REGION — The only woman to be given the title of jagadguru, or guru of the world, will help people “understand they can be completely loved, accepted, not judged” and “be in the presence of that love” during a three-day event at the Del Mar Hilton beginning Feb. 12.
“Wisdom and Enlightenment: A Valentine’s Weekend with Sai Maa” will showcase a fusion of Eastern spiritual wisdom, Western therapeutic knowledge and energy mastery through discussions and question-and-answer sessions.
Maa, a spiritual master, healer and humanitarian, will share teachings intended to empower others to discover and cultivate the love, wisdom and radiance inherent within them.
“It’s a moment where suddenly your life is being lighted,” she said.
How that occurs will depend on each person’s story, she added.
“People will tell me what’s happening in their lives, why they feel so threatened right now by what’s going on, why they feel threatened in their relationships, and why things are being so off in their life,” she said.
“It can be everyday life questions or spiritual questions,” she added. “It’s all for me the same thing.”
Maa said her teachings have “absolutely nothing” to do with religion.
“But I pay attention to that,” she added. “I say that if you are a Buddhist, you become a greater Buddhist. If you are Christian you become a greater Christian and so on.
“You open yourself up and no matter what you do you will do it better,” Maa said. “You will be better in everything.”
Maa was born on Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean that embraces all religions and spiritual traditions. That spirit of openness, acceptance and interfaith cooperation helped shape her universal message of unity and compassion.
At an early age Maa demonstrated esoteric healing powers, which blossomed as her mission unfolded.
At 21, she moved to France, married a research scientist and became the mother of two children. Maa merged her energetic healing powers with Western therapeutic training to create a therapy practice.
She was certified in naturopathic, homeopathic and osteopathic therapies and became politically active.
While serving on the Bordeaux City Council she helped reform health care in the European Union on behalf of the French government. During this time she met and became a devoted disciple and humanitarian supporter of Sathya Sai Baba, a spiritual leader and world teacher.
Maa later founded the Sai Maa Vishnu Shakti Trust to support her humanitarian work of providing food, clothing, clean water and medical care to children and families and to support widows and orphans in Africa, India and Haiti.
Her efforts include the Just One Hunger Initiative, the Cataract Surgery Program and Sai Maa’s Women’s Center and Shelter.
In 2007 her humanitarian work earned her the title of jagadguru, the highest title in the Vedic tradition of India. She is the only woman to receive the designation in the 2,700 years of the Vishnuswami lineage.
“The first thing I did was say that I refused it,” Sai Maa, 63, said. “It is mostly given to men who are 90 or 95. I said, ‘No thank you. I don’t want it. I don’t need it.’ But then they said I had to accept it so I did.”
Maa said one desire in her life is to “eradicate suffering in the heart of every human being.”
“I want to wash their pain away, their sorrow away and then for them to experience in their heart the magic of life, the magic of love, the power of love.
“Everyone should please know that you are totally loved,” she added. “You are totally accepted and that nothing is wrong with you — nothing — absolutely nothing. If somebody has hurt you please forgive them and come to experience the love of the divine.”
That message resonated with Rancho Santa Fe resident Paulette Schneider, who learned of Mai a few years ago after her mother passed away.
“I was going to a therapist to deal with my grief,” Schneider said. “It turned out the teachings that she was imparting on me were the teachings of Sai Maa.”
Schneider did some research and her curiosity led her to a program offered by Maa.
“It just clicked,” Schneider said. “All of us are going through challenges in our life, and that was a challenge of mine.
“Sai Maa is such a spiritual master that being in her presence raises your vibration,” she added. “You feel so good just being in her presence because she’s just pure light, and there’s no dark corner where light can’t go.
“Maa has the ability to teach us and give us tools to stay in that state of peace and love and to handle things when life throws things at us. She gives you the practices that help transform you in life so you can live in peace and love instead of angst and worry and fear and regret and jealousy.
“Personally my stress has gone down basically to nothing,” she added. “I don’t have worry or fear or angst anymore. I live out of a place of gratitude and love and peace and beauty.
“The more you are that, the more you become it,” Schneider said. “It’s just a beautiful experience. … To be able to go through life’s challenges with a peace and grace is a wonderful thing.”
Schneider is now a community lead for an Enlightened Living Group, a gathering dedicated to the teachings of Maa that meets every other Thursday at 741 Garden View Court, Suite 208, Encinitas. The next meeting is Feb. 11.
The cost for Maa’s weekend event ranges from $25 for the introductory evening to $425 for all three days, including a meal on Saturday, with a discounted price for students.
Visit sai-maa.com/sandiego2016 for more information or to register.
Contact Schneider at (858) 401-3629 for information on the Enlightened Living Group.