian Osiris or Roman Liber. In the same way, the legends were adapted so as to include Shiva and his cult amongst the Vedic gods or in Tibetan Buddhism. Thus saints are substituted for gods in the Christian world: the life of Buddha appears in the lives of the saints under the name of Saint Joshaphat.

{p. 30} We are so used to connecting the idea of civilization with a certain level of technological development that we lose sight of the level of human knowledge and culture in those times which we term prehistoric. Only through a few archaeological accidents have the extremely evolved art forms and culture of the Neolithic and even Palaeolithic periods been brought to light - periods during which we imagine the Earth to have been peopled with bearded savages armed with clubs! It is evident that some of the artists invited to decorate the subterranean sanctuaries of Lascaux or Altamira, between the fifteenth and sixth millennia B.C., possessed an excellent technique and a masterly hand. They did not live below ground and their usual occupation must therefore have been the decoration of relatively luxurious dwellings. Similar forms of art exist even today in Indian villages built of daub and wood which, once destroyed, leave no trace.

The first Egyptian dynasties date from the end of the fourth millennium. In the same period the Sumerians, speaking an agglutinative (Dravidian) language, migrated from the Indus to Mesopotamia which was already highly civilized. More than a thousand years later the builders of the megaliths brought a similar civilization to Northern Europe.

From the beginning of the sixth millennium, the marks of Shivaism are to be found everywhere: the cult of the bull, the snake and the phallus, the royal symbol of the horns, Yoga positions, funeral chambers, both in those places where urban remains have survived and where only cliff-face engravings still exist.

It is very often the case that in order to explain ancient rites and symbols, we have only much later attempts to rediscover knowledge almost lost as a consequence of cataclysms, barbarian invasions, or religious upheavals. This is true of the Greeks in relation to the Minoans or of the Celts in relation to the megalithic civilization. Behind Hesiod's Theogony, the most ancient Greek text on mythology, a more precise and less superficial text may be glimpsed, the deeper meaning of which Hesiod does not always comprehend.

The first great period of Minoan art in Crete dates from about 2600 B.C. Knossos and Phaistos were destroyed for the first time by a sudden catastrophe, probably the explosion of the volcano of Santorini in about 1700 B.C. The first Achaeans seem to have appeared around 1600 B.C. As "a prize of war", they brought back to Peloponnese the Minoan religion, which was the basis of what is termed Mycenaean culture. The Achaeans gradually installed themselves in Crete and

{p. 31} must have destroyed Knossos for the first time around 1400 B.C. Its final destruction by the Dorians took place in ahout 1100 B.C. In Malta, the monumental temples of Ggantija were built between about 2800 and 2400 B.C. There appear the cults of the bull, the phallus and the goddess. The dolychocephalic-type Mediterranean population was totally annihilated in about 2400 B.C. and after a vacant period was replaced by a round-headed (brachycephalic) population who created the Tarxien civilization, similar to the Mycenaean, which was also destroyed about 2000 B.C. Such was the destruction that no survivor remained.

"The disappearance of the Minoan civilization, the most ancient to have flourished in Europe, is one of the most appalling dramas in the history of Europe, which has always been particularly dramatic ... Until the flowering of the new Greek civilization, the continent fell hack into an agricultural life without a history." ( Paolo Santarcangeli, Le Livre des labyrinthes, pp. 96 and 187.) "The Achaean conquerors were not capable of making their own, any more than they were capable of promoting, the artistic efforts and organization of those whom they had conquered and subjected... The Minoans, after two thousand years in which they had built up the first Western civilization, disappeared from the scene of European history." (Gaetano De Sanctis, Storia dei Greci, p. 138.) We must understand that the same distance which separates the end of the original Minoan civilization from the Greece of Pericles, separates us from the Roman Empire. It is therfore quite logical that only popular traditions concerning the Yogic and philosophical bases of rites and symbols were able to be transmitted through the still barbarous conquerors. The seriousness with which mythological accounts are taken nowadays sometimes appears highly comical. It is imagined that ancient peoples took symbolic accounts for realities, even though today the Hindu kirtana poets still invent daily new episodes in the legend of the gods. Christians take as historical fact the symbolic accounts of the Bible and the Gospel. They go and dig on the top of Mount Ararat to find the remains of Noah's Ark even though the flood myth is universal, known to the Hindus as to the Babylonians and the American peoples, and each tradition makes the Ark ground on a different mountain.

Modern interpretations, although giving proof of considerable erudition and certain intuition, are often founded on a lack of appreciation of the intellectual level and knowledge of man in

{p. 32} relatively distant times. At this level, we are not yet entirely free from the dogma of the creation of the world in the year 4963 B.C., still held as an article of faith by certain Christian theologians at the beginning of this century.

The origins of Shivaism

According to Indian sources and as confirmed by numerous archaeological data, it was during the sixth millennium B.C. - a period which more or less corresponds to what we call the Neolithic Age - that Shivaism was revealed or codified. This great religion was derived from animistic concepts and from the long religious experience of prehistoric man, of which there remain only a few rare archaeological indications and allusions to mythical sages in later writings. Starting from this period, Shivaite rites and symbols begin to appear both in India and in Europe: the cult of the bull, the phallus, the ram, the snake, the Lady of the Mountains, as well as ecstatic dances the swastika, the labyrinth, sacrifices, etc. Thus it is difficult to determine where Shivaism was born. Its origins stretch far back into the history of man. The megalithic monuments and symbolic representations testifying to its presence are so widespread: the traditions, legends, rites and festivities deriving from it are found in so many regions, that it appears everywhere as one of the main sources of later religions. There is nothing to prove that India was the place where it originated, since Shivaite rites and symbols appear almost simultaneously in different parts of the world. However, only in India have these traditions and what are known as Dionysiac rites been maintained without interruption from prehistoric times until today. Greek texts speak of Dionysus' mission to India, and Indian texts-of the expansion of Shivaism towards the West. According to Diodorus, the epitaph of Osiris (identified with Dionysus) mentioned Osiris' expeditions to India and the countries of the North. Innumberable similarities in mythological accounts and iconographic survivals leave no doubt as to the original unity of Shivaism and the wide extent of its influence.

A great cultural movement extending from India to Portugal took place during the sixth millennium B.C. This movement is apparently related to the diffusion of Shivaism, and is characterized by a naturalistic art giving great importance to animals. We only possess vague legendary allusions to the period and only the chance discovery of "prehistoric" sites has been able to supply some points of reference.

{p. 33} It was, in fact, the era during which civilization used wood, and it appears almost strange to call such a period the "Stone Age". 'Wood' civilizations still exist in India and Southeast Asia, and it is well known that, whatever their degree of refinement, they leave practically no trace behind them. All the symbols associated with the cult of Shiva - the erect phallus, the horned god, the bull, the snake, the ram, the Lady of the Mountains - are found in this cultural and agricultural complex which, starting from 6000 B.C., spread westward to Europe and Africa and eastward to southern Asia. "The young naked ithyphallic god seated on a throne is present at all stages in Ancient Europe, from Proto-Sesklo and Starcevo (sixth millennium) to Dimini and the Vinca period. He wears a horned mask. He is also represented standing, holding his sexual organ with both hands... However, the principal manifestation of the male god seems to have been in the form of a bull, sometimes a bull with a human face or a man with a bull's head." (Valcamonica Symposium, Les Religions de la Prehistoire, p. 135.) During the Vinca period in Rumania (from the seventh to the fifth millennium), archaeological research has given evidence of the bull cult, the bull with human face, the ithyphallic and horned god, the phallus cult, and the phallus with a face. The dead are buried in a Yoga position, as at Lepenski Vir, near the Iron Gates of the Danube.

The first true Shivaite images are found at Catal Hoyuk in Anatolia, dating from about 6000 B.C. The cults of Osiris, the bull and the ram, appear just after the dawn of Egyptian civilization. In Egypt, the cults of bull-Osiris and ram-Osiris are found in a fused form, although originally separate, as in the case of the fusion of the cults of bull-Shiva and ram-Skanda. There also exists a colossal statue of the ithyphallic god Min, coming from predynastic Egypt and dating from the middle of the fifth millennium B.C. It was during this period that the Minoan peoples arrived in Crete (about 4500), as well as in Anatolia, Cyprus, Malta and Santorini. Concepts such as the Yin and Yang - a Chinese transcription of the words Yoni (vulva) and Linga (phallus) -, representing the closely entwined female and male principles, are in no way different from the Linga inserted into the arghia (receptacle) as used in the Shivaite cult, and indicate the influence of Shivaite symbolism at the very source of Chinese thought.

Images of the bull-god or horned god, the Lord of the Animals, similar to those at Mohenjo Daro, are found in pre-Celtic and Minoan

{p. 34} tradition. In southeast Asia (Cambodia, Java, Bali), Shivaism is closely linked with the very beginnings of civilization. In Bali, it is even now the predominant aspect of religion. The temples of Angkor, like the ancient temples of Java, are for the most part Shivaite.

During the fourth millennium, a Shivaite civilization arose in the Indus plain. The Sumerians, who probably came from the Indus, arrived in Mesopotamia by sea. The religion which they practised spread all over the Middle East, to Crete and continental Greece. From the beginning of the third millennium up to the Aryan invasions, the three great sister-civilizations of Mohenjo Daro, Sumer and Knossos developed along parallel lines, extending over the whole European continent on the one side, and central and east India and southeast Asia on the other.

The end of the third millennium appears as an important date. It was in fact in about 3000 B.C. that the (historical) flood took place, dividing the Sumerian dynasties into antediluvian and postdiluvian. According to Hindu chronology, the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the Age of Conflicts, or Modern Age, also dates from this period.

During the same period, a new people of Atlanto-Mediterranean race appeared in Malta, and subsequently in Armorica, coming from the Mediterranean probably by way of the Iberian Peninsula. "They introduced a new religion and new burial customs. The megalithic civilization belongs to them: during the course of two thousand years, the soil of the peninsula was covered with their monuments. The tumulus of Saint-Michel at Carnac was built about the year 3000 B.C., the lines of the stones dating from around 2000. The builders of the megaliths... certainly preserved contacts with Iberia and further afield, with their origins in Crete or in the Middle East ... or at least were not ignorant of their existence... nor of the rites practised there by the bull-worshippers." (Gwenc'hlan Le Scouezec, Guide de la Bretagne mysterieuse, pp. 72 and 99.) The palace [of Knossos], the temple of the solar bull, has a subtle but close link with the stone circles to be found in our countryside." (R. A. Macalister, Ireland in Preceltic Times.) "The menhir statues of upper Adige and Liguria. . . (as well as) Stonhenge and other megalithic monuments. . . seem to derive from a prototype which appeared at Mycenae around the sixteenth to the fourteenth century B.C." (Paolo Santarcangeli, Le Livre des Labyrinthes, p. 139.) The designs of the labyrinths at Valcamonica date from 1800 to 1300 B.C. Those of Malta are several centuries older.

{p. 35} The birth of Dionysus

The beginnings of Minoan civilization seem to stretch back to the middle of the fifth millennium and are therefore contemporary with predynastic Egypt. The greatest Minoan period, however, as shown by its incredible artistic development, (which may well be a period of spiritual decadence and does not necessarily correspond to a parallel progress on an intellectual and religious level), stretches from about 2800 to about 1800 B.C. The monumental temples in Malta were built between 2800 and 20000. This Mediterranean civilization is thus contemporary with the postdiluvian Sumerian civilization and also with the greatest period of Mohenjo Daro and the cities of the Indus, with which there is an evident relationship. Whatever the importance of the most ancient archaeological data emerging from all over the Mediterranean world - Anatolia and the Middle East, as well as of Sumerian or Babylonian literary references - it is only with the Minoan civilization and its Greek heritage that Shivaite rites and myths, in their Dionysian version, make their real debut into what we know as the religious history of the Western world.

Cretan civilization developed due to a considerable contribution from Asian civilizations. "Neolithic Crete may be considered as the most important extension of the Anatolian province as a whole." (Evans, The Palace of Minos, chap. 1, p. 14.) Relations with Egypt, Greece and the Middle East were constantly maintained throughout Cretan history. "Trained... architects and painters... were invited... from Asia (possibly from Alalakh... ) to build and decorate the palaces of the Cretan rulers... The technique of fresco painting... and methods of construction ... employed in Yarim-Lim's palace. [on the Syrian coast] are the same as those... of Knossos... Moreover, Yarim-Lim's palace antedates by more than a century the Cretan examples in the same style." ( R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, p. 17.)

According to Homer (Odyssey XIX, 178), Minos governed Crete and the isles of the Aegean three generations before the Trojan War, which took place during the thirteenth century B.C. He is therefore referrjng to the second Cretan civilization, which was influenced by the Achaeans. As in the Mesopotamian civilizations, many elements characteristic of Shivaism are found in Minoan Crete: the young god, the Goddess of the Mountain, the bull and the Minotaur, the snake, the horns, the lion, the he-goat, the sacred tree and the phallic pillar, the bull sacrifice and the esctatic dance of the Korybantes and

{p. 36} Kouretes, who are in all aspects identical to the Ganas, the young companions of Shiva and his followers. The symbols of the swastika. the double axe and the labyrinth derive, as we shall see later, from Indian ideas related to Yogic experience and to the Earth cult. The same symbols are found at Malta, where extremely important monumental remains have survived.

The Minoans sought harmony between man and nature. Their paintings show us a peaceful and idyllic life in fairy-like, enchanted surroundings, recalling the earthly paradise of Shiva-Pashupati, the Lord of the Animals. We do not know what name was given to the god at the time of the first King Minos, but it was probably Zan, Hellenized into Zagreus and later identified with Zeus. The name Zeus is Indo-European. "The Achaeans who came into Crete gave the name of their sky-god to a Minoan deity... Zagreus... was an Oriental name. . . [from] Phoenicia. . . [and is probably an] ethnic from Mount Zagron, between Assyria and Media... This Idaian Zeus, also honoured by the Kouretes... is the old Cretan god who is so like Dionysus elsewhere that it is natural for the initiated mystic to describe himself as Bakkhos... [This god] who dies and is born again ... causes the renewal of life in the worshipper who enters into his mysteries, culminating in the eating of the raw flesh of the animal which is the god himself made manifest - the bull, whose blood also sanctified his shrines." ( R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, pp. 200-203, 240.) Euripides mentions Zagreus in The Cretans: "I have sounded the thunder of Zagreus who wanders by night, accomplished the raw-flesh feasts and held high the torches to the Mountain-mother, torches of the Kouretes, Hallowed and named as a Bakkhos. All-white are the clothes I wear and I shun human birth, touch no urn of the dead and their tombs, have been on guard to all taste of meat".

The myths concerning the young god and the Cretan goddess are similar to those of Shiva and Parvati. An echo is found in the myths of Ishtar and Tammuz, Isis and Osiris, and Venus and Adonis. Rhea, the Goddess of the Mountain, is the Indian Parvatl (she of the mountain). The names of Diktynna and Artemis also evoke the idea of a mountain-mother. The name Diktynna comes from the name of a mountain, Mount Dikte. Parvati is the daughter of Himavat (the Himalayas).

Dionysus in the Aryanized world

The enemies who burnt the principal centres of the Minoan

{p. 37} civilization in about 1400 B.C. may be identified as the Homeric Achaeans who also destroyed Ugarit and Troy during the thirteenth century. It was during this second Minoan period, influenced by the Achaeans, that the Cretan god took the name of Dionysus, the god of Nysa. The religious ideas which he embodies were formerly attributed to Zagreus, also called Cretan Zeus (Kretagenes). A renewal of the Orphic cults during the sixth century B.C. led to a strengthening of the indigenous mystery cults under a new name. This is confirmed by Euripides and Fimicus who refer to this ancient Cretan Dionysus, who is none other than Zeus-Zagreus and whose mystic followers communicated with him by eating the raw flesh of a bull. The spread of the Cretan religion was considerable, as well as its influence on Greek thought and religion. Diodorus says that, according to the Cretans. "the gods went from Crete to most of the regions of the inhabited world ... Thus, the goddess Demeter arrived in Attica, and then in Sicily and Egypt". The Mycenaean tablets from Pylos (about 1500) already mention the name of Dionysus together with those of the Aryan gods. In the Bibliotheke, a summary of mythological fables attributed to Apollodorus, the latter emphasizes the affinities of the Dionysian cult with other mystery cults and with the wisdom of ancient peoples. He also insists on those legends which speak of mania (ecstatic madness) and which show how the god punishes those who resist him. The reappearance of Shivaism or Dionysism represents a return to an archaic and fundamental religion, kept alive underground despite invasions and persecutions. The ancient god of Crete, Anatolia, Sumer and pre-Hellenic continental Greece could appear a stranger only to the Achaean and Dorian invaders, who thought he came from Asia through Thrace and pretended that his cult had been introduced into Greece by his missionaries and votaries. The cult of Dionysus was all the more easily acclimatized... as Dionysus was capable of being easily assimilated to the indigenous divinities, and since the rites of the Greek god offered many points of contact with the practices of ancient Thracian religion, apparently including female orgiastic rites." (H. Jeanmaire, Dionysos, pp. 77 and 431.) Dionysism was, in fact, none other than the ancient Shivaism of the Indo-Mediterranean world, little by little re-establishing its place in an Aryanized world. This cult, which overturned and renewed the Greeks' religious experience, had extremely deep roots in Hellenic soil.

The same assimilation process had taken place in India. Shivaism

{p. 38} had been slowly integrated into Vedic Brahmanism, which it had profoundly changed. Vedic religion absorbed, incorporated and preserved the rites of other cults. Far from destroying them, it adapted them to its own needs. It borrowed so much from the institutions of the Dravidians and the other peoples of India that it is extremely difficult to separate the original Aryan elements from the others {the same process is happening at present, via the "New Age" movement}. In innumerable legends included in the Puranas on the one hand and in Dionysiac and Orphic accounts on the other, Shiva-Dionysus already appears as one of the gods of the Aryan pantheon in which he is often given a predominant place. Dionysus is evoked in the Homeric hymns. "It is of Dionysus, son of the most glorious Semele (the Earth), that I speak, and I shall tell how he appeared on the shore of the untiring sea, on an outmost promontory, with the aspect of a young man in his first adolescence." (Hymn to Dionysus, I, 1-4.) "I am the boisterous Dionysus, of whom the mother who bore him was Semele the Cadmean after being united in love with Zeus." (Hymn to Dionysus, I, 55.)

Euripides admits the universality of the religion of Dionysus, which the god himself, escorted by his Maenads, had propagated all over the East before returning to implant it in the place of his birth. The Greeks explained the similarities in the cults of Shiva and Dionysus by a journey of Dionysus to India. Dionysus' mission to the Orient to propagate his cult there became a fabulous conquest of India by him and his army of Maenads and Satyrs. The expedition lasted two years and the god returned through Boeotia after three years. He celebrated his victory riding on an elephant. According to Diodorus, it is due to the memory of his expedition to India that the Boeotians, the other Greeks and the Thracians instituted trieteric sacrifices to Dionysus. The ancient Hebrews had also been greatly influenced by the Dravidian and Shivaite world. Abraham came from Sumerian Ur, and despite Moses, the Hebrews also continued to take part in ecstatic rites up to David's time {see Barbara G. Walker & Samuel Noah Kramer on that aspect of Judaism: jewish-taoist.html}. In Egypt, it is Osiris whose myths and legends are connected with Shivaite myths. Osiris represents the powers of generation and growth. He is also the god of trees and plants. Herodotus and Diodorus identify Osiris with Dionysus. Osiris had originally come from India riding on a bull. He took into his army the Satyrs (the Indian Ganas) as dancers and singers, prone to all sorts of mischief. Later, he returned to India where he founded many cities. The direct contacts between Egypt and India are extremely ancient, and are independent of India's relations with Sumer, Anatolia and

{p. 39} Crete. Highly important commercial exchanges were normally routed through thc Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. At the time of the development of the Cretan civilization, the parallels between the cults of Osiris and Dionysus became evident. The first portrayals of Cretans in Egyptian paintings are found in the tombs of Sonmut and Useramon at Thebes, and date from between 1490 and 1480 B.C. The unity of Shivaite and Dionysiac concepts was recognised in the Hellenic world as a fact. Dionysus was already considered by the ancients as a god who was analogous to Shiva under one of his main aspects, as evidenced by the practices of left-hand Tantrism. (Julius Evola, Le Yoga tantrique, note p. 15.) Megasthenes, a Greek who lived in India in the fourth century B.C.. identifies Dionysus with Shiva, whose cult, according to him, was particularly widespread in the mountains where the vine is cultivated. He refers to the similarity between the expeditions of the king (Chandragupta) and the processions of Dionysus. When the soldiers of Alexander rushed to the Shivaite sanctuary of Nysa (near modern Peshawar, in the north of present-day Pakistan) to embrace their brothers in Dionysus, it did not enter their minds that this may have been another divinity, or a different cult.

"According to the Cretan myth, Lampros was the son of Pandion. This name ... connects with the sun and moon ... The bisexual offspring of Lampros and Galatea... were like the bisexual creatures that Plato identifies with the sun and moon. The Attic festival of the Pandia seems to have been celebrated at the time of the full moon. The festival... derived its name from... Pandion, the eponymn of the tribe Pandionis, being held in honour of Zeus." (R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals, p. 178.)

It should be noted that Pandia is the name of a Dravidian dynasty descended from the Moon, which reigned since time immemorial in India and which is mentioned, amongst others, in the great Tamil epic poem, the Shilappadikaram. The Pandavas, sons of Pandu (the White), were members of the dynasty who fought the Aryans in the Mahabharata war.

About the year 700 B.C., the Celts arrived in the West. As in the case of the Greeks or the Vedic Indians, it is through them that the remajns of the great megalithic civilization which preceded them have been preserved. An ithyphallic god, dating from the eighth or seventh century B.C., is figured on a rock at Skane in Sweden. In Denmark, too, there exists a series of wooden phallic figures dating

{p. 40} from the Bronze Age or from the beginning of the Iron Age. We find "Ana mater deorum Hihernensium" in the Irish Sanas Cormaic. The Great Goddess Anna, mother of the gods of Ireland, later became Saint Anne; also the Ganas or Korybantes, who are "the facetious Korrigans. . . capable of great gentleness and terrible vengeance... They certainly originate in the beliefs of the dolmen people, and perhaps even earlier... Tarw, the sacred bull, is clearly connected with the megaliths and his cult reaches back to prehistory... The reality of the Celts' human sacrifices is undeniable. Caesar ... accuses the Druids of particularly cruel rites". (Gwenc'hlan Le Scouezec, La Bretagne mysterieuse, pp. 74-78.)

"There are two distinct types of Celtic deity depicted in the iconography and described in the literature... The first of these is one of the most basic of the Celtic god-types, with an ancestry in Europe which takes us right back to the imagery of the Swedish and the Spanish rock-carvings, and beyond into an indefinable past. This is the horned, phallic god of the Celtic tribes - aggressive, fertile, bull or ram-horned; or antlered and non-phallic. .. The second type of horned god is likewise associated with pastoral pursuits, with the rearing of stock. with war... He is naked, strongly ithyphallic. holding shield and spear ... It is in this guise that he appears, for example, at Maryport (Roman Alauna), at Brough-by-Sands, and elsewhere. The earliest Celtic portrayal of the antlered god occurs in the ancient sanctuary at Valcamonica in northern Italy, where for centuries the evolving peoples of Europe gave expression to their religious ideas on the rock faces of this sacred place. The Celtic drawings must date from the time of the Celtic conquest of Etruria... The antlered god is known from one inscription as Cernunnos. 'The Horned One'; this may well not have been his name throughout the Celtic world because the Celts had few divine types but many divine names. The great god... has over his right, bent arm the sacred neck-ring - the torc - worn by gods and heroes alike. Over his bent left arm are traces of the horned serpent, his most consistent cult animal ... His worshipper... is markedly ithyphallic." (Anne Ross, in Primitive Erotic Art, pp. 83-84.) In India, Shiva is also called Shringin, the horned one, and wears a serpent necklace.

The Romans identified the Celtic god as Apollo. Stonehenge, then more than two thousand years old, was still a place of cult at the time of the Roman conquest (57 B.C.). Diodorus of Sicily, quoting Hecataeus on the Isle of Britain, tells US that "the inhabitants honour

{p. 41} Apollo more than anywhere else... A sacred precinct is dedicated to him oll the island, as well as a magnificent circular temple adorned ith rich offerings".

Erect stone phalli, sometimes decorated with a tace or entwined w ith a serpent. are found in England, Sweden, Italy, Brittany, Corsica, Greece, Arabia and India, as also the bull-cult and sacrifice, the snake-cult and its legends, springtime carnivals or libidinous festivities, ecstatic dances, and sacred places bearing the more or less deformed name of Nysa. We also find legends connected with the cult of the infant-Skanda. the bambino, born in a reedy marsh and nourished by the seven Pleiades which later turned into stars. There are numerous accounts relating the universal message of the god born in a cave. Near him is the ox or bull, the sacred animal, although he is also associated with the ass, an unclean animal, on which he rides during his festivals. He is the god of life, who dies and rises again, who unites the inseparable mysteries of procreation and death.

Thus it appears that all religious movements have been inspired by the Shivaite message, even though they seek to deny it, or have distorted their heritage. Shivaite philosophy is so little known largely because we are not willing to recognize its primacy, nor to see its myths and rites showing through in those of later religions.

Texts and documents

No Indian text of the pre-Aryan period seems to have survived in its original form, except for a few inscriptions in the Mohenjo Daro writings, which have not yet been deciphered. The Aryans, however, were very soon influenced by the philosophy, practices and rites of Shivaism. The ancient Dravidian sages were accepted side by side with the Vedic prophets and many texts were gradually translated or adapted into Sanskrit, the great literary tongue derived from Vedic. There is a similar relationship between the Etruscan language and Latin. The fourth Veda, the Atharva Veda, is almost exclusively based on pre-Aryan traditions concerning rites, magic formulae and ceremonies. It was joined to the three original Vedas, the Rik, the Yajuh and the Sama. "The Atharva Veda represents the real religion of the people." (P. Banerjee). The teachings it contains are attributed to the non-Aryan sage Angirasa. Fifty-one of the philosophical treatises, the Shivaite Upanishads, such as the Shuetashvatara Upanishad, the

{p. 42} Mundaka Upanishad, etc., are also attributed to him. Amongst the Brahamanas, the rituals attached to the Atharva Veda, the most important is the Gopatha Brahamana (the way of the bull). According to tradition, the poems in archaic Tamil, the poems of the "club of poets," or sangham, are also pre-Aryan.

The Atharva Veda is the part of the ancient religion which was adopted by the Aryans, and thus corresponds to the Mycenaean religion, that is, to what the Achaeans had assumed from the Minoan religion. However, the main texts describing the authentic rites, myths and practices of pre-Aryan Shivaism are found in other kinds of works, called Puranas (historical books), Agamas (traditions) and Tantras (initiatory and magic rites). To these should be added the ancient Sankhya (cosmology) and the texts on Yoga, a technique whose origin is Shivaite and pre-Aryan.

The question of the date of these texts is not so important. The translation into Sanskrit of the traditional learning such as we know it today depends on the period when it was more or less incorporated into official Hinduism, and has nothing to do with the contents. The date of Homer is not judged according to his first translation into English. A very important part of the rites and concepts of Shivaism is even today not accepted by the Brahmans and still retains its esoteric character. It is preserved by oral tradition, or in the form of manuscripts, the disclosure of which is, as a rule, forbidden.

Oral traditions remain an essential element in the handing down of rites and of the more abstract aspects of knowledge. Written texts are merely concise memoranda requiring a commentary which is usually oral. In the eighth century, which was a period of great Shivaite renewal, Shankaracharya published his very important commentaries on the Upanishads, and tne Tirumurai, the Shivaite canon in eleven books, was compiled in Tamil. Certain information on more ancient periods is sometimes given by the opponents of Shivaism, as is the case with the Dionysian rites and, later on, with their survival in the Christian world.

In the last hundred years, important commentaries on Shivaite doctrine and rites have been published in various Indian languages, thus making available to a much wider public those teachings which had been previously reserved for initiates. It is not possible to interpret the texts or get to know the practice of the rites without the aid of these documents.

{p. 43} The Puranas

The Puranas (Ancient Chronicles) are enormous texts, rather similar to the Bible, in which are transcribed and summarized oral traditions stretching back to the far distant past, such as the history of the Flood, the domestication of fire, and the migration of peoples.

These texts contain historical and geographical elements, genealogies sometimes reaching back to the sixth millennium B.C., mythological accounts, ritual or technical teachings (medicine, architecture, painting, music, dancing, etc.), philosophicai teachings, social and moral codes. They form a veritable encyclopaedia. When Shivaism and the autochthonous cults were incorporated into Vedism at a relatively late period in order to form present-day Hinduism, the Puranas were adapted and translated into Sanskrit from non-Aryan languages, which were probably Dravidian. Thirty six Puranas exist, of which some are enormous works. Six of the most important of these are Shivaite: the Shiva Purana, the Linga Purana, the Skanda Purana, the Matsya Purana, the Kurma Purana and the Brahmanda Purana. Important data concerning Shivaite tradition is also found in the other Puranas, and in particular in the Agni Purana and the Vayu Purana. The most important Puranas are divided into "books" called samhitas. If to the Puranas is added the Mahabharata, the great epic poem which comes from the same source, we have in these texts, despite the many additions and compulsory references to the Vedas and to the Aryan gods, a considerable amount of material and very important information on pre-Aryan Shivaism.

The Ramayana is different, since it is a literary work composed in Sanskrit, after an episode mentioned in several of the Puranas, somewhat like The Bacchantes of Euripides or the Dionysia of Nonnos. It contains but little information on ancient civilization and beliefs, even though it refers to very ancient times. We see, for example, that the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna is in a forest, whilst in the Mahabharata it is already the site of a great city.

Agamas and Tantras

The Agamas (Traditions) explain the rules of behaviour of the Shivaite sects, referring to traditions existing since time immemorial, and their content, if not their form, is considered as being more ancient than the Vedas. From the Shivaite point of view, they are revelation, whereas the Vedas are only writings of human origin.

{p. 44} There are twenty eight principal Shivaite Agamas and more than two hundred secondary Agamas. These works have, however, never been effectively incorporated into the .acred texts of Aryanized Hinduism. Considered as texts for initiates, they were never widely divulged. Many of them have still not been published and are kept secret. Their handing-down by oral means is still regarded as being the only valid method. The written form is, in many cases, if not forbidden, at least considered dangerous, as certain teachings must not be imparted except to those who are worthy. Writing has no value in transmitting magical formulae. In the West, this view was also shared by the Druids and is still the case in all religions for ritual and magical formulae, including the words of consecration in the mass.

"During this long period of time [when Shivaism was banished], the Shiva Agamas must have been composed, so that the Shivaites might have for themselves something as sacred as the Vedas of the orthodox, and also so that they might have well-established rules and regulations relating to their order." (C. V. Naravana Avvar, Shaivism in South India, p. 71. ) The rites taught by the Agamas include gestures (mudras), symbolic diagrams (yantras), and other practices which do not exist in Vedic ritual.

The Tantras are works of an esoteric nature which are analogous to the Agamas. They deal with all ritual aspects, especially those concerning the cult of the goddess. They also deal with Yoga, cosmology, alchemy, rules of behaviour, magic and sacrifices. For the purpose of erotico-magic and spiritual realization, the Tantras summarize the millenial experience of Shivaite India as to the nature of the cosmos and its relationship to the subtle structures of man. The Tantras are an applied method based on the principles of Sankhya (cosmology), or macrocosmic science on the one hand, and of Yoga, the science of the human being or microcosm, on the other. These are the basic sciences of Shivaite tradition. Tantra, the science of rites and magical powers, defines the possibilities of realization, based on the relationship between the macrocosm and microcosm, which is the result of Sankhya and Yoga.

As a rule, each Tantra is divided into four parts: doctrine, Yoga, ritual, and rules of life. Without the Tantras and Agamas, it is impossible to understand the symbolism of rites and also of sacred architecture and iconography. This is true not only of the Hindu temple, but of all religious architecture, which throughout the world observes the same rules of orientation, whether it be megalithic

{p. 45} monuments, Egyptian and Greek temples, or the Christian cathedrals of the Middle Ages.

Greek and Latin texts

We have no texts explaining the rites and ceremonial of the Dionysiac mysteries in the Greco-Etrusco-Roman world, although there are alliusions which can often be clarified with the aid of Indian texts. However, Plato, Euripides, Aeschylus, Nonnos and Apollodorus, all make reference to Dionysiac rites. Furthermore, there are many modern studies of the Greek and Cretan religion, largely based on monuments, graphic representation, vases and painting.

Apart from these references, Livy's account is practically the only ancient literary document about the Dionysiac mysteries. Due to his hostile attitude, however, Livy's descriptions must be treated with caution, as his aim was to discredit them. His assertion that these rites were introduced into Etruria in the second century B.C. by a Graecus ignobilis is clearly fallacious.

The crimes imputed to the Dionysiac sects, such as incest, the murder of new-born children in order to eat their flesh and drink their blood, etc., were later ascribed to the early Christians. The same accusations were made at the trials of heretics during the Middle Ages. Initiatory societies are always represented by their persecutors as covens of witches, but closer examination will often yield some interesting information. By studying Shivaite rites, the only ones which have continued down to our own times, the real practices of the Dionysiac rites and "mysteries" may be reconstructed.

Archaeological Data

Apart from the texts mentioned above, there are numerous archaeological documents, symbols, statues of gods and representations of ceremonies which permit us to reconstruct the rites and beliefs to which they refer. For this kind of reconstruction, the vast amount of Indian literature, which describes the rites in such minute detail, supplies us with precious elements to explain the great abundance of Cretan, Greek and Roman imagery. When considering "prehistoric" remains, it is important to remember that they belong to the period of a civilization using wood, and can on no account be taken as representative of the cultural or artistic level of their era. They were probably the work of shepherds or peasants and often resemble the graffiti of modern prisons. The Valcamonica

{p. 46} drawings helonging to the Roman or medieval period, are just as primitive as those of the Neolithic Age.

The most ancient stone monuments reproduce wooden architecture, which was often very elaborate. The cultural level of a people, whether ancient or recent, cannot therefore be judged by the rare remains which have survived. Stonehenge and Carnac are contemporary with the most refined period of Cretan paintings, and thus with the end of the Egyptian Middle Empire, and with the sanctuaries of Malta. Climatic conditions have erased the fragile structures of cities built of wood and daub. However, as the religious symbols are the same, it would seem absurd to say that no contacts existed, and that the European continent was in the hands of a primitive civilization. The primitive peoples, in fact, came later on: these were the Barbarians who destroyed the ancient civilizations. Miraculous catastrophes like those of Santorini and Mohenjo Daro were needed to preserve some physical vestiges of the civilizations of that period until our own times.

{p. 47} Chapter 2

ASPECTS AND LEGENDS OF THE GOD

The Sacrifice of Daksha

Whatever the original character of Vedism, once this Aryan religion was established in India, Iran and Greece, it became the religion of the governing classes of the cities. They reduced the ancient populations to slavery - despising their gods, rites and customs.

The sacrifice of Daksha evokes the conflict between city religion, as represented by Brahmanism and the Aryan rites, and ancient Shivaism, the religion of the people and of nature. ...

{p. 223} In the Shiva Purana, the creation of new religions mainly refers to Jainism, a puritan, moralistic and atheistic religon (mostly practised nowadays by the merchant caste), which is the basis of modern religions, since it deeply influenced Buddhism and, later on, both Orphism and Christianity.

According to the Shiva Purana:

"The god Vishnu, in order to be able to destroy the Asuras, the Titans who were votaries of the Phallus-cult, tried to interfere with their rites, saying, 'As long as they worship Shiva and follow the Shivaite rules of conduct, it will be impossible to destroy them. It is thus necessary to destroy their religion and make them renounce their worship of Shiva's phallus'. Vishnu therefore began to ridicule the rites, so as to put a stop to the Asuras' virtuous practices... He created a sort of prophet who, with shaven head, preached a new religion. This prophet made four disciples who taught heretical rites. They carried a pitcher in their hand. They covered their mouth with a piece of cloth. They spoke little, saying only a few words, such as, virtue is the greatest good, the true essence of things', and other such banalities. They walked slowly so as not to harm living creatures. They established themselves in a garden on the outskirts of the town. (see note 1) But their magic was powerless so long as Shiva was worshipped there.

{note 1} In the Bacchae, we see Dionysus halt in front ot Pentheus palace and order his retinue to plav the flute and drum to attract attention. This practice is imitated from the Jainas who use it in order to draw a crowd and preach their religion whenever they arrive in a new town.

{p. 224} "The treacherous Brahman Narada went to visit the king of the Asuras and said to him, 'An extraordinary man has come who possesses all wisdom. I have known many cults, but I have never seen anything like this one. Great King of the Asuras, you should be initiated into this cult'. The King was initiated together with his kin and the inhabitants of the three cities. The town was filled with disciples of the prophet, that great expert in the arts of illusion ...

"The prophet taught them non-violence: There is no virtue other than charity towards living things... Our duty is to abstain from killing. Non-violence is the greatest of virtues ... Those texts encouraging animal sacrifice are not acceptable to an upright man. How can a man expect to reach heaven by cutting trees, killing animals, spreading blood and burning grains of ginger and butter. Our forefathers believed that the different races of men came out of the mouth, the arm, the thigh and the feet of Brahma. How could the children of the same body have different natures. No consideration should be given to the idea that there are differences between one man and another'. He then criticised the women's lack of virtue, extolled continence amongst the men, and spoke with contempt of the rites and phallus-cult. The citizens became enemies of the rites, and the evil spread. Thus, the gods were able to destroy the city." (Shiva Purana, Rudra Samhita, V, chap. 3-4-5.)

This discourse, with few changes, could have been addressed by a Christian to a Roman emperor. It also recalls the teachings of Gandhi. "After the downfall of the three cities of the Asuras, the tonsured heretics presented themselves before the gods, saying, 'O gods, what must we do? We have destroyed the Asuras' faith in Shiva. It was according to your desire that we accomplished this abominable act. What will become of us?' The gods said, 'Until the coming of the Age of Kali, stay hidden in the desert. When the Kali Yuga comes, you shall propagate your religion. The mad fools of the Age of Conflicts shall be your followers'." (Shiva Purdna, Rudra Samhita, V, chap. 12. )

Relying on these concepts which replaced respect for the gods and the divine work with alleged human virtues, kings and cities opposed Shivaism with violence. The ancient gods were devalued and dispossessed. The new religions, Jainism and Buddhism, spread in India; Judaism, Orphism, Christianity and Islam, in the West. These religions, whatever the character and original intentions of their founders, have become essentially State religions of a moralistic kind. They have allowed a centralized power to impose an element of unification on

{p. 225} peoples who have very different beliefs, customs and rites. These religions, although speaking of love, equality and charity, have everywhere served as an excuse and as an instrument for cultural and material conquests, and more. Buddhism, born in the royal caste of the Kshatriyas, allowed the Indian emperors to free themselves from the domination of the sacerdotal class, and was a prodigious instrument of colonial expansion. The massacre of the Shivaite populations of Orissa left traces still are to he seen today. The Maurva emperor Ashoka and his successors imposed Buddhism on India. Through this religion, Indian influence gradually spread over central Asia, to Tibet, Mongolia, China and Burma, over Southeast Asia and as far as Japan on one side, and, to a lesser degree, in the Middle East and Mediterranean region on the other.

In the West, Orphism inserted itself into Dionysism and modified it. Orphism was an adaptation of Dionysism to suit Greek tastes, and corresponds to the forms of Shivaism which were incorporated into Aryan Hinduism. The sources of Orphism are considered obscure. For the ancient poets, such as Pindar, Simonides, Aeschylus and Euripides, Orpheus is only a wonderful singer. In the texts referring to the Dionysiac mysteries, there are no references either to Orphism or to the sacrifice of the young god Zagreus, torn to pieces by the Titans. Orphism appears as a sort of reformation within Dionysism itself, and the influence of Jainist thought can be felt. It would be an error to consider it as being representative of original Dionysism. Orphism gives to Dionysus an exceptional role in the new age of the world, but it is a Dionysus who has been adapted to another tradition and who in many ways leaves behind the main principles connected with the older Dionysus cult. Dionysiac society was, in fact, hostile to the Orphic movement.

Numerous Indian monks propagated the Jaina philosophy in Classical Greece and their theories held a great attraction for the Greeks. It was, moreover, a Jaina sage whom Alexander brought back with him from India, but who committed suicide on the way according to the Jaina rite, predicting the coming death of Alexander. Like Jainism, Orphism puts great emphasis on abstinence. Orpheus taught men to abstain from murder (phonos) and, like the Jainas, applied the notion of murder to include all living creatures. His followers were strictly vegetarian and, again like the Jainas, wore white clothes, when they did not go about naked. The use of wool was forbidden, as being of animal origin. Later on, the Sufis reacted to this by requiring their

{p. 226} followers to wear wool. Orphism was a powerful element in emasculating Dionysism and in preparing for the coming of Christianity, which it also profoundly influenced.

The cult of Mithras, which developed in the Roman Empire during the same period as Christianity, was an attempt to return to ancient Shivaism. It also played a part in the development of Christian myths and rites.

According to Plutarch, this cult was introduced into Italy in 67 B.C. by Cilician pirates captured by Pompey, and became widespread all over Europe. It was a secret society with occult rites, reserved for men only, and one of its original aims was armed resistance to Roman imperialism. Mithras is the Aryan god of Friendship and Contracts. He is the personification of comradeship and was ideally suited to a secret organization of sworn soldiers. All its symbols and rites of initiation, however, are derived from Shivaism, with a central position given to the cult and sacrifice of the bull. As in Shivaism, the crescent moon symbolizes a cup of bull's sperm, which is the source of life. In the sanctuaries, the image of Time is represented by a lion-headed monster covered with snakes. This is a transposition of Kali, the "Power of Time", who is also covered with snakes and is personified by the lion in the animal kingdom. The Mithraite sanctuary is a cave, in which the bull-sacrifice takes place. Riding the bull, Mithras, the invincible, takes the place of Nike (Victory), who was worshipped by the Roman legions. The rites were preceded by banquets at which bread and wine were consumed, as well as the flesh of the divine victim, who was the sacrificed bull. The birth of Mithras was celebrated on December 25th {to co-opt Mithra's popularity, the Western Church switched Christ's birthday to that date, from January 6, where it remains in the Orthodox Church}. He was born from a "fire-stone", which evokes the stone axe, the symbol of the labyrinth. This warrior-cult which failed to become the religion of the Empire and which was so opposed to Christianity, gradually died out during the fifth century. Mithraism was an attempt to recreate a Shivaite-inspired initiatory society in the Western world, and its experience may one day serve as an example.

Monotheism

The monotheistic illusion is one of the characteristics of the religions of the Kali Yuga. The techniques and rites which make us aware of the presence of subtle beings must take into account the whole human being and his place in the cosmos. The principle of the world is indefinable, but all existence involved multiplicity. The Prime

{p. 227} Cause is beyond all manifestation, bevond number, beyond unity, and beyond the created world. It cannot be distinguished by the eye, or by speech, by the other senses, or by ascesis or ritual practices." (Mundaka Upanishad, III. 1, 8.)

In Shivaite philosophy, the divine is defined as "that in which contraries co-exist". The same definition is found in Heraclitus. For Nicolas de Cusa, "The Union of opposites" (coincidentia oppositorum) was the least imperfect definition of God.

Since man is part of the created world, he can conceive or know only the multiple aspects of divinity. Hence, monotheism is an aberration from the point of view of spiritual experience. Deriving from a cosmological concept leading to the idea of a prime cause, or even of a prime dualism {Danielou's first, indirect, reference to Zoroastrianism}, monotheism can never apply to the reality of religious experience. It was not feasible to communicate with the Prime Cause of the universe, beyond the galaxies, in order to receive personal instructions of a practical order. Such simplification is part of what the Hindus call "the metaphvsics of fools" (anadhikari vedanta).

Metaphysically, the number "1" does not exist, if not to represent a partial or a sum, since things only exist in relation to something else. The origin of the world can only be attributed to the opposition of two contrary principles and to the relation which unites them. The first number is thus the number "3", which is represented in Hindu cosmology by a trinity whose mark is found in every aspect of the created world, but whose component principles can only be perceived or conceived in their multiple manifestations {the Hegelian-Marxist concept of Dialectic is also a Trinity: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis}. The subtle powers which we may call gods or spirits, whose presence we can perceive and who concern themselves with the world of the living, are as innumerable as the very forms of matter and life over which they preside.

The Prime Cause itself cannot be personified. "Only the adept (dhirah), through his superior knowledge, can begin to perceive in all things the presence of that which cannot be perceived or apprehended, which is without attachments or characteristics, which has neither ears, nor eyes, nor hands, nor feet, which is eternal, multiform, omnipresent, infinitely subtle and inimitable, the matrix of all beings." (Mundaka Upanishad, I, 1. 6.)

The monotheistic simplification appears to derive from the religious concepts of the nomads, a people who wish to assert themselves and justify their occupation of territories and their conquests. God is

{p. 228} imagined in the image of man. He is reduced to the role of a guide, accompanying the tribe during its migrations. and giving personal instructions to its chief. I le is only interested in man and. among mankind, only in the group of the 'chosen''. He becomes an easy excuse for conquests and genocide, and for the destruction of the natural order, as can be seen throughout history. To begin with, he does not exclude the gods of other tribes, or 'false'' gods, but this is onl~ in order to oppose and destroy them and to impose his own domination and that of his chosen people''. The passage from polytheism to exclusivism. and then to monotheism, can be followed in the religious evolution of the Hebrews.

Through ecstatic practices, all men are able to contact the mysterious world of spirits, a world whose nature is always indefinable and uncertain. It is the so-called prophets'' who are the principal artisans of the deviations of the modern world. They claim to communicate directly with a personal and only god, issuing rules of conduct which are in reality nothing but social conventions and which have nothing to do with religion or the spiritual domain. Monotheism is contrary to men's religious experience: it is not a natural development. but an imposed simplification. The notion of a god who, having created the world, would wait several million years - a delay which is difficult to excuse - before teaching man the way of salvation. is a patent absurdity.

The starting point for all monotheistic religions is always the thought or teaching of one mar~who, whether he claims to be so or not, considers himself the messenger and interpreter of a transcendental power which he calls god''. Such religions express themselves in dogmas, and in regulations concerning the life of man. They inevitably become political and form an ideal basis for the expansionist ambitions of the city. Among these religions, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are theistic, whilst Jainism and Marxism are atheistic.

Adopted by Judaism, which was not originally monotheistic, the concept of an "only god" in human form is largely responsible for the disastrous role of later religions. Moses, probably influenced by the ideas of the Pharaoh Akhnaton, made the Jewish people believe in the existence of a tribal chief, whom he called the "one god" and from whom he claimed to receive instructions. Later on, Mohammed behaved in much the same way. These impostors are the source of religious perversion in the Semitic and Judeo-Christian world. This "god", whose intentions so many others after them have claimed to

{p. 229} interpret, even in the most relative fields of life, has served as a pretext and excuse for the domination of the world by various groups of "chosen people", and for the arrogant isolation of man in relation to the rest of the divine work.

The impertinence and arrogance with which "believers" attribute to "god" their own social, alimentary, and sexual prejudices, which moreover vary from one region to another, would be comical if they did not inevitably lead to forms of tyranny of a purely temporal nature. The obligation to conform to arbitrary beliefs and modes of behaviour is a means of degrading and enslaving the personality of the individual which all tyrannies. whether religious or political, right- or left-wing, know only too well how to use.

The problem of Christianity

It is necessary to distinguish Christianity from other monotheistic religions. Even though it has become a typical example of city religions, it is not at all certain that it represents the real teaching of Christ as it claims to. The message of Jesus is opposed to that of Moses and, later on, to that of Mohammed. It seems to have been a message of liberation and of revolt against a Judaism which had become monotheistic, dry, ritualist, puritan, pharisaeic and inhuman. In its Roman form, Christianity was at first in opposition to the official religion of the Empire, in the same way in which it was opposed to official Judaism as a State religion. We know very little of the sources of Jesus' teaching, or of his initiation, his sojourn "in the desert" towards the East. The Christian myths appear to be closely linked to those of Dionysus. Jesus, like Skanda or Dionysus, is the son of the Father, of Zeus. He has no wife. The goddess-mother alone finds her place next to him. He is surrounded by his faithful, his bhaktas, who are of the people, fishermen. His teaching is addressed to the humble and the outcast. He welcomes prostitutes and those who are persecuted. His rite is a sacrifice. It is in the Orphic tradition that the passion and resurrection of Dionysus occupy a central position. It is through Orphism that many of Dionysus' "miracles" were attributed to Jesus. Several aspects of the Orphic legend of Dionysus are to be found in the life of Jesus. The parallel between the death and resurrection of the god and of Christ is self-evident.

The myths and symbols tied to the birth of Christ, to his baptism, his following, his entry into Jerusalem on an ass, the Last Supper (banquet and sacrificial rite), his Passion, death and resurrection, the

{p. 230} dates and nature of the various feast days, his power of healing and of changing water into wine, inevitably evoke Dionysiac precedents.

It would therefore seem that Jesus' initiation was Orphic or Dionysiac and not Essenian as sometimes suggested. His message, which is an attempt to return to tolerance and to a respect for the work of the Father-Creator, was totally perverted after his death. Later Christianity is, in fact, diametrically opposed to it, with its religious imperialism, political role, wars, massacres, tortures, stakes, persecutions of heretics, and its denial of pleasure, sexuality and of all the forms of experiencing the divine joy. This was not apparent at its beginnings, when the Christians were accused of bloody sacrifices, and erotic and orgiastic rites. It is difficult to know what these accusations were founded on. They were often repeated later on against organizations of a mystical and initiatory nature, all more or less secretive, which tried to perpetuate original Christianity. Such sects have a tendency to reappear in the Christian world, even though separated from their original tradition, they are usually naive attempts which are easily exploited and perverted.

Hindu trinitarian symbolism is found at the basis of the Christian Trinity. The Father, by the very fact that he has a Son, represents the generative principle, or Shiva, the Phallus. The son is the protector who is incarnate in the world in order to save it, like Vishnu and his avataras. The Holy Ghost, "who proceeds from the Father and the Son", is the spark which unites the two poles. He is called Brahma, the Immensity. The Son, like Vishnu, is the equivalent of Shakti, the female principle or the Goddess, and thus is androgynous. His cult is intermingled with that of the Virgin Mother. The Church's efforts to disguise her sources have led to the significance of the Christian myth being forgotten and to materialistic pseudo-historical interpretations, devoid of any universal meaning.

However, polytheism remained in the background of the Christian world, the names of ancient deities simply being substituted by those of saints. Like Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity has assimilated many of the rites, symbols and practices of the older cults which it has replaced. There are practically no Christian sanctuaries dedicated to "God". They are all under the aegis of the Virgin Mother or of innumerable deities called saints. In polytheistic surroundings, Christianity easily melts into traditional religion, as may be observed for example in popular India, where the Virgin is invoked as much as the goddess Kali, where the cults of Skanda or of the infant-Krishna

{p. 231} have been mixed with that of the child Jesus, and the spirit (bhuta) which possesses the participants during the ecstatic dance ceremonies, is given the name of one Christian saint or another.

Christianity only became an important religion from the time when it served as an instrument for the imperial power of Rome. Dionysism and its variants disputed pride of place for a long time. It should not be forgotten that Nonnos' Dionysia dates from the fifth century of our era. In the fourth century, Constantine decided to utilize the Church as a means of imperial unification: the religious history of the world and the evolution of Christianity itself would have been quite different if his political choice had not fallen on this new faith.

Christianity thus became an instrument of conquest and world domination, just as Buddhism had been for the Indian emperors. This kind of activity has lasted down to our own times, causing the elimination of autochthonos cults and gods in Europe and the Middle East. Later on, this same activity spread over the whole world, depriving the various peoples of their gods and therefore of their power and personality. It reduced them to a state of moral and ritual dependence, thus becoming the prelude to their complete annexation and assimilation. "Latin" America is a recent example. Islam and Marxism have taken over the job nowadays.

Christian missionaries, who were often sent out by atheist governments, as was the case in France - where, moreover, religious communities were outlawed under the Third Republic -, were often the most powerful tool in depersonalizing the conquered peoples and subjecting them to the conqueror. Religion was the excuse for exterminating refractory elements who remained attached to their own culture, traditions and gods. Later Christianity, "a typical religion of the Kali Yuga" (J. Evola, Le Yoga tantrique, p. 19), is almost the antithesis of what we know of the teachings of Christ. It is in essence a city religion, with moralistic and social characteristics. If we separate the Gospel from the Church, it becomes madness, wrote Jean Danielou in his last book, thus demonstrating to what point the Church has strayed from the message of Jesus, which, to all intents, she ignores and rejects.

Islam has likewise utilized the same sort of primary monotheism and aggressive puritanism as a means to conquest and domination. In India, subjected first to Islamic and then to Christian domination, such cults as Muslim-inspired Sikhism, the Arya Samaj of Dayananda Sarasvati, the Brahmo Samaj of Devendranath Tagore (father of the

{p. 232} poet), and lastly Gandhism with its monotheistic tendencies, puritanism and sentimentality inspired by Christian missionaries, are recent manifestations of the same attempts to adapt traditional religion by conforming to the social prejudices of the conquerors, so as to (allegedly) combat them more effectively. In all cases, this can only lead to cultural and human tragedy. The Marxist cult, which nowadays tends to replace Christianity, is only interested in the social man and impedes his individual realization. It is the last outcome of this tendency. and is the absolute antithesis of Shivaism and Dionysism.

Can the message of Jesus be recovered? It is not impossible. It requires a less selective return to the Gospel and the rediscovery of everything which the Church has so carefully hidden away and destroyed of its sources and history, including the texts of the so-called apocryphal gospels, certain of which are older than those recognized by the Church. This would allow us to go back to what Christ's teaching could have been in reality, i.e., the adaptation, for a particular world and period, of that great human and spiritual tradition of which Shivaism and Dionysism are the heritage. Original Christianity was not separated from its sources until quite a late period, and it long sheltered initiatory and mystical sects which continued Dionysiac practices. The rediscovery of its primitive meaning is not absolutely precluded. Stripped of the false values which, since St. Paul, have surrounded his teaching, the person of Christ may eventually be incorporated into the Shivaite-Dionysiac tradition. It is evident that this can only be done outside of those who dare to claim to be the representatives of "God" on earth and the exclusive interpreters of "His" will. A true religion can only be based on a humble respect for the divine work and its mystery. It is strange indeed that nowadays it is atheistic science, in an unprejudiced effort to comprehend the nature of the world and man, which is closer to true religion than the aberrant dogmatism of the Christians.

"It is said that the modern West is Christian, but that is a mistake. The modern spirit is anti-Christian because it is essentially antireligious. . . The West was Christian during the Middle Ages, but is so no longer." (Rene Guenon, La Crise du monde moderne, pp. 111-112). It was effectively around the year 1000 A.D. when the idea appeared that man is capable of dominating the world, of rectifying creation and of giving some sort of a hand to God. This represents a profound transformation of the attitude of the Christian world. Hence, it is outside the churches that Christianity, by going

{p. 233} back to its source, could once more become a true. or universal, religion. A religion for the whole man, for man who thus recovers his place in the natural world and re-establishes relations with the world of spirits, of nature, and of the gods. The last to understand this in the Christian world was St. Francis of Assisi. As a principle, religion is a method or way of drawing nearer to the divine. A true religion cannot be exclusive, cannot claim to hold the only truth, because divine reality has many aspects and the ways which lead to the divine are innumerable.

The return of Dionysus

Shivaism is a heritage of religious and human experience, accumulated since the origins of mankind. Its codification as we know it only became necessary with the development of important urban civilizations which threatened the equilibrium of the natural order.

According to the doctrine of the Tantras, the cult of Shiva-Dionysus and the practices of Tantrism are the only ways open to mankind in the Age of Conflicts - in which we are at present - to approach the divine. Without a return to the respect of nature and to the practice of erotico-magic rites allowing the self-realization of man in harmony with all the other forms of being, the overall destruction of the human species cannot be long delayed. Only the followers of the god will survive to give birth to a new human race.

All religions which oppose Shivaism, Dionysism and the mystical sects, have accentuated those tendencies which lead to the destruction of world harmony. Each return to Shivaite concepts, even if only a trend in that direction, is equivalent to a new era of equilibrium and creativity. The great periods of art and culture are always connected with an erotic-mystical renewal.

Throughout the history of India, Shivaism has been the religion of the people. Due to Tantrism, it gradually won back a very important place in the religious life of the higher castes. It also infiltrated the Buddhist world in the form of the Mahayana. About the same period, it appears in a revitalized form in Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Italy. The cult of Dionysus, like the god himself, is always reborn from its own ashes.

Many times through the ages, the eternal tradition linked with the cult of Shiva-Dionysus has been vanquished by new religions deriving from the ambition and illusions of men. Nevertheless, it has always reappeared, as it is bound to do once more in the modern age.

{p. 234} Conditions nowadays seem favourable for a return to the traditional concepts of Shivaism. Even in the Western world, where Dionysiac survivals have been savagely persecuted, an instructive return to Shivaite values is apparent. The instinct of survival in a threatened world can be seen in spontaneous trends such as ecology, the rehabilitation of sexuality, certain Yoga practices, and the search for ecstasy through drugs. These impulses, though generally corrupt and perverted, are however indicative of a deep need to find an aprroach to the world, man and life, which is founded on real values and which conforms to the real nature of man and to his role in creation. These forms of experience can only find their logical accomplishment in a return to Dionysism. Such a return requires the recognition of certain basic principles, since it is with their help that it may be possible to rediscover the bases for a true civilization and thus contribute to limiting the disasters caused by an aberrant anthropocentrism. These principles, as summarized on the basis of Shivaite data, are as follows:

1. Creation is one. The divers aspects of the world, being, life, thought and sensation are all inextricably bound together and interdependent. Science, art, and social and religious systems are only valid as different applications of common principles.

2. The human being is one. He can in no wise be divided into body, soul and spirit. The vital functions of the intellectual and emotive elements cannot be separated from the activities of the physical body and of the mind. Our beliefs, which often have the nature of irrational passions, and our trends of thought, are directed by the hidden forces present within us, of which we must become aware in order to be able to control them.

3. Life is one. There is no boundary between the vegetable, animal and human worlds. They are interdependent, and their common survival depends on respect of their harmony, whereby none assumes the role of predator, or the right to alter the balance of nature.

4. The gods, subtle spirits and living beings, all come from the same principles and are indissolubly bound together. The gods and subtle energies are present everywhere in the world and within ourselves. It is not possible for a living being to attain or to conceive the Prime Cause except in its multiple manifestations in the world. For man, there is no one God, but many gods.

5. Truth is one. There is no Oriental and Occidental wisdom, or knowledge which opposes religion. There can only be various forms

{p. 235} of the same research. Religions are only valid when they represent man's efforts to apprehend the divine and to understand the nature of the world, so as to be able to play more effectively the part assigned to him in the framework of creation. Such research must always be open-minded and cannot be expressed by intangible dogmas.

According to Orphic and Pythagorean texts, the supremacy of Dionysus will reappear during the second part of the Age of Iron, or Kali Yuga and his cult will be the only valid form of religion. This is also the affirmation of Shivaism. Only Tantric Yoga methods are efficacious in this age in which values are lost; the rites, asceticism and virtues of other ages are ineffective. It may be observed that the recent discoveries of psychology, ecology and natural science, suggest the same approaches to universal and human problems as those which Shivaism has always recommended. "It is not impossible that our epoch will be known to posterity as the first to rediscover the 'manifold religious experiences' which were abolished by the triumph of Christianity... It appears that all these elements are preparing for the rise of a new humanism, which will not be a replica of the old, since above all it is the researches of orientalists, ethnologists, psychologists, and religious historians, which must now be integrated in order to reach a total knowledge of man." (M. Eliade, Mephistopheles et l'Androgyne, pp. 111.) Such a knowledge of man involves the place he occupies in creation, a recognition of his limitations and of his role in the hierarchy of living beings. A return to Shivaite wisdom would appear to be the only way to ensure a respite to a human race which is running towards destruction at an ever-increasing pace.

According to Rene Guenon, "It is thus only a question, in short, of reconstituting that which existed before the modern deviation, with those adaptations necessary for the conditions of a different era. The East may well be able to come to the rescue of the West, if the latter really wants it, not in order to impose strange concepts, as some people seem to fear, but to help the West rediscover its own tradition whose meaning has been lost". (Rene Guenon, La Crise du monde moderne, pp. 46 and 129.) {end of quotes from Danielou}

(2) Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae (Penguin, London 1991) has many similarities to Danielou's views, but she thinks it unrealistic to try to reinstate the lost culture Danielou calls Shivaism. The review from The Times (on the back cover) says: "interprets Western culture as a sexual battleground pitting the Apollonian desire for order against the forces of Dionysian darkness".

Paglia writes,

{p. 8} Buddhist cultures retained the ancient meanings of femaleness long after the west renounced them. Male and female, the Chinese yang and yin, are balanced and interpenetrating powers in man and nature, to which society is subordinate. This code of passive acceptance has its roots in India, a land of sudden extremes where a monsoon can wipe out 50,000 people overnight. The femaleness of fertility religions is always double-edged. The Indian nature-goddess Kali is creator and destroyer, granting boons with one set of arms while cutting throats with the other. She is the lady ringed with skulls. The moral ambivalence of the great mother goddesses has been conveniently forgotten by those American feminists who have resurrected them. We cannot grasp nature's bare blade without shedding our own blood.

Western culture from the start has swerved from femaleness. The last major western society to worship female powers was Minoan Crete. And significantly, that fell and did not rise again. The immediate cause of its collapse - quake, plague, or invasion - is beside the point. The lesson is that cultic femaleness is no guarantee of cultural strength or viability. What did survive, what did vanquish circumstance and stamp its mind-set on Europe was Mycenaean warrior culture, descending to us through Homer. The male will-to-power: Mycenaeans from the south and Dorians from the north would fuse to form Apollonian Athens, from which came the Greco-Roman line of western history.

Both the Apollonian and Judeo-Christian traditions are transcendental. That is, they seek to surmount or transcend nature. Despite Greek culture's contrary Dionysian element, which I will discuss, high classicism was an Apollonian achievement. Judaism, Christianity's parent sect, is the most powerful of protests against nature. The Old Testament asserts that a father god made nature and that differentiation into objects and gender was after the fact of his maleness. Judeo-Christianity, like Greek worship of the Olympian gods, is a sky-cult. It is an advanced stage in the history of religion, which everywhere began as earth-cult, veneration of fruitful nature. The evolution from earth-cult to sky-cult shifts woman into the nether realm. Her mysterious procreative powers and the resemblance of her rounded breasts, belly, and hips to earth's contours put her at the center of early symbolism. She was the model for the Great Mother figures who crowded the birth of religion worldwide. But the mother cults did not mean social freedom for women. on the contrary, as I will

{p. 9} show in a discussion of Hollyood in the sequel to this book, cult-objects are prisoners of their own symbolic inflation. Every totem lives in taboo.

Woman was an idol of belly-magic. She seemed to swell and give birth by her own law. ... Men, bonding together, invented culture as a defense against female nature. Sky-cult was the most sophisticated step in this process, for its switch of the creative locus from earth to sky is a shift from belly-magic to head-magic. And from this defensive head-magic has come the spectacular glory of male civilization, which has lifted woman with it. The very language and logic modern woman uses to assail patriarchal culture were the invention of men. ...

Nature's cycles are woman's cycles. ... Her centrality is a great obstacle to man, whose quest for identity she blocks. He must transform himself into an independent being, that is, a being free of her.

{p. 24} Defloration is destruction. But nature creates by violence and destruction. The commonest violence in the world is childbirth, with its appalling pain and gore. ... Profanation and violation are part of the perversity of sex, which never will conform to liberal theories of benevolence. Every model of morally or politically correct sexual behaviour will be subverted, by nature's daemonic law.

{p. 25} Paganism never was the unbridled sexual licentiousness portrayed by missionaries of the young, embattled Christianity. ... True orgy was a ceremony of the chthonian mother-cults in which there were both sex and bloodshed. Paganism recognized, honored, and feared nature's daemonism, and it limited sexual expression by ritual formulae.

{p. 40} The Birth of the Western Eye

Mythology begins with cosmogony, the creation of the world. Somehow out of the chaos of matter comes order. The plenum, a soupy fullness, divides itself into objects and beings. Cosmogonies vary among societies. Earth-cult admits the priority and primacy of nature. For Judeo-Christianity, a sky-cult, God creates nature rather than vice versa. His consciousness precedes and engulfs all.

Hebrew cosmogony, in the polemical poetry of Genesis, is lofty in its claims. Creation is rational and systematic. The evolution of forms proceeds majestically, without carnage or cataclysm. God presides with workmanlike detachment. The cosmos is something constructed, a framed dwelling for man. God is a spirit, a presence. He has no name and no body. He is beyond sex and against sex, which belongs to the lower realm. Yet God is distinctly he, a father and not a mother. Femaleness is subordinate, an afterthought. Eve is merely a sliver pulled from Adam's belly. Maleness is magic, the potent principle of universal creativity.

The book of Genesis is a male declaration of independence from the ancient mother-cults. Its challenge to nature, so sexist to modern ears, marks one of the crucial moments in western history: Mind can never be free of matter. Yet only by mind imagining itself free can culture advance. The mother-cults, by reconciling man to nature, entrapped him in matter. Everything great in western civilization has come from struggle against our origins. Genesis is rigid and unjust but it gave man hope as a man. It remade the world by male dynasty cancelling the power of mothers.

Jehovah exists somewhere outside his creation beyond space and time. Most ancient cosmogonies begin with a primeval being who embraces all opposites and contains everything that is or can be. Why should any eternal self-sufficient god add to what already is? Whether out of loneliness or a craving for drama, primeval deities set off the

{p. 41} motion-machine and add to their own troubles. My favorite such god is Egyptian Khepera, who gives birth to the second stage of existence by an act of masturbation ...

Virtually all cosmogonies but ours are overtly sexual. The primeval deity may be hermaphroditic, like Egypt's mother goddess Mut, who has both male and female genitals. Or there is wholesale incest, the only sex possible when the in-group is the only group. Developed mythologies ignore the incest or edit it out, as Genesis does in discreetly passing over the question of whom Cain and Abel must marry to get on with history. Similarly. Greek myth stresses Hera as Zeus' wife but makes little of the fact that she is also his sister. In Egypt there never was so stringent a purification of sacred texts, and primitive motifs lingered on to the end. Isis and Osiris are distinctly sister and brother as well as wife and husband. Egyptian gods are tangled in archaic family romance. The mother goddess Hathor, for example, is eerily called "the mother of her father and the daughter of her son." As in Romanticism, identity is regressive and supercondensed. The sexual irregularities of fertility gods are intrinsic to the dark, disorderly mystery of sexual growth.

Judaism, though ascribing artfulness to God, is inhospitable to art in man. Earth-cult's lurid sexual symbolism contains a psychic truth: there is a sexual element in all creation, in nature or art. Khepera eating his own seed is a model of Romantic creativity, where the self is isolated and sexually dual. Khepera bent over himself is a uroboros, the serpent eating its own tail, a magic circle of regeneration and rebirth. The uroboros is the prehistoric track of natural cycle, from which Judaism and Hellenism make a conceptual break. Later in this book, I will argue that Romanticism restores the archaic western past, divining lost or suppressed pagan myths. Incest, erotic solipsism, is everywhere in Romantic poetry. Masturbation, subliminal in Coleridge and Poe, boldly emerges in later Romantics like Walt Whitman, Aubrey Beardsley, and Jean Genet, libidinous solitary dreamers. Khepera is the androgyne as demiurge.

The supreme symbol of fertility religion is the Great Mother. a figure of double-sexed primal power. Many mother goddesses of the Mediterranean world were indiscriminately fused in the syncretism of the Roman empire. They include Egyptian Isis, Cretan and Mycenaean

{P. 42} Gaia and Rhea, Cyprian Aphrodite, Phrygian Cybele, Ephesian Artemis, Sryian Dea, Persian Anaitis, Babylonian Ishtar, Phoenician Astarte, Canaanite Atargatis, Cappadocian Ma, and Thracian Bendis and Cottyto. The Great Mother embodied the gigantism and unknowability of primieval nature. ... As history, the idea of matriarchy is spurious, but as metaphor, it is poetically resonant.

{p. 72} In Egypt, sky-cult and earth-cult were harmonized, but in Greece there is a split. Greek greatness is Apollonian. The gods live on a peak touching the sky. Olympus and Parnassus are mountain shrines of creative power spurning the earth. In that swerve upward is the sublime conceptualism of western intellect and art. Egypt gave Greece the pillar and monumental sculpture, which Greece turns from Pharaoh to kouros, from divine king to divine boy. Hidden in these gifts lay Egypt's Apollonianism, which Greek artists so splendidly develop. The orderly mathematic of the Doric temple is an orchestration of Egyptian ideas. Pheidias brings person and building together on the Acropolis or High City, Athens' magic mountain. Egypt invented clarity of image, the essence of Apollonianism. From Old Kingdom Pharaohs to Pheidias is two thousand years but one step in the history of art. Greek sky-cult is an Egyptian colonnade of stony things, the hard, harsh blocks of western personality.

In Judeo-Christianity man is made in God's image, but in Greek religion God is made in man's image. The Greek gods have a higher human beauty, their flesh incorruptible yet sensual. Greece, unlike Egypt, never worshipped beast gods. Greek sky-cult kept nature in her place. The visibility of the Greek gods is intellectual, symbolizing mind's victory over matter. Art, a glorification of matter, wins its independence in the gods' perfection. ... Judaism repressed art and the artist, reserving creativity for its

{p. 73} fabricator God. ... The Apollonian, I said, is the line drawn against nature. ...

Western individuation is Apollonian. ... Apollo lays down the law. ... Roger Hinks says: "Olympian religion is essentially a religion of the successful, comfortable, and healthy ruling-class. The downtrodden peasant, harassed by the necessities of keeping body and soul together in a naturally unfruitful land, crippled by debt and social injustice, asked something very different of his gods: the Olympians bore a discouraging resemblance to his oppressors." Aristocracy is aboveness. The Olympians are authoritarian and repressive. What they repress is the monstrous gigantism of chthonian nature, that murky night-world from which society must be reclaimed day by day.

{p. 88} Dionysus, Apollo's antagonist and rival, is not among Homer's Olympians, though he is the son of Zeus. The Apollonian Olympians, I said, are eye-gods. Dionysus represents obliteration of the western eye. Heir to the Great Mother of chthonian nature, he is, with

{p. 89} Osiris, the greatest of the dying gods of mystery religion. Out of his worship came two rituals of enormous impact on western culture, tragic drama and Christian liturgy.

{p. 93} Dionysus, god of fluids, rules a murky no man's land of matter halfturned to liquid. ... A chthonian miasma hangs over woman, like the polluted cloud raining pestilence on Oedipus' Thebes. The miasma is woman's procreative fate, linking her to the primeval. Artemis is woman on the run, breaking out of her cloud into Apollonian sunlight {is not Feminism trying to turn women into men?}. Artemis' radiance is a militant self-hardening, a refusal of menarche. Dionysus, endorsing woman, also keeps her in the chthonian swamp. ... Apollo's solar torch is put out; the heart of creation is blind. In nature's female womb-world, there are no objects and no art.

Dionysus is the all-embracing totality of mother-cult. Nothing disgusts him, since he contains everything that is. Disgust is an Apollonian response, an aesthetic judgment. Disgust always indicates some misalignment toward or swerving away from the maternal.

{p. 95} The violent principle of Dionysian cult is sparagmos, which in Greek means "a rending, tearing, mangling" and secondly "a convulsion, spasm." The body of the god, or a human or animal substitute, is torn to pieces, which are eaten or scattered like seed. Omophagy, ritual eating of raw flesh, is the assimilation and internalization of godhead. Ancient mystery religion was posited on the worshipper's imitation of the god. Cannibalism was impersonation, a primitive theater. You are what you eat. The body parts of dismembered Osiris, scattered across the earth, were collected by Isis, who founded a shrine at each site. Before his arrest, Jesus tears the Passover bread for his disciples: "Take, eat; this is my body" (Mt. 26:26). At every Christian service, wafers and wine are changed into Christ's body and blood, consumed by the worshipper. In Catholicism, this is not symbolic but literal. Transubstantiation is cannibalism.

{p. 96} The Apollonian and Dionysian, two great western principles, govern sexual personae in life and art. My theory is this: Dionysus is identification, Apollo objectification. Dionysus is the empathic, the sympathetic emotion transporting us into other people, other places, other times. Apollo is the hard, cold separatism of western personality and categorical thought. Dionysus is energy, ecstasy, hysteria, promiscuity, emotionalism - heedless indiscriminateness of idea or practice. Apollo is obsessiveness, voyeurism, idolatry, fascism - frigidity and aggression of the eye, petrifaction of objects. Human imagination rolls through the world seeking cathexis. Here, there, everywhere, it invests itself in perishable things of flesh, silk, marble, and metal, materializations of desire. Words themselves the west makes into objects. Complete harmony is impossible. Our brains are split, and brain is split from body. The quarrel between Apollo and Dionysus is the quarrel between the higher cortex and the older limbic and reptilian brains. Art reflects on and resolves the eternal human dilemma of order versus energy. In the west, Apollo and Dionysus strive for victory. Apollo makes the boundary lines that are civilization but that lead to convention, constraint, oppression. Dionysus is energy unbound, mad, callous, destructive, wasteful. Apollo is law, history, tradition, the dignity and safety of custom and

{p. 97} form. Dionysus is the new, exhilarating but rude, sweeping all away to begin again. Apollo is a tyrant, Dionysus a vandal. Every excess breeds its counterreaction. So western culture swings from point to point on its complex cycle, pouring forth its lavish tributes of art, word, and deed. We have littered the world with grandiose achievements. Our story is vast, lurid, and unending. ...

The Apollonian is aristocratic, monarchist, and reactionary. Volatile, mobile Dionysus is hoi polloi, the Many. He is rabble and rubble, both democratic mob-rule and the slurry of uncountable objects rumbling through nature.

{p. 99} The competing Apollonian and Dionysian elements in Greek culture remained unresolved. Egypt alone was able to synthesize sunlit clarity of form with daemonic earth-cult: it honored both the eye and the labyrinth of biology. Egyptian state religion, with its mystic obscurantism yet soaring clear geometries, unified the classes in one system of belief. In Greece there may have been a split, with aristocrats following Olympian sky-cult, while farmers, nominally Olympian, cautiously continued to honor primeval spirits of the soil. Fifth-century Athenian culture was supremely Apollonian. Indeed, classic style is always a defeat of Dionysus by Apollo. It is form rescued from mother earth's oceanic dissolutions.

{p. 125} Greek culture has come to us mainly through Rome. Greek Apollonianism appealed to the highly ritualistic Romans, with their solemn formalism of religion, law, and politics. Rome returned Apollonianism to its Egyptian roots. Like Egypt, Rome was centered on a cult of the state; hierarchy and history were the means of national identity. The Apollonian is always reactionary. For its own propaganda, Rome made Greek style monolithic. Gracious human scale yielded to officialism, governmental overstatement. Kouros became colossus. Columns swelled and towered. Rome imitated not the plain, vigorous Doric pillar of the Parthenon nor the sleek, elegant Ionic pillar of the Erechtheum and Propylaea but the gigantic, frilly Corinthian pillar of the temple of Zeus on the plain below the Acropolis. Our cold white Federal

{p. 126} architecture is Roman. Banks and government buildings are vast temples of state, tombs and fortresses.

{p. 127} What of Apollo's rival? Roman Bacchus is not Dionysus' peer. He is merely a rowdy wine god, a tippler and mirthmaker. Dionysus was so strong in Greece because of the dominance of Apollonian conceptualism. The combat between Apollo and Dionysus, never resolved, produced the rich diversity of Greek culture.
{end of quotes}

The article http://members.tripod.com/~tanmoy/bengal/races.html
says that the Dravidians (of Harappa) came to India from the Middle East.

But Alain Danielou, argued that the migration occurred from India/Pakistan to the Middle East: that the Sumerians had come from Harappa (Shiva and Dionysius, p. 21, above).==

The underwater city discovered off Gujarat appears to have been ancestral to the Harappan civilization ... suggesting its antiquity and lending weight to westward, rather than eastward, migration:

Lost cities show civilisation began 9,500 years ago

BY SAM LISTER AND TIM TEEMAN

The Times, SATURDAY JANUARY 19 2002

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,3-2002031818,00.html

AN ANCIENT metropolis likened to the lost city of Atlantis has been discovered off the west coast of India, suggesting that civilisation may have started 5,000 years earlier than previously believed.

A grid of geometric structures thought to be the foundations of two cities, each more than five miles wide, has been detected 120ft below sea level in the Gulf of Khambhat. ==

India's underwater heritage

By Uttara Gangopadhyay

Asia Times

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EE02Df02.html

NEW DELHI - Scientists from Chennai's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) were routinely going through some underwater sonar pictures taken while monitoring marine pollution in the Gulf of Cambay, off the coast of Gujarat, a couple of years ago. Much to their surprise, they came across the ruins of a city. Initially, the news received mixed responses. While some believed that it was the lost city of the mythical Dwarka mentioned in ancient scriptures, others dismissed it as a probable shipwreck. The scientists launched a more intensive search last year and came up with plenty of interesting finds.

The ancient city is located at a depth of 40 meters and spread over a nine-kilometer stretch with relics from a typical Indus Valley civilization - pools with sunken steps, a granary, house foundations, drainage systems, mud roads as well as broken pots, figurines, semiprecious stones, ornaments, fossilized remains of wood and human body parts. Carbon dating of wooden pieces has revealed even more interesting facts. One piece tested by the Birbal Shahni Institute of Paleobotany in Lucknow shows it belonged to 5500 BC, while one tested by National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, belonged to 7500 BC. Although yet to be conclusively proved whether the pieces were washed to the place or belonged to the city, the findings are intriguing. ==

7500 BC "lost river" civilisation could rewrite history books

February 19, 2002, 05:15 AM

http://www.arabia.com/afp/tech/health/article/english/0,11448,144354,00.html

MADRAS, India (AFP) - The discovery of an ancient city on the seabed off India's western coast has scientists salivating at the prospect of a fundamental rewrite in the chronology of ancient human society. ...

The discovery was made purely by chance last year as oceanographers from the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) were measuring water pollution levels in the area.

The team picked up strange signals and sent down two highly sensitive pieces of sonar equipment, which produced astounding images of what appeared to be a large settlement, stretching for nine kilometers (six miles) along both sides of an old river bed.

A dredge was used to bring several tonnes of sludge up from the site which contained a number of artefacts such as stone tools, ornaments and even a human jawbone and tooth.

"We are very excited, naturally," said S. Kathiroli, who headed the NIOT team that did the dredging.

The main source of the excitement was a fossilised wooden log, which carbon dating techniques dated back to 7500 BC.

Until now, the world's first urban settlements were believed to have thrived in the river valleys of ancient Mesopotamia around 4000-3500 BC. These were followed by the colourful Pharaonic culture seen in Egypt's Nile Valley civilisation.

The Indian subcontinent had the great Indus Valley settlements that came up around 2500 BC.

Indian historians and archaeologists who have examined the artefacts and other data procured by the NIOT team seem convinced that the "Cambian" people did pre-date the Indus Valley civilisation unearthed in the twin cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro.

One of India's topmost marine archeologists, S.R. Rao, after examining the findings at the NIOT, concluded that Cambay did have a prehistoric settlement and the pottery picked up at the site was pre-Harappan.

Among the most exciting sonar images were those of a large public bath the size of an Olympic swimming pool and a fortified citadel.

{end}

The following is from a BBC documentary featuring Colin MacDonald (curator of Knossos) and Mike Baillie: the island of Thera, financial centre for Aegean civilization, suffered a massive volcanic eruption in 1628 BC. Tidal waves hit Crete, destroying buildings and boats, and ten cold years followed, probably causing crop failure, on account of ash in the atmosphere.

Minoan Crete survived, but people lost faith in the religious & political hierarchy. Nevertheless, clay tablets in the Linear A language continued for 50 years. After that, they are replaced by clay tablets in Linear B, a language from the Greek Mainland. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/apocalypse_minoan3.shtml.

Conclusion: The Minoan Civilization was wiped out by an Aryan invasion, after the eruption had destabilised the cohesiveness of Cretan rulership. Similarly, the Chernobyl explosion did not directly finish off the Soviet Union, but weakened the legitimacy of the ruling elite.

Postmortem journeys - Descents into Hell, and Resurrections - the comparison between Jesus' case and that of Tammuz, Orisis etc: postmortem-journeys.html.

Alain Danielou's book Gods of Love and Ecstasy (also sold under the title Shiva and Dionysus) is available at http://www3.addall.com/New/submitNew.cgi?query=shiva+and+Dionysus&type=Title&location=10000&state=&dispCurr=USD

To order a second-hand copy of any of Alain Danielou's books through Abebooks http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookSearch?an=alain+danielou.

To order Camille Paglia's book Sexual Personae from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0679735798/qid=1005338140/sr=12-1/t/002-2571111-5335244.

Alain Danielou's follow-up book on Shivaism, While the Gods Play, notes similarities between Shivaite ascetics of India and the Cynics of Greece (p. 17): danielou2.html.

Barbara G. Walker on the "Star of David", the Kabalah, & Tantrism: jewish-taoist.html.

Marija Gimbutas, Colin Renfrew, Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza on the Aryan invasion of Europe: gimbutas.html.

Ariosophy? The Rig Veda's account of the Aryan conquest: eth-civ.html.

Barbara G. Walker on the "Star of David", the Kabalah, & Tantrism: jewish-taoist.html.

Friedrich Nietzsche urged the overthrown of "moralism" - which he attributed to Zarathustra and his influence on Christianity via Second-Temple Judaism - and a return to Dionysian culture.

"Nietzsche's analysis, like Socrates' dialectic, ends in an ironic reversal. While the anti-Semite is the ancient Jewish priests' relative, the modern Jew is their complete opposite (or "antipode"). As such modern Jews are candidates for helping to create a new Dionysian culture" - Yirmiyahu Yovel, The structure of an Ambivalence, in Jacob Golomb (ed,) NIETZSCHE AND JEWISH CULTURE, Routledge, London and New York 1997.

Write to me at contact.html.

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