|Born||4 October 1907|
|Died||27 January 1994|
|Occupation||Historian, Indologist, musicologist, translator, writer|
|Subject||Culture of India, Hindu studies, Indian classical music, Indian philosophy, Shaivite Hinduism|
Alain Daniélou (4 October 1907 – 27 January 1994) was a French historian, Indologist, intellectual, musicologist, translator, writer, and notable Western convert to and expert on the Shaivite sect of Hinduism.
Early life and education
His mother, Madeleine Clamorgan, was from an old family of the Norman nobility; a fervent Roman Catholic, she founded schools and a religious order, the Order of Sainte-Marie, for women teachers in civilian costume under the patronage of St. François-Xavier. His father, Charles Daniélou, was an anti-clerical Breton politician who held numerous national ministerial posts in the Third Republic. One of his brothers was the Roman Catholic prelate and Académie Française member, Jean Daniélou.
He received his education at the Institution Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix, Neuilly-sur-Seine, and at St. John's College, Annapolis. The young Daniélou studied singing under the famous Charles Panzéra, as well as classical dancing with Nicholas Legat (teacher of Vaslav Nijinsky), and composition with Max d'Ollone. Subsequently, he performed professionally on stage with dancers such as Floria Capsali and Marjorie Daw. Growing up, he rebelled against his mother's deep devotion to her faith, but his father remained a positive influence, which helped in developing his musical talent and in coping with his homosexuality. He studied piano and singing, learning the songs of Duparc and Chausson and the liederkreis of Schumann and Schubert. He started writing poems, as acquired proficiency in English and other European languages.
He and his partner, the Swiss photographer Raymond Burnier, first went to India as part of an adventure trip, and they were fascinated with the art and culture of the nation. Daniélou and Burnier were among the first Westerners to visit India's famed erotic Hindu temples in the village of Khajuraho and Burnier's stunning photographs of the ancient temple complex launched the site internationally. The photographs were featured in an exhibition at the New York's Metropolitan Museum.
In 1932, during his first trip to India, he met one of the great influences poet Rabindranath Tagore. His close association with Tagore lead him to become the director of Tagore's school of music at Shantiniketan (Visva-Bharati University). Subsequently, in 1935, he joined the Banaras Hindu University, where he studied Hindu music, Sanskrit language and literature, Hindu philosophy, and Hindu religion for the next 15 years of his life. In 1949, he was appointed as a research professor at the University, a post he held until 1953; he also remained the director of the College of Indian Music. In Bénarès (now Varanasi), he lived in a mansion on the banks of the Ganges, named Rewa Kothi. During these years, he studied Indian classical music in Bénarès with Shivendranath Basu and played the veena, a classical Indian instrument which he started playing professionally. He also studied Hindi and Sanskrit languages, as well as Indian philosophy.
His interest in the symbolism of Hindu architecture and sculpture lead him to long trips with Burnier to Khajuraho, Bhubaneswar, and Konarak, sites located in central India and Rajasthan. He also translated some works of Swami Karpatri, the samnyasin by whom he was initiated into Shaivism under the Hindu name Shiva Sharan ("Protected by Shiva"). In 1942, he published his translation of the Tirukkural, a Tamil moral literature.
In 1953, he joined the Adyar Library and Research Centre at the Theosophical Society Adyar near Madras (now Chennai), where he was the director of a centre of research into Sanskrit literature until 1956. In 1959, he became a member of French Institute of Pondicherry, which works in the field of Indology.
Europe: 1960 onwards
Upon his return to Europe in 1960, he was appointed an advisor to the UNESCO's International Music Council, which led to a number of recordings of traditional music such as Unesco Collection: A Musical Anthology of the Orient, Musical Atlas, Musical Sources, and Anthology of Indian Classical Music - A Tribute to Alain Daniélou. In 1963, he became the founder and director of the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies and Documentation (IICMSD) in West Berlin, where he remained till 1977; he was also the director of the Istituto Internazionale di Musica Comparata (IISMC) in Venice from 1969 to 1979.
He is the author of over thirty books on Indian music and culture. He received several awards for his work on music. He was also a photographer and artist.
Awards and recognition
He was an Officer of the Légion d'Honneur, an Officer of the Ordre National du Mérite, and Commander of Arts and Letters. He was the director of the UNESCO Collection series, a series of recordings of traditional world music. In 1981, he received the UNESCO/CIM prize for music, and, in 1987 the Kathmandu Medal from UNESCO.
- While the Gods play, Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and Destiny of Mankind (French: La Fantaisie des Dieux et L'Aventure Humaine, 1985)
- Gods of Love and Ecstasy, The Tradition of Shiva & Dionysus, Omnipresent Gods of Transcendence
- The Hindu Temple; Deification of Eroticism
- Music and the Power of Sound
- A Brief History of Indiapublished by Inner Traditions
- The complete Kâma Sûtra The first unabridged translation.
- Virtue, success, pleasure & liberation: the four aims of life in the tradition of ancient India
- Ragas of North Indian Classical Music
- The Way to the Labyrinth: An Autobiography published by New Directions.
- The Myths and Gods of India, Hindu Polytheism
- Yoga: the Method of Reintegration
- Yoga, Mastering the Secrets of Matter and the Universe
- Fools of God
- Song-poems - Rabindranath Tagore, Texts in English, French and Bengali & Melodies
- The Congress of the World With miniatures of tantric cosmology
- Sacred Music, its Origins, Powers and Future, Traditional Music in Today's World
- The Situation Of Music And Musicians In The Countries Of The Orient
- Introduction to The Study of Musical Scales
- Northern Indian Music: Vol. One, Theory, History and Technique
- Northern Indian Music: Vol. Two, The Main Ragas
- The Phallus, Sacred Symbol of Male Creative Power
- India, a civilization of differences: the ancient tradition of universal tolerance
- Shiva And The Primordial Tradition: From the Tantras to the Science of Dreams
- Manimekhalaï, The Dancer With The Magic Bowl Translation by Alain Daniélou
- Shilappadikâram, The Ankle Bracelet
- Sacred Music, Its Origins, Powers And Future
- A Descriptive Catalogue Of Sanskrit Manuscripts in Alain Daniélou’s Collection at the Giorgio Cini Foundation
- Unesco Collection: A Musical Anthology of the Orient
- Anthology of Indian Classical Music - A Tribute to Alain Daniélou
- Musiciens et Danseurs de la caste des Ahirs (1951)
- Religious Music of India (1952)
- Musical Atlas
- Musical Sources (Philips, Holland)
- Anthology of North Indian Classical Music - (Bärenreiter-Musicaphon, Kassel)
- 2017: Alain Daniélou - The Way to the Labyrinth, a documentary by Riccardo Biadene, KAMA Productions.
- Daniélou, Alain (1943). Introduction to the Study of Musical Scales. Bénarès: The India Society, London. ISBN 0-8364-2353-4. S2CID 190774873 – via Internet Archive.
- Daniélou, Alain (2017) . The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-3638-9. OCLC 24247413. S2CID 169604069.
- Daniélou, Alain (1984) . Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The Traditions of Shiva and Dionysus. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions. ISBN 0-89281-374-1. OCLC 25281659. S2CID 191033152.
- Golliau, Catherine (28 June 2010). "L'affaire Daniélou". Le Point (in French). Paris. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- Catinchi, Philippe-Jean (8 September 2010). ""L'Hindouisme traditionnel et l'interprétation d'Alain Daniélou", de Jean-Louis Gabin: Alain Daniélou, revu et corrigé". Le Monde (in French). Paris. Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- de Boysson, Emmanuelle (2008). Le cardinal et l'hindouiste: Le mystère des frères Daniélou. Petite Renaissance. Spiritualité (in French). Paris: Presses de la Renaissance. ISBN 9782750904234.
- Aldrich, Robert (2015). "Sojourners and the Seduction of Ceylon". Cultural Encounters and Homoeroticism in Sri Lanka: Sex and Serendipity. Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia (1st ed.). London and New York: Routledge. p. 147. ISBN 9781138491502. OCLC 943053586.
- "SNA: List of Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna Puraskarwinners (Akademi Fellows)". SNA Official website. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Kirkup, James (4 February 1994). "Obituary: Alain Daniélou". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- "Medieval Indian Sculpture" (PDF). Retrieved 31 October 2013.
- "Visual flashback". The Hindu. 19 July 2004. Archived from the original on 9 September 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- "Snapshots of Indian culture". The Telegraph. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Rama, Swami (1999) Himalayan Institute, Living With the Himalayan Masters, page 247.
- Sanjeevi, N. (1973). Bibliography on Tirukkural. In First All India Tirukkural Seminar Papers. Chennai: University of Madras. p. 146.
- The Way to the Labyrinth: An Autobiography by Alain Danielou
- Official web site of Alain Danielou (English)
- Article on Daniélou
- Exhibition catalogue of Khajuraho photographs, Metropolitan Museaum of Art