Man and His Becoming according to the Vedanta is Guénon's central exposition of traditional metaphysics, companion to his other two great works in this genre: The Symbolism of the Cross and The Multiple States of the Being. Guénon held that Hinduism embraces the most ancient, profound, and comprehensive expression of traditional metaphysics we possess, which can in some ways function as a key to every other traditional form, and this work has been called the first reliable exposition of Hindu metaphysics in any Western language. Before Guénon, the West's image of Hinduism was a hodge-podge of translated scriptures lacking traditional commentary, fragments of doctrine reported by Jesuits and other missionaries, random impressions of merchants, imperialists, and adventurers, unreliable Eurocentric constructions of the orientalists, and the fantasies of the Theosophical Society and their ilk. To this day, Man and His Becoming remains one of the best (if not the best) expositions of the doctrines of the Vedanta, an exposition entirely free from the modernizing and Westernizing tendencies that first infiltrated the Indian subcontinent under the British Raj, and have not yet abated. This text is a veritable bible of traditional metaphysics and anthropology. In his Studies in Hinduism and Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctines, Guénon treats historical and cosmological aspects of Hinduism in further detail.
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René Guénon (1886–1951) was one of the great luminaries of the twentieth century, whose critique of the modern world has stood fast against the shifting sands of intellectual fashion. His extensive writings, now finally available in English, are a providential treasure-trove for the modern seeker: while pointing ceaselessly to the perennial wisdom found in past cultures ranging from the Shamanistic to the Indian and Chinese, the Hellenic and Judaic, the Christian and Islamic, and including also Alchemy, Hermeticism, and other esoteric currents, they direct the reader also to the deepest level of religious praxis, emphasizing the need for affiliation with a revealed tradition even while acknowledging the final identity of all spiritual paths as they approach the summit of spiritual realization. René Guénon, of whom Jacob Needleman wrote in The Sword of Gnosis that ‘no other modern writer has so effectively communicated the absoluteness of truth,’ is gradually being recognized by deeper thinkers as one of the few who have truly penetrated the seductive veil of the modern age. As an expositor of pure metaphysics and its application to the science of symbols, Guénon is without peer; and his extraordinarily prescient critique of the modern world is attracting more and more attention among cultural commentators. Little known in the English-speaking world till the recent appearance of his Collected Works in translation, Guénon has nevertheless long been recognized as a veritable criterion of truth by a vanguard of remarkable writers who evince that rare combination: intellectuality and spirituality. After a lonely childhood, often interrupted by ill health, Guénon navigated the seductive half-truths of occultism toward a deeper, unified vision offering a way out from the confusion and fragmentation of our time. Regarded by leading scholars as the first truly authentic interpreter of many Eastern doctrines in the West, Guénon never tired, in face of the seemingly inexorable process of dissolution in the twentieth century, of pointing to the transcendent unity of all religious faiths and the abiding Truth that contains them all.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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