Book Reviews - The sounds of transformation
by T. A. Basubramanian
By working with sound, Namadeva describes how a seeker can activate the chakras, thereby opening a path to spiritual progress.
On his website, the author, Thomas Ashley-Farrand, known as Namadeva Acharya, (1940-2010) is described as one of the Western world's foremost authorities on the application of Sanskrit mantras to life's problems. His understanding and expertise in the disciplines of the ancient religious ceremonies [puja (water) and yajna (fire)] is unique among Westerners. In a departure from the enigmatic portrait of the mystic, Namadeva taught that "mysticism is the ultimate in personal practicality," and need not be a withdrawal from the world. He maintained that an increasing ability to serve is the only reliable sign of spiritual progress.
In this book, he weaves in stories from the epics and myths of India and outlines how this knowledge of chakras can be aligned to a general path of spiritual development with the incantation of appropriate mantras.
The book is divided into four sections Cosmic Concepts; Ganesha, Shakti and Will; The Chakras; Divine Beings and Divine Us. The first two sections lead up to the third,and central, theme of the Chakras, and each of the seven chakras are explored in detail. The last section is an ascension into the practices of different disciplines and the associated mantras that help one integrate the spiritual pathway across the chakras.
In simple terms, the chakras located in the subtle body along the spine are imagined as powerful energy transformers and the mantras are energy processing channels that one may use to guide the progression of the spirit from the gross to the sublime. By working with sound which is the transformative essence of chanting mantras Namadeva describes how a seeker can activate the chakras, thereby opening a path to spiritual progress. A rewarding, sometimes even amusing book with the core message that the chakra mantras are powerful tools of transformation and guidance on ones spiritual route.
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