Michel Danino

Indian writer

Michel Danino (born 4 June 1956) is an Indian author of French origin. He is known for his works on Indian history, notably The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati (2010).

Quotes edit

  • The Hindu mind works in such a way that continuity of worship is more important than physical fact. When the Harappans migrated eastward towards the Gangetic region, they carried with them their memories of the Sarasvati. The myths and sanctity were transferred to Prayag.
  • When I was 15 or so, I stumbled on literature related to Indian spirituality, and instantly felt that there was something that held essential keys. I read several of the great masters, something of India's ancient literature, and finally decided that Sri Aurobindo's view of life and the world was what I was looking for. It was not a passing craze or a 'New Age' fad; it not only satisfied the intellect but also touched the core of the being.
  • If in the nineteenth century most scholars identified the Ghaggar-Hakra's course with the Vedic Sarasvati, it is basically for three reasons. The Rig-Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, mentions various rivers but praises the Sarasvati above all others: it was a "mighty river" flowing "from the mountain to the sea", and one hymn listed it between the Yamuna and the Sutlej - precisely the location of the Ghaggar-Hakra. Secondly, the local traditions regarding the "lost river" of the Indian desert matched those in the post-Vedic literature (including the Mahabharata), which recorded the gradual disappearance of the Sarasvati. Thirdly, scholars noticed a minor tributary of the Ghaggar called "Sarsuti", an obvious corruption of "Sarasvati": it rises in the Sirmur hills that are part of the Shivaliks and was marked on British maps as early as in 1788. Putting these three lines of evidence together, they concluded that the lost Sarasvati could only have flowed in the Ghaggar's bed.

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