Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within
* Enhance your spiritual gifts
* Lighten your karmic burden
* Improve your health and increase prosperity
* Live in harmony with the universe
Now, with Shakti Mantras, we can all benefit from this ancient practice. Thomas Ashley-Farrand, a Vedic priest, is an American expert in the intricacies of Sanskrit mantra. With nearly thirty years and thousands of hours of experience in chanting, he is supremely well-equipped to write the first book that teaches women (and men as well) to tap into the dynamic feminine energy of love in all its manifestations. By sharing enchanting Hindu myths and astonishing true stories from his own practice, Ashley-Farrand helps us to understand the real power that this age-old art awakens in those who perform it. Through dozens of actual mantras-each one presented with phonetic spelling for easy pronunciation and recommendations for specific applications-he enables us to increase our "shakti" (power) and use it to solve problems, ensure abundance, create health and well-being, summon protection, and invoke personal and universal peace.
Whether you're new to chanting or an old hand, Shakti Mantras will take you places you've never been before . . . and measurably enrich your life.
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September 28, 2003
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Excerpt from Shakti Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
1 The Basics Chakras, Sanskrit, and Shakti If you have a thorough understanding of how mantras work, you may want to skip this chapter. On the other hand, various divisions of shakti are discussed in a way you may not have encountered previously. Background of Chanting In my book Healing Mantras, I discussed the mystical traditions of many cultures that orally record a rich legacy of tapping into seemingly hidden sources of information and energy through the power of chanting. Some cultures—the Melanesians, Mbuti Pygmies, Cibique Apaches—promote successful hunting and fishing through chanting. Those cultures have used the same methods successfully for hundreds, even thousands of years. But only one tradition has carefully organized and recorded the outcome of chanting in specific ways that is now available to Westerners. To access, bring in, and activate specific qualities of the Great Feminine within, ancient spiritual Sanskrit formulas from India, called mantras, can be used with great effect. Ultimately, various types and kinds of the feminine power within, called shakti, can be invoked and activated by Sanskrit Mantra. The efficacy of chanting specific Sanskrit mystical formulas was carefully hidden and safeguarded by Brahmin priests in India for countless generations. Eventually, however, this information leaked to the secular world, and the use of mantras quickly spun out of control. The power contained in these Sanskrit phrases began to be abused by merchants seeking market supremacy, or by local warlords seeking military success. There was no spiritual foundation for these practices. Just as the crisis threatened to lurch completely out of control, the Buddha appeared and taught that the Brahmin priests were not needed, the various temples were not needed, and mantras were not needed in order to achieve spiritual and material gain. Within the short span of a hundred years, millions of Hindus converted to Buddhism and gave up the practice of mantra altogether. As a result, thousands of corrupt Brahmin priests found that they could no longer make a living by selling mantra for- mulas and Sanskrit ceremonies (not unlike the Catholic priests who sold indulgences during the Middle Ages). Many fled to the cities and opened shops, and the great mantra leakage crisis was over. Of course, even though the Buddha initially taught that mantras were not needed, he eventually did teach mantra practices to various groups. Buddhist sects from Sri Lanka, for instance, have chanted the great Gayatri Mantra for hundreds of years just as the orthodox Hindus do. The great Kalachakra Mantra discipline was the Buddha’s final teaching, recorded by only a handful of students who thought they were attending his wake. It is now taught and transmitted principally by Tibetans. In his book The Kalachakra Tantra, the Dalai Lama writes, “Without depending upon mantra . . . Buddhahood cannot be attained.”* Clearly, this Buddhist leader places the highest importance on the practice of mantra. If this is the case, what is it about Sanskrit mantras that allows us to tap into some hidden sort of energy? The answer, it turns out, is built into the very spiritual mechanism we inhabit: the chakra system in our bodies. Our Chakras—Energy Processing Centers It has been taught for countless generations in the East that another nonphysical, subtle, energy-type body interpenetrates the physical body. The Chinese medical practice of acupuncture is founded on the same idea. In that system, needles are placed in the body at strategic points to aid the flow of energy in the subtle body to diseased or energy-deprived parts of the physical body. In the West, Kirlean photography, developed in the 1970s, captures images of the vibrant light energy emanating from every living thing, whether plant, animal, or h