COLUMBIA — The evening began with a simple chant: “Om ... Om ... Om.”
Thomas-Ashley Farrand led a group of about 30 people Tuesday night in a mantra to open his presentation on the power of Sanskrit at the Unity Center of Columbia.
According to his Web site, Farrand is “one of the Western world’s foremost authorities on the application of Sanskrit Mantra to life’s problems.” An ordained Vedic priest, he has written several books on mantra, the power of meditation and healing powers.
Farrand discussed with the crowd how to control one’s inner energy. He described the nature of power as being feminine. His lecture included personal and sometimes humorous experiences, modern analogies and mantra chanting.
“Sanskrit is an energy-based language ... in that, some of its words literally have no translation,” Farrand said.
Farrand said that in the late 1960s he began having strange and powerful experiences. This led him to begin searching for answers, first through several churches, who turned him away.
“They thought I was a nut,” he told the audience.
He then sought out a teacher and found his answers within spiritual literature from Asia. He has studied it intensely ever since.
“I want to teach you why Sanskrit is empowering and how you can use it,” he said.
Farrand said he doesn’t believe that Sanskrit Mantra is the answer for everyone.
“We are all different,” he said. “We all have different karma, which means we will all find what works best for us.”
As the evening came to a close, he referred to a handout given to those in attendance that included five simple mantras and instructed them to say in unison, “Om Shanti Om,” which translated means “Om peace Om.”