Mantra : Hearing the Divine in India and America

Mantra : Hearing the Divine in India and America

Product ID: 25697

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Author: Harold G Coward
David J Goa/
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 123
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788120832619


The experience of the divine in India merges the three components of sight, performance, and sound. One in a trilogy of books that include Diana Eck's Darsan: Seeing the Divine in India, Mantra presents an introduction to the use of sound-mantra-in the practice of Indian religion.

Mantra-in the form of prayers, rituals, and chants-permeates the practice of Indian religion in both temple and home settings. This book investigates the power of mantra to transform consciousness. Examining the use and theory of mantra under various religious schools, such as the Patanjali sutras and tantra, it includes references to Hindu, Sikh, Sufi, Muslim, and Buddhist traditions. This second edition adds new sections on the use of sacred sound in Hindu and Sikh North American Diaspora communities and on the North American non-Indian practice of yoga and mantra.


"This is a lucid and empathetic treatment, calling attention to parallels in Western Christian practices. The book will be read with interest and understanding by undergraduate students and provides a welcome possibility for inserting this often neglected aspect of Indian religious life into introductory courses."
- Robert D. Baird, Professor Emeritus, University of lowa.

"A fine introduction to the study of mantra, leaning toward neither oversimplification nor excessive complexity…. Together with the book's clear prose and numerous photographs make it an accessible and appealing way into Indian religious traditions."
- Studies in Religion (of the first edition)



1. Hearing the Sacred
Sacred Sound in India
Mantra in the Sacred Sound of India
Ritual Use of Mantras in Homes and Temples

2. The Nature of Mantra
The Mimamsa theory of Mantra as Eternal Word (Sabda)
The Grammarian theory of Mantra as Sabdabrahman
Mantra theory in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
Theistic Mantra Meditation
Mantra Theory in the Tantric Tradition

3. Finding one’s Mantra
Finding one’s Mantra through a Guru
Finding one’s Mantra through the Preached Word
Mantra in the Lives of North American Sufis
Sufi Movements in North America
Dhikr, the Pathway to Spiritual Liberty
Mantra in the Lives of North American Sikhs
“Wha-Hay Guroo” The Mantra of Mantras
Finding one’s Mantra through the Singing of Mantras
The Sung Mantra as a way to Release
The Sikh Experience of the Guru Granth Sahib as Sung Mantras
The Singing of Mantras in Tibetan Buddhism
Singing Mantras in a Christian Tradition
Mantras in Christian Dialogue with Indian Masters
Mantras and the Recovery of Contemplative Prayer in Christianity
Mantra in Christian North America

Conclusion; An overview