Alain Danielou approaches the history of India from a new perspective - as a sympathetic outsider, yet one who understands the deepest workings of the culture. Because the history of India covers such a long span of time, rather than try to create an exhaustive chrology of dates and events, Danielou instead focuses on enduring institutions that remain constant despite the ephemeral historical events that occur. His selections, synthesis and narration create a thoroughly engaging and readable journey through time, with a level of detail and comprehensiveness that is truly a marvel. Because of the continuity of its civilisation, its unique social system, and the tremendous diversity of cultures, races, languages and religions that exist in its vast territory, India is like a history museum. Its diverse groups maintained their separate identities and never fully supplanted the culture and kwledge of their predecessors. Even today one may encounter in India, primitive Stone Age people whose techlogy has remained at what is considered prehistoric levels. Thus Danielou's examination of India reveals t only the diversity and historical events and trends of that country, but also the history of all mankind. Through Danielou's history of India we learn from whence we came, what we have discovered over the years in the fields of science, arts, techlogy, social structures, religions and philosophical concepts, and what the future may hold for us.
Alain Danielou (1907-1994) spent 20 years in India studying music and philosophy with eminent scholars of the Hindu tradition. He is the author of more than 30 books on the religion, history, and arts of India and the Mediterranean, including The Myths and Gods of Indiaand The Hindu Temple, and is the translator of The Complete Kama Sutra.