Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: Alain Daniélou, ganas, Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus
Is god respectable or is he wild? The vast majority of his priests – ecumenically speaking, in each of his manifestations, sects and religions – would fall – would they err? – on the side of respectability: ethical, orderly. Here is the other view via Alain Danielou, Gods of Love and Ecstasy.
God’s – the Shivaite and Dionysian variety – companions are on the one hand joyful, courageous, imaginative, youthful and harmonious; and on the other, mockers of authority and law and anti bourgeois. These are of course twin qualities: to flourish we must rid ourselves of anti flourishing agents.
From Gods of Love:
In Shivaite tradition, the god’s companions are described as a troupe of freakish, adventurous, delinquent and wild young people, who prowl in the night, shouting in the storm, singing, dancing and ceaselessly playing outrageous tricks on sages and gods. They are called Ganas, the “Vagabonds”, corresponding to the CretanKorybantes and the Celtic Korrigans (fairies’ sons). Like the Sileni and Satyrs, some of them have goats’ or birds’ feet. The Ganas mock the rules of ethics and social order. They personify the joy of living, courage and imagination, which are all youthful values. They live in harmony with nature and oppose the destructive ambition of the city and the deceitful moralism which both hides and expresses it. These delinquents of heaven are always there to restore true values and to assist the “god-mad” who are persecuted and mocked by the powerful. They personify everything which is feared by and displeases bourgeois society, and which is contrary to the good morale of a well-policed city and its palliative concepts.
— Alain Daniélou, Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus
From Reason & Existenz
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