This book is meant for people interested in Indian religion, literature, history and general culture. While scholarly in its presentation and based on the most up-to-date literature, it is meant as an accessible introduction to South Asian religion. This is an anthology of written and oral texts by spiritual teachers from South Asia. The period covered is some 3500 years?from the period of the Rig Veda to the 1980s. About a hundred mystics and anonymous texts are included. All the major religious traditions are represented. No important mystic is omitted, and a number of less-known ones are included, among them women and spiritualists from the lower castes. Translations are chosen for straightforwardness and readability. Texts in which the mystic speaks of his or her own experience are given prominence. The editor?s Introduction discusses the phenomenon of spiritual experience and its relationship to organised religion. Current controversies in the study of mysticism, in particular the question of social construction vs. universality in spiritual experience, are discussed.