|Author of Bible Enlightened: Religions and Yoga, volumes 1 and 2 (2003)|
Dan Costian was born in 1937 in Romania, in a Christian Orthodox (Eastern) family and currently resides in Richardson, Texas. He graduated from college in 1959, started to study yoga in 1965, and received a Ph.D. degree in 1968.
Besides this book in English, another work of the author, The Truth About Yoga, was published in Romania in 1993 (reprinted in 1995), along with about forty articles on spirituality and yoga published in yoga magazines between 1994 and 2000.
He was keen on seeing new places and meeting their people. However, not content to just play the tourist over four continents, although enchanted at the sight of the sacred monuments and paying his homage to the sacred shrines, the author tried to discover also the spiritual paths followed along millenniums by people living in the numerous places where he went during the past four decades.
Being born in Eastern Europe, he visited the Orthodox countries around his native land: Russia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece, then the Catholic countries of Central Europe: Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland. Next, his area of study extended towards Western Europe: Vatican and Italy, France, Spain, Portugal. He came across the Reformation in the Low Countries (Erasmus), Germany (Luther), Czechoslovakia (Hus) and Switzerland (Zwingli, Calvin). He traveled in the footprints of the “heretic” Gnostics: Bogomils in Bulgaria, expanding to the Dalmatian Coast and northern Italy as Patarini, Cathari in Germany, in southern France as Albigenses, as well as in Spain, country where he got acquainted with the weird and wonderful alloy of Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition that generated Kabbalah and Sufi esotericism which seemed to have had both strong links with the mysterious (and disgraced) Knights Templar. He also encountered the Sufis of Turkey, paying a visit to their sanctuary in Istanbul, as well as the Sufis of India living around the holy tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya in the Old Delhi. While meeting Sufis in these countries, he witnessed their mystic dances and songs.
The author encountered Islam in Arabic countries of North Africa, besides other visited countries like Turkey, Pakistan and India. He enriched his spiritual knowledge while meeting the followers of Zoroaster (Parsi) at the outskirts of Bombay, the Sikhs (especially during his travels in Punjab), the Jains (at the outstanding complex of temples on Mount Abu), and Buddhists, the latter not only in India but also in Japan (Zen practitioners) where he encountered, too, adepts of the other traditional faith - Shinto.
In Pakistan he went from south to north along the Indus Valley with its vestiges of remote antiquity, then from Peshawar to Rawalpindi and Taxila (ancient Gandhara), and at Lahore (Pakistani Punjab) as well.
He visited India nine times between 1990 and 1998. During these journeys he went from the Indian Punjab to the Himalayas, traveled along the Yamuna and Ganges (from Haridwar up to Rishikesh), stopped at historical places reminding of Lord Krishna (Mathura and Kurukshetra), explored the sites ruled by the Mogul Emperors (Red Fort of Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri, and Agra, which reminded him of Lahore Fort seen beforehand), passed through Jaipur, paid his respects to Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram in Ahmedabad, went to Krishna’s capital in Dwaraka, to the city of serpents Nagpur, walked in the tracks of the saints in Maharashtra, travelled to Bangalore, descended to the Malabar Coast and crossed the country to Hyderabad and Madras.
These extensive travels as well as his daily practice of yoga and meditation for many years allowed the author to obtain first-hand information about the subjects described in the book.