Thomas Ashley-Farrand is a boon to the west. His work with Sanskrit Mantra is the most accessible and clearest demonstration of its meaning and practice that has ever been presented in the Western Hemisphere. With "The Power of Mantras," the new audio release from Sounds True, we not only get to read about Sanskrit Mantra with a concise and well-written study guide included with the two audio cassettes but we also get to hear Ashley-Farrand relate the ancient Hindu fables of masculine and feminine deities and energies which for millenia were kept alive via the oral tradition. Ashley-Farrand explains in the simplest terms comprehensible to any layman the intricate dynamics of the Vedic teachings from which Sanskrit Mantra is drawn and demonstrates with great clarity the actual pronunciation of the discreet units of sound and energy which comprise this most ancient of spiritual disciplines. Mantra remains the foremost art which exemplifies what Ashley-Farrand calls "the spiritual primacy of sound." It is not so much about meaning as energy. And the great array of energies it bespeaks apply to every aspect of human life on a physical, emotional and mental level. In a highly entertaining fashion we are given a short but comprehensive course in Vedic teachings with "The Power of Mantras" that can serve as the perfect introduction to a more exhaustive pursuit of this fascinating spiritual discipline. The emphasis here is not so much on history as practice. And the practical benefits of using sacred words for personal empowerment and healing remains the primary focus throughout "The Power of Mantras." This handsome boxed two-cassette package with study guide is a perfect companion to Ashley-Farrand's book titled "Healing Mantras" (Ballantine Wellspring, 1999) which presents the same practical examination of Sanskrit Mantra in somewhat greater detail. Both works, however, have rescued the ancient spiritual art from dusty tomes of esoteric obscurity and brought it forth with a new and shining simplicity.
Thomas Ashley-Farrand is known in the west as well as in the east for his accurate pronunciation of the Sanskrit language. His chanting conveys such great energy that it lifts me to higher states of spiritual awareness merely by listening to the mantras. I have been chanting on a daily basis for over a year and the foundation for my pronunciation is Mr. Ashley-Farrand's recitation. It has been my experience that with faithful recitation of the mantra over time the mantra actually corrects your pronunciation. Over the past year my spiritual and physical body have undergone changes due to the chanting of Sanskrit manrtas as taught in these tapes and his book, "Healing Mantras". I once suffered from lactose imtolerance, a supposedly incurable inability to digest dairy products. Through the chanting of such powerful mantras like the Gayatri and Mahamrityunjaya, both included these tapes, I was completely healed and am now able to eat as much cheese as I want. Please understand that mantra usually leads you on to a more mundane route to solving your problems and I have had numberable experiences with mantra guiding me along a normal course that was merely blocked by an unseen inner obstacle, the tapes explain all about this process. Sanskrit mantra has also given me greater clarity of mind and a more dynamic sense of love. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to hear these tapes. Please give this mantra a try and see how you feel:OM MANI PADME HUM. I wish for all your desires to be satisifed and may you all experience pure love for your chosen Ideal's Divine Lotus feet. Om & Prema, Vishwabhakta.