• Mani Rao
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)


In 2005, on an extended visit to Puttaparthi ashram in Andhra, South India, Mani Rao became familiar with mantra and mantra-sadhana (practice of mantra) and had an inexplicable experience. These led to questions about the experience and practice of mantra and to the research behind this book. Mantras are codified sounds, clusters of syllables or words, or hymns uttered aloud or silently during religious rituals or contemplative practice. Recitations of mantras invoke deities, consecrate images of deities and mark rites of passage from birth to marriage and death. In a yajna or homa ritual, mantras are offered to deities, typically via the fire-deity Agni, along with other offerings. Puja (worship) in Hindu temples and homes is conducted with mantras, and mantras are also integral components of individual spiritual practice called “sadhana.” The introductory chapter explains the background to this research, followed by an overview of the book’s chapters.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mani Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.BengaluruIndia

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