Deva Foundation
(est. 1980s)
   Dr. Deva Maharaj (b. 1948) established the Deva Foundation in Sweden and Beverly Hills, Califor-nia, during the 1980s. Its mission is to provide a space where Asian and Western ideas and phi-losophy about holiness can meet. The foundation serves to educate individuals and groups in the areas of transformation, enlightenment, and indi-vidual growth. It offers a variety of services and treatments designed to facilitate personal growth and healing. These methods include acupressure, massage, nutrition, self-hypnosis, and SHAKTIPAT, a technique that serves as the catalyst to awaken the KUNDALINI energy believed to rest in a latent state at the base of the spine. Often pictured as a coiled serpent, this vibrant energy is believed to stimulate the opening of the CHAKRAS (energy cen-ters) located along the spine, serving to promote spiritual enlightenment.
   Dr. Deva established the foundation to serve others, using the credentials he had earned in India as a homeopathic and ayurvedic medical practitioner (see AYURVEDA). Members of the foun-dation may also take classes at the Tantra House, an auxiliary facility that functions as an esoteric school. Students at Tantra House are taught that the wedding of spirituality with sexuality hastens enlightenment and that mastery of the mysterious should be accompanied by holistic health prac-tices. Through the years Dr. Deva has become a frequent guest on radio and television, where he demonstrates telepathy and clairvoyance. He trav-els often to teach and heal. In India, he frequents the Yoga Center in New Delhi, an educational center promoting his mission abroad.
   The membership of the Deva Foundation includes two groups in the United States and a sole mission in Canada. The organization reports some 1,000 members through North America and at the several international centers.
   Further reading: J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religion (Detroit: Gale Group, 2001).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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