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Alain Danielou – Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus – Living in harmony with the systems of the universe

Identifier

022477

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

Danielou, Alain – Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus –  Living in harmony with the systems of the universe

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 gods, 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…………….

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-dharanad dharmah).l 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.

The source of the experience

Shaivism

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Theatre

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References