Lakshmi (Center)

views updated May 23 2018

Lakshmi (Center)

Organization founded by former English professor Dr. Frederick Lenz, who was a disciple under guru Sri Chinmoy for 11 years. Given the name Atmananda by his guru, Lenz began teaching yoga in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. His students reported a number of extraordinary experiences during his classes, including that Lenz was seen to levitate and disappear completely during group meditations and to radiate intense beams of light.

Lenz formed the Lakshmi center in the 1970s as an independent organization. Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fortune and the consort of Vishnu. In the early 1980s Lenz announced to a gathering of his students that Eternity had given him the new name "Rama." Accordingly, in 1985 Lakshmi was superseded by a new organization, Rama Seminars.

As Rama, Lenz teaches that humanity is approaching the end of a cycle. The present period is the Kali Yuga, the dark age of devolution. At the end of each cycle or age, the god Vishnu is due to become incarnated. While Rama (Lenz) does not claim to be the same conscious entity as the historic Rama (the hero of the religious epic Ramayana and a previous incarnation of Vishnu), Lenz does claim to be the embodiment of the "particular octave of celestial light which was once before incarnated as the historic Rama."

Rama Seminars was headquartered in southern California through the 1980s. However, a scandal, occasioned by accusation of abuse by several of Lenz's students, disrupted the organization, which has moved its headquarters to the East Coast.


The Last Incarnation. Malibu, Calif.: Lakshmi Publications, 1983.

Lenz, Frederick. Life Times. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1979.

Rama [Frederic Lenz]. The Wheel of Dharma. Malibu, Calif.: Lakshmi Publications, 1982.


views updated Jun 27 2018

Lakshmi (Padma or Sita) In Hindu mythology, the lotus goddess, wife of Vishnu, who existed at the beginning of creation, rising from the ocean borne by a lotus. Lakshmi is the goddess of beauty and youth, and is often depicted with (or as) a lotus.


views updated Jun 08 2018

Lakshmi in Hindu belief, the goddess of prosperity, consort of Vishnu. She assumes different forms (e.g. Radha, Sita) in order to accompany her husband in his various incarnations.