This book explores the origin, nature, function and significance of mantras within the bounds of the hindu tradition. It analyses the use of mantras in vedic age in the great theistic movements of Saivism and Vaishanavism and in Tantra. The introduction outlines the controversies in western scholarship concerning the nature of mantras and gives an insighhtful paradigm for resolving the issues. these essays provide enlightenment into the indian mantric tradition. Of immeasurable worth is the comprehensive bibliographical essay and list contributes by Prof. Alper. It covers more than 1600 items and situates mantra contextually in indian history, society and culture. It approaches a bibliography on all of hinduism and will serve as an invaluable tool foe future research.