Studies in Hinduism

René Guénon

Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2001.
272 pages
Paperback
ISBN: 0-900588-69-1
Price: $21.95 US
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Hardcover
ISBN: 0-900588-70-5
Price: $35.95 US
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Studies in Hinduism consists of articles published posthumously, to which has been added a separate study, Eastern Metaphysics, the text of a lecture delivered at the Sorbonne. In this work Guénon completes his presentation of Hindu metaphysics, which he considered the most primordial and comprehensive body of spiritual teaching possessed by the human race, one capable of throwing light upon and illuminating the essence of every other Tradition. Of special interest are three chapters on various aspects of tantra—a doctrine profoundly misunderstood in the contemporary West—which Hindu authorities consider the spirituality most appropriate to the Kali Yuga, as well as a chapter on the sanatana dharma, the Hindu concept closest to the ancient and medieval Christian idea of the philosophia perennis, which led St Augustine to declare that Christianity has always existed, but only came to be so called after the coming of Christ. Included are extensive reviews of books on Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramana Maharshi, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo Ghose, Rabindranath Tagore, Mircea Eliade, Paul Brunton, and others, as well as 40 pages of reviews of books and articles by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. Leading Indian thinkers have called Guenon the most authentic expositor of Hindu metaphysics in any Western language.

Table of Contents

Atma-Gita—The Spirit of India—Kundalini Yoga—The Hindu Theory of the Five Elements—DharmaVarnaTantrism and Magic—The Fifth Veda—Nama-RupaMayaSanatana Dharma—Eastern Metaphysics—Reviews of Books and Articles—Buddhist Index—Sanskrit Index

Praise

The Collected Works of René Guénon brings together the writings of one of the greatest prophets of our time, whose voice is even more important today than when he was alive.
Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

No living writer in modern Europe is more significant than René Guénon, whose task it has been to expound the universal metaphysical tradition that has been the essential foundation of every past culture, and which represents the indispensable basis for any civilization deserving to be so called.
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, author of The Dance of Shiva

In Guénon's work is to be found one of the most important restatements of the doctrinal aspect of the sacred in modern times.
Seyyed Hossein NasrKnowledge and the Sacred

About the Author

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. His greatest contributions are a blindingly lucid exposition of the principles of orthodoxy and traditional metaphysics, an uncompromising critique of the deviation of modernism, and a breath-taking view of the polyvalence of traditional symbols. Implicit in these three genres, as in all Guénon's writing, is the need for personal affiliation with an orthodox tradition as a precondition for a bona fide spiritual practice that might lead, at least in principle, to the intellectual intuition of which he speaks. 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. 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.