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Shakti Mantras: Tapping into the Great Goddess Energy Within Paperback – September 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Shakti Mantras

Shakti Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand . . . combines his knowledge as an American Hindu priest, [his] adventures as an experienced spiritual guide, [his] considerable storytelling gifts . . . and the immensely practical, useful knowledge of what chants to use when. In his disarmingly unpretentious and accessible style, Ashley-Farrand draws on an enormous body of knowledge from ancient traditions to art and literature and contemporary science. . . . Shakti Mantras is an appealingly modest treasure, which everyone–man, woman, young, older, novice, adept–can enjoy. It’s as embracing and supportive as a good mother, as entertaining as a teasing sister, and as rewarding as a loving partner.”
Columnist, DBR Media, Inc.
Author of The New Secrets of Charisma

“In the face of difficulty, confusion, or imbalance, there are moments when you may just want to lie in your mother’s arms. Thomas Ashley-Farrand’s Shakti Mantras takes you right to the heart of Divine Mother’s energy. From that place of nurturing peace that we all have within, things have a way of working themselves out. What a blessing!”
Author of In the Meantime
and One Day My Soul Just Opened Up

“Ashley-Farrand throws light on some important secrets. . . . Shakti Mantras is a comprehensive work presenting an easily readable account of a range of cultures, mantra practices, and spiritual traditions. [It] provides a wealth of information that can lead to a most rewarding life experience. The mantras are presented in an easy way to pronounce for a Westerner.”
Director, Sanskrit Academy

From the Inside Flap

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345443047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345443045
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas Ashley-Farrand, Namadeva Acharya, (1940-2010) was one of the Western world's foremost authorities on the application of Sanskrit Mantra to life's problems. In December 2008 and June 2009, he and his wife received empowerments from Satguru Rama Mata, their lineage holder, to be gurus.

In 1968, Ashley-Farrand began having experiences of a mystical nature, which over the next few years became more intense and profound. He began to read the spiritual literature of the East, where he found eloquent explanations of his specific experiences in the Upanishads. In 1972, he received Kriya initiation from the Self Realization Fellowship. Mr. Ashley-Farrand began practicing extensive mantra-based spiritual disciplines in 1973, when he became a student of Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata. From 1973-1984, he was the priest for the Temple of Cosmic Religion (Sanatana Vishwa Dharma) in Washington, D.C., first as priest-in-residence where he performed ancient Sanskrit ceremonies (pujas) twice daily, and later as traveling priest based in Southern California. In 1974, he received initiation from Sadguru Sant Keshavadas into the universal mantra for spiritual illumination, the Gayatri Mantra, and other mystical formulas. He also received his spiritual name. He studied with Christian mystic Dr. Leon Wright of Howard University. In 1975, he received Tibetan spiritual empowerments from the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.

In 1978, Namadeva Acharya journeyed to India with Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata, where he met a wide variety of spiritual teachers both famous and unknown. There he astonished swamis, pundits, shastris and others with his intonation and pronunciation of complex Sanskrit mantras, slokas and spiritual formulas. From one end of India to another, he was asked to demonstrate his mastery of this complex spiritual liturgy for assembled Indian spiritual teachers. Repeatedly, they told him that he had been a swami and guru in several lives in India. A highlight of his trip there came as he was blessed by two of the most prominent spiritual personages in all of India, each having spiritual authority over more than 150 million people, H. H. Pejor Math Swami, and Sri Sri Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati Maha Swamigal of Kanchi Peetham.

In 1982, when he moved to California with his wife, Margalo/Satyabhama, he conducted meditations and ceremonies in people's homes, local colleges and for various religious organizations. They received empowerments from Kalu Rimpoche, the Dalai Lama and Sakya Jetsun Chiney Luding (Jetsun Ma), a woman guru from Tibet.

In 2001 he became president of a new non-profit organization, Sanatana Dharma Satsang, Inc. Thomas and Margalo also formed Saraswati Publications, LLC, in 2001. In 2007, Sanatana Dharma Satsang opened a Gayatri Temple in Beaverton, Oregon. Satyabhama continues to manage both.

Thomas/Namadeva Acharya was a frequent lecturer for such organizations as the Theosophical Society of Long Beach, CA, and Astara, located in Upland, CA.

Namadeva Acharya's understanding and expertise in the disciplines of the ancient religious ceremonies [Puja (water) and Yajna (fire)] was almost unique among Westerners. Some of the ceremonies he performed can last as long as eight hours. In a departure from the enigmatic portrait of the mystic, Namadeva Acharya taught that "mysticism is the ultimate in personal practicality" and need not be a withdrawal from the world. He always maintained that an increasing ability to serve is the only reliable sign of spiritual progress.

Mr. Ashley-Farrand is the author of several books and audio programs including Healing Mantras, Shakti Mantras (Ballantine Wellspring,) Chakra Mantras (Weiser Books, 2006), Mantra: Sacred Words of Power (a 9-hr. workshop), several other CDs and Mantra Meditation (a Book/CD) (Sounds True), Mantra Therapy Healing Intensives, Gayatri Mantra Meditation, Mantras of the Goddess and more (Saraswati Publications), The Ancient Science of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony (in three volumes, plus 3 CD sets of recorded mantras, slokas, astottaras, etc.) and other works. This last book for advanced students contains over 4,000 mantras and is the most comprehensive book on transliterated Sanskrit mantra in the English language. In 2007, he published an extensive Teacher of Mantra Manual, which is a self-study course. After passing an examination, the students are certified as Instructors of Mantra by Sanatana Dharma Satsang, Inc. and are considered as ministers.

For more information about his many works, see the website,

Mr. Ashley-Farrand regularly led retreats at Kripalu in Massachusetts and Far Horizons in California and other locations and taught workshops regularly in the US, Canada and London. With experience in the broadcasting industry, he was a producer-director for a Washington, D.C., television station, taught broadcasting and communications courses as a full-time faculty member of George Washington University, and was vice president for a privately held television company in Washington, D.C. From 1982-99, he was a management and marketing consultant based in Southern California with clients in the health care and computer technology industries. His marketing and management experience included large scale efforts for the United States Army and a national foundation.

Mr. Ashley-Farrand earned a BA from Ripon College and an MA from Marquette University. In 1981, he was married to Margalo Ashley-Farrand in a ceremony by both Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata in Maryland. They subsequently resided in Southern California from 1982-2006, then they moved near Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio on November 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a treasurehouse of mantras for just about any occasion. Thomas Ashley-Farrand writes insightful and informative books - and I like all of them - and I also enjoy his recordings with mantras.

Together with mantras and their applications, he also provides lot of interesting stories about people who used them and the effects the use of mantras had upon their lives.

Some stories also relate to abuse of mantras, or rather inner power one has developed; while some also point out that it's not only mechanical repetition of mantras that brings desired results, but also investment of one's energy, belief and expectation in their effectiveness [e.g. self-hypnosis].

Mantras do help to focus your mind on a desired outcome, to align you vibrationally with certain frequencies - but you'll also find stories of different people using the same mantra and getting quite different results [the determining factor here being one's belief and expectation].

Together with this book, I do recommend his recordings. All in all, you can sing a good deal of your problems away and align yourself with vibrations of love, health, peace, abundance, happiness, and anything else your heart desires.
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Curcio on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't praise this book enough! It's an excellent introduction to the power of the sacred feminine from the heart and mind of an American Hindu priest. The information in this book contains real power and, when applied correctly, can change your life for the better. Mantra meditation is the foundation of my spiritual practice and Ashley-Farrand's books have become my bibles. With a little discipline and the right information you can create "miracles" in your life. Read this book and chant the power of the Divine Feminine into your heart and mind.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Joanna on November 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I love chanting mantras, and Ashley-Farrand's books are easy to follow, contain pronunciation guides (very helpful!) and give chants for helping you with all manner of troubles.
I've been doing the Ganesha one for months, and it's really helped!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By H N Shankar on September 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Brings out very convincingly, the natural and fundamental energy sources available to all. Explicitly brings out the universal connectedness and simple ways to invoke what is latent in every human being.

For all those schooled in scientific methods, this book reveals the secrets of the ages in a very convincing manner. Enlightening enough to motivate the average person to follow the steps. Shows simple ways to unlock what is within easy reach of all of us but normally unnoticed.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the first of TAF's books that I bought after being completely bowled over by listening to the 9-hour CD course "Mantra - Sacred Words of Power" There was just something about simply listening to that course that induced such unexpected energies in me.

Anyway, I love "Shakti Mantras" and have had hugely powerful results from the long Kali mantra - which is actually a surprising one to find in such an accessible book. (My favourite though is "Om Parama Prema Rupaya Namaha".) Even the stories of the Divine Feminine are great and I've found that simply reading them can stir up a lot of energy in surprising ways. There is definitely something mysterious and wonderful at work in these pages! There are mantras here for spiritual development, abundance, beauty, love, reducing anxiety and all sorts of things - and as usual many come with excellent real life examples to illustrate how they can work. The pronunciation guide with each mantra is I think as good as they get too, though I would still recommend getting a mantra CD or two at some stage if you get hooked.

In short, very highly recommended indeed - and if you take the practices up, it may change your life too.

Richard Holmes
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N. Thomas on December 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have two other books by TAF and I love them all. I read and re-read them regularly. They have changed my life for the better. I have been on a quest to find spiritual answers since I was 11 years old--some 32 years and after all that time I have found what I was searching for.

This book gives the background information for the mantras and also provides a number of mantras as well. I used a Radha Krishna (the lovers) mantra and it has renewed my love life and saved my marriage. After using the Lakshmi mantra (abundance) my credit score increased 99 points literally in one month and I have had money for the last two months I have been saying this mantra. I am usually broke.

I have read a lot of stuff (as you can imagine after 32 years of searching and studying) and I find that I really trust Thomas Ashely-Farrand more than any other author. He is believable and he obviously believes in what he writes about. Many who write about spiritual things seem to be saying what everyone else is saying based on whatever will sell books, but TAF comes across as being a true teacher. I hope he never stops writing books because I will never stop buying them. His books help me to be the co-creator in my life by teaching me to use the power and energy that The Creator gave to us all.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gwyn McGee on July 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Shakti Mantras is one of the most complete, yet easy to understand, explanations of how the Feminine Energy has worked, and continues to work to this day. Thomas Ashley-Farrand's ability to write about this complex, powerful subject is a gift to us all.
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