While the Gods Play. Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind. By (author) Alain Daniélou. While the Gods Play. While the Gods Play has 23 ratings and 2 reviews. While the Gods Play: Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Alain Daniélou. Read “While the Gods Play Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind” by Alain Daniélou with Rakuten Kobo.

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Alain Danielou, brother of Cardinal Jean Danielou, shows important connections between the Shivaite ascetics of India and. Gerald Downing shows that the early Christians were like Cynics: Too much moralism takes the joy out plag life, while too much amorality leads to cruelty such as human sacrifice.

However, the moralistic religions have often been vehicles for conquest: Zoroastrianism was the motivator of the First Persian Empire, Christianity, Islam and Communism have spread by the sword, and even Asoka, who imposed Buddhism on India, was a bloody conqueror. So in the end, the moralistic conquistadores are not as superior as dnielou pretend.

Shaivismthe religion of the ancient Dravidians, was always the religion of dankelou people. Its metaphysical, cosmological, and ritual conceptions were preserved by communities of wandering ascetics living on the fringe of the offical society, whom the Aryans scornfully called Yati s wanderersVratya s untouchablesor Ajivika s beggars. Communities goda Ajivika laymen were to be found in all the great cities of the Ganges basin and formed a parallel society.

They included members of all classes. Basham, History and Doctrines of the Ajivikaspp. In the fourth century A. It is the members of these monastic orders who today still teach the disciplines and eroticomagical rites of Tantrism. Aryan society practiced a punitive discrimination against them.

In South India, even in the fourteenth century, the Ajivika sthat is, the indigenous people, paid much heavier taxes than the rest of the population as later on the Muslims imposed upon the Hindus.

THREE figures in India were to play a key role in the religious reforms that conditioned all subsequent religions. They are Makkhali Gosala B. The characteristic sign of this reversal of values was the Makkhali Gosala’s attempt to reform the Shaiva tradition. Gosala was one of those non-Aryan wandering ascetics of humble origin whom bourgeois society called Ajivika s beggars. He was very early preoccupied by the activities of extremist sects such as the Plzy Skull-Bearers and the Kalamukha Black Faceswhose magical practices and antisocial attitudes shocked the urban society of their time.

He sought to reinstate the philosophic and rationalist aspects of dabielou ancient pre-Aryan culture, which were in opposition to popular ecstatic and mystical Shaivism. We find similar attempts to adapt Shaivism to ehile prejudices of bourgeois society with the Vira Shaiva or Lingayat of the Middle Ages and later with the reformers of the British era. The Shaiva ascetics went about naked, their bodies smeared with ashes, practicing orgiastic dances.

They refused to be participants in a society oriented toward productivity and puritanism. With matted hair and haggard eyes, they lived away from villages and towns and refused to take an interest in material wellbeing. In the same epoch, the sect of Cynics, of which Diogenes is a typical example, flourished in Greece and is clearly related to the Kalamuka s of India.

Gerald Downing pointed out, the early Christians were much like Cynics: The father of Gosala was a Mankha, a sort of roving bard, exhibitor of pious gpds. Of non-Aryan origin, he was considered to be a Dasyu, an appellation corresponding to the term “native” in the period of European colonialism.

This, in fact, meant that any position goxs than a servile one was prohibited to him vanielou Aryan society. Nevertheless, he was a man learned in the philosophic tradition of the ancient cultureparticularly in the materialist theories of the Vaisheshika and the cosmology of the Samkhya, infinitely more evolved than the nebulous concepts of the followers of the Veda. In a similar slain many centuries later, I myself knew a humble janitor at the French Consulate in Calcutta who was a poor Brahman who read the Upanishad s while operating the elevator for the sahibs, the Europeans, the new Aryan lords of India, as arrogant as they were ignorant.


It was during the course of his father’s alajn that Gosala was born, like Jesus, in a stablenot far from the famous university of Nalanda. After having danieelou for several years the family business of dealing in images, Gosala joined a group of Shaiva ascetic-beggars. qlain

He soon acquired great renown for his asceticism and his learning. According to the Bhagavati Sutrahis disciples considered him the twenty-fourth prophet Tlrthamkara of the Ajivikain the Avasarpini Yuga daneilou age of secret messengersand as the reformer of the old Shaivismabout which little goods known at the time for the texts were only reconstituted later. The thirty-three great gods of the Aryans and the lesser earth spirits of the Aboriginals were too motley a company to correspond to the orderly civilization which had already emerged Hence, the great bourgeois Mahavira and the prince Gautama became disciples of Gosala.

Alain Daniélou – While the Gods Play

Plutarch reports that Alexander said of himself: The figure of Gosala is very important, for in presenting a different version of the old cultureuntil then ignored and rejected by Aryan society as the superstitions of despicable slaves, he attracted those, such as Mahavira and Gautamawho were dissatisfied with Vedic rigidity, and he aroused a sudden interest in the antique pre-Aryan philosophy within the good society of the period.

The role of Gosala can be compared to someone such as Aurobindo, who, in the modern era, however danielpu by orthodox Hinduism, provoked considerable interest in the philosophic and religious conceptions that Europeans until then had regarded as the superstitions of backward populations. Mahavira traveled with Gosala for six years, and Gautama joined them for three or four years.

The commentary on the Avashyaka Sutra by Jina Dasa, which gives a rather complete picture of the life of Mahavira, contains the story of his travels in the company of Gosala. Gosala finally alani with his two disciples over points of doctrine, and they separated.

While the Gods Play | Book by Alain Daniélou | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

At this time he was visited by six dishachara missionaries of the six directions in consulation with llay he codified the Ajivika scriptures. Mahavira lived on until During his last years, Gosala observed a vow of silence vacam pahaya and lived in a state of trance.

He practiced dance and drunkenness. A few moments before his death, danielouu of his disciples asked him, ” Danislou is the nature of Halla [the principle of the world]? Play the vinaFriend. Music, the ephemeral harmony of sounds that evokes the harmony of the universe, comes forth from the bamboo. Its form and sonorous qualities are implied in its root, in its genetic formula, which like that of all other species danileou part of the plan devised by the Creator.

Gosala suggests here a subject for meditation on the tortuous route vakra which links the world of appearance to the unfathomable origin of creation and thus evokes the fundamental problem of knowledge. Halla is a mysterious term used by certain Shaiva sects to invoke the Supreme Being during ecstatic dances.

It is difficult to avoid a comparison with Allahthe divine name adopted by the Muslims, together with the black stone of Mecca, which, according to the geography of the Purana sis a Shiva Linga situated in the ancient sacred site called Makhevshvara Lord of the Crocodile. Vestiges of an important colony of people from the Indus Valley have been discovered at Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula. The teachings of Gosala, which constitute the reformed doctrine of the Ajivika swere gathered together in a work in ancient Dravidian called Navakadir.

According to Nilakeshi Tirattu, this work was translated into the Tamil language modern Dravidian under the name Onbadukadirtoday lost, but of which the Manimekhalaia Goss novel from the second century, preserves important extracts.

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We primarily know about the doctrine of Gosala through the writings of his Jaina and Buddhist opponents. These texts must therefore be read with some caution. The essential element of the teaching of Gosala is the doctrine of Niyati determinismwhich envisages a preestablished universal order by which the world evolvesat all levels, as do living.

Progress and change are strictly determined by the “law of the process of development” parinama-krama-niyamawhich forms ruts or molds inside which individuals develop.

Gunaratna, the commentator of the Shaddarshana-Samucchaya condensed from the six systems of Haribhadra, cites Gosala: All this originates from their nature svabhava. Nothing is born of its own will or its actions. All beings develop according to the plan niyatito their nature svabhava and chance alian. Evil and suffering, attributed by others to the actions karma of living beings, are, according to Gosala, determined by fate. The doctrine of Gosala was divided into six parts: It included the atomic theory of the Vaisheshika and the cosmology of the Samkhya.


We will see later with regard to the Vaisheshika, a summary of Gosala’s materialist doctrine according to the Manimekhalai. According to this doctrine, the number dnielou souls, of “individual consciousnesses” in the world, is infinite.

A theory of cyclical liberation ma dala moksha refers to the destruction of individual beings at the end of each cycle. The process of the development of life over 8, Maha Kalpa, the stages of danjelou that represent the different species in creation, was later on interpreted as a series of reincarnations of the individual being.

All the Ajivika s used music and dance as ecstatic media and knew daniellou secret of the technique of rescuscitating the dead by the transfer of whioe own vital energy, one of the Siddhi s powers canielou through Yoga. This power was called pautta parihara by the disciples of Gosala. With him arose the notion of a moral, materialistic society with atheistic tendencies, which restrains individual liberty in the name of the common good and of the orderliness of the city, in opposition to Shaiva mysticism, which promotes the joy of living in communion with the divine work that the natural world represents.

It qlain Jainism that introduced vegetarianism and nonviolenceas well as the theories of transmigration and Karmainto the Indian world. Jainism also advocated suicide by fasting.

The doctrine of Karma, linked to that of danidlou, attributes differences between beings to their behavior in previous lives.

Inequalities between living beingsand, in particular, between men, are due to an automatic retribution after death for actions committed in life. This theory tends to replace the responsibility of an impermanent “I,” the transmitter of a genetic code that affects the species, with the evolution of a supposedly permanent “I.

Ppay is basically an atheistic theorycontrary to the conceptions of the mystical Shaivism and ritualistic Vedism. Mahavira is considered to be the twenty-fourth and last prophet of Jainism. Parshva, the twenty-third prophet, lived three centuries earlier and had apparently liberalized the ascetic customs of the sect. Mahavira was, at a young age, outraged by the environment he lived in, which was essentially commercial.

He became the disciple of the wandering monk Gosalawith whom he traveled, begging for his food, for over six years.

While the Gods Play

Gosala did not practice or recommend the observance of chastity, as it was contrary to the principles of Shaivai Yoga. Antisexual moralism was introduced later in certain sectssuch as the.

It was on these grounds and on that of Karma that Mahavira parted company with Gosala. He was overall the most antisexual of the religious teachers of his time.

At the time, the families of the warlike aristocracy were in revolt against the authority of the Brahmans and the rigid ritualism of the Vedic religion. Immense sacrificial ceremonies, such as the sacrifice of the horse ashvamedhathrough which the Brahmans imposed their power, ruined the states financially.

Gautama was at first wile by the antisocial mysticism of Shaivism. For a time, he was also a disciple of Gosala and very close to Mahavirawho was three years younger. For several years he practiced with them the austere and free life of a wandering monk.

He eventually left them, however, and soon became their rival. He then undertook to reform Brahmanism on danieloh basis of the fundamental atheistic concepts of the Jainain particular the prohibition of rites, nonviolence, reincarnation, the doctrine of Karma, the negation of castes, the emphasis on moral values, and so forth.

His disciples called Gautama the Buddha the Enlightened One. His doctrine, under the name of Buddhism, was to have.