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Alain Daniélou & Raymond Burnier

Alain Daniélou (4 October 1907 – 27 January 1994) was a French historian, intellectual, musicologist, Indologist, and a noted Western convert to and expert on Shaivite Hinduism. He and his partner, Swiss photographer Raymond Burnier, whom he met in the early '30s, 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 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. (P: @Jacques Cloarec, Alain Daniélou)

Daniélou's mother, Madeleine Clamorgan, was from an old family of the Norman nobility; a fervent Catholic, she founded a religious order for women teachers in civilian costume under the patronage of St. François-Xavier. His father, Charles Daniélou, was an anticlerical Breton politician who held numerous national ministerial posts. One of his brothers was Roman Catholic prelate and Académie française member, Jean Daniélou. (P: Raymond Burnier at Zagarolo)

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.


Alain Daniélou was a French historian a noted Western convert to and expert on Shaivite Hinduism. He and his partner, Swiss photographer Raymond Burnier, whom he met in the early '30s, first went to India in 1932, 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 temples in the village of Khajuraho and Burnier's stunning photographs of the ancient temple complex launched the site internationally.


In Europe once more after nearly 20 years in India, Alain Daniélou found a large 11-hectare property for his friend, Raymond Burnier, at Colle Labirinto, Zagarolo, where Burnier came to live in 1958 after his divorce. Mrs. Burnier went on to become the international chairman of the Theosophical Society. In 1960 Alain Daniélou purchased two cottages on a much smaller piece of land, right beside the Burnier property. He only lived there permanently starting from 1980, when he retired.


Head of an apsaras. Mukteshvar Temple, Bhuvaneshvar. x century. Photograph Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres


Head of Rudra, the Lord of Tears, who personifies the destructive aspect of Shiva. Duladeo Temple, Khajuraho. x century. Photographs Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres


Head of an apsaras. Rajarani Temple, Bhuvaneshvar. xII century. Photographs Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres


Apsaras with a mirror. Adinath Temple, Khajuraho. x century. The Apsarases were in Hindu mythology the beautiful maidens of India's heaven. They are much in evidence in both Hindu and Buddhist painting and sculpture. In India they are represented as young persons of a beauty that might be described as luscious-in China as they tear through the air with flying draperies they are often mistaken for angels. Photographs Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres


Head of an apsaras. Kali Temple, Khajuraho. x century. Photographs Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres


Shardula, one of the fantastic lions that represent the power of nature. Rajarani Temple, Bhuvaneshvar. XII century. Photographs Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres


Yama's Buffalo. Rajarani Temple, Bhuvaneshvar. xii century. Yama, the Lord of Death, rides on a buffalo. He presides over judgment and punishment-"a vague but effective figure" personifying "the inflexible powers that summon the living to the other world.... When a sinner dies he is led before King Yama, who asks him if he never saw the three messengers of the gods sent as warnings to mortals.... [He] ... admits that he saw but did not reflect, and Yama sentences him to punishment, until suffering commensurate to his sins has been inflicted." Photographs Raymond Burnier-Copyright Pierre Beres

But his more important contribution to Indology is his writings on the ancient wisdom of the Veda, Hindu philosophy, and Shaivism.

In 1949, Daniélou was appointed professor at the Hindu University of Benares and director of the College of Indian Music.

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 painter. He studied Indian classical music in Varanasi with Shivendranath Basu and played the veena. He also translated some of the works of Swami Karpatri by whom he was initiated into Shaivism under the name Shiva Sharan (Protected by Shiva). He worked on classical Indian music.

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.

Raymond Burnier (born in 1912 in Lausanne and died in 1968) was a Swiss photographer. Since he was very young he was passionate for photography. He traveled to China, Japan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, the United States to settle in India in 1938.

A Leica enthusiast, he was interested in Hindu sculpture from the medieval period (ninth to the fourteenth century). He was the one who revealed the beauty of the great temples of Khajuraho, Konark and Bhubaneswar. He became a member of the Indian Archaeological Services and photographed many sites and temples of central India.

Influenced by the work of Cecil Beaton, he will be of inspiration to Angelo Frontoni. Raymond Burnier was married to Radha Burnier (the president of the Theosophical Society Adyar from 1980 until her death in 2013. She was General Secretary of the Indian Section of the Society between 1960 and 1978), who came to India in 1932. She died in 2013, at age 90, in Chennai after a prolonged illness

In Europe once more after nearly 20 years in India, Alain Daniélou found a large 11-hectare property for his friend, Raymond Burnier, at Colle Labirinto, Zagarolo, where Burnier came to live in 1958 after his divorce. Mrs. Burnier went on to become the international chairman of the Theosophical Society.

In 1960 Alain Daniélou purchased two cottages on a much smaller piece of land, right beside the Burnier property. He only lived there permanently starting from 1980, when he retired as director of the institutes of comparative music studies he had set up at Venice and in Berlin.

Raymond Burnier died at Zagarolo in 1968 and is buried in the village cemetery. Daniélou inherited part of his estate and extended his own property, which he transferred to the Swiss foundation he had just created, giving it his friend’s Indian name. The Harsharan Foundation, Alain Daniélou Study Centre, first under his direction and then, after his death in 1994, under Jacques Cloarec, has continued to maintain contacts with UNESCO, the International Music Council, the Berlin and Venice Institutes, the Giorgio Cini Foundation at Venice, Casa Asia at Barcelona, and the Musée pour la Photographie at Lausanne.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Dani%C3%A9lou & http://www.find.org.in/alain-danielou/news/news/ (Jacques Cloarec – Translation by Kenneth F. Hurry)

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
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Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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