By Alain Daniélou
Alain Danielou ways the historical past of India during the enduring associations of its tradition that experience formed its future. His synthesis and narration create a completely attractive and readable trip via time, with a degree of element and comprehensiveness that's actually a surprise. Winner of the Broquette-Gonin Prix de l'Academie Francaise.
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Additional info for A Brief History of India
4 million aeons (mahakalpas). ” 20 One of the most intriguing questions posed by the proliferation of contending philosophical sects in sixth-century India is the question of cultural cross-fertilization with pre-Socratic Greek philosophy. ” 21 These traditions are at odds with the one-sided, at times caricatural Western stereotype of ancient Indian thought as predominantly mystical and religious. ” 22 ri se of th e peacoc k dy nasty The cultural, social, and political turmoil of the age was compounded in the fourth century BC when a historical supernova bathed much of the ancient world in its intense but short-lived brilliance: Alexander the Great.
It is a dialogue with the past to better understand the questions we face concerning the relation of politics, ethics, and economics at the beginning of a new millennium. Dharma, literally, upholds the world. c hap te r 2 The Age of Transcendence Our age, ever more obsessed with the present and the immediate, seems to have little time or use for ancient history. In the West, the history of the Indian subcontinent and its neighbors still seems to be a quaintly esoteric topic, despite the newly found infatuation for India’s future as an economic superpower in the twenty-first century.
The Greek influence was the afterglow of the conquests of Alexander the Great and his successors, who set up Greek dynasties following Alexander’s death, stretching from present-day Pakistan to the eastern Mediterranean. We know from several Greek and Roman historians that Ashoka’s grandfather Chandragupta Maurya waged a war of liberation against Alexander’s successors to rid India of foreign domination on its western front, and, according to Plutarch, Chandragupta as a youth even met Alexander personally.