Rene Guenon’s excellent book Man & His Becoming According to the Vedanta has the advantage of being praised by one notable Hindu as the best work on the subject in any European language. In that light, it seems that we would be hard pressed to do better, and so we have leaned heavily on his exposition for the summary below. Moreover, if this subject is found to be of any interest at all to the reader, we strongly recommend obtaining a copy of the book for further reading. Also, the reader should keep in mind that, as stated in the title of Guenon’s book, we have adopted the point of view the Vedanta. Passages from Hindu scriptures are cited using Guenon’s translation.
 Ananda Coomaraswamy.