Stephen Knapp has studied the major Vedic texts of India and practiced yoga and the Eastern teachings for 40 years. He has traveled throughout India and has authored over twenty well-received books on Vedic culture and Eastern spirituality. He also regularly gives lectures at various venues both in America and in India. He is also the president of the Vedic Friends Association. There is much more information about him on his website: www.stephen-knapp.com.
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Stephen Knapp has produced some great books and articles and I do like this book. However, the title seems to be a little off kilter. Perhaps it should have been called prayers, songs and glorifications. The idea of mantras and gayatris in the title comprising a fair portion of the book is not accurate. There is only a small part devoted to these towards the end, the rest being mostly prayers or songs found in the puranic literature or from various acarayas. Other than that, it is an excellent book for the serious student of Vaisnava or Shaivite philosophies who wish to glorify the Lord. It is interesting to note that such an important mantra as the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is hidden away on page 606. It should have been more easily accessible and placed somewhere at the front. The full gaudiya vaisnava gayatris too were noticeably absent. Not good if you want to re-learn them. The book is thick and heavy and packed full of all types of verses which cover a broad selection though its not a book you can easily carry around with you. I recommend this book to those that want to keep a copy in their home along with their temple songbooks.
Stephen Knapp is brilliant and offers an incredible amount of insight from some of the hidden Hindu knowledge. I however bought this to learn some new mantras and new insight about them. This book offers their complex history and mythology. It was not what I was looking for.