‘Holy Mother’ Delivers Message
By Paul Logan, Journal Staff Writer
Friday, November 10, 2000
A woman many believe to be one of the rarest individuals on earth “a living saint” has come to Albuquerque to share her love.
Shree Maa, “the respected Holy Mother,” said Thursday she is here because “I love to see my family. The whole universe is my family.”
Draped in layers of orange, red, gold and yellow clothing with beads around her neck and wrists, the graying, middle-aged Hindu holy woman with a gentle voice is about 5-feet, 5 inches tall and less than 100 pounds.
Maa said she has been enlightened since her birth in Assam, the northeast corner of India. Having enlightenment includes experiencing pure love and comprehending truth.
Sitting cross-legged on a couch at a Northeast Heights home, Maa said she attended an international yogi conference in Texas and is returning by motor home to California. Her home is a modest trailer in the mountains, about a half hour outside of Napa.
Maa said she has been sent “to perform God’s work in this world.”
Maa spends about nine months each year traveling throughout the world to share her teachings.
Instead of attracting followers, she said wants to show people of all faiths how “to build temples in their hearts and in their minds.”
Her assistant, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, or Swamiji, said a person’s every action can change a house into a temple. By respecting one’s actions, a person is paying attention to what he or she is doing.
“So any action that we do without selfishness can be a form of worship,” Swamiji said. “We can make divine everything that we do.”
During the interview, some of Maa’s devotees were chanting scriptures in Sanskrit in another room. Nearby, a coffee table had been converted into an altar with pictures and symbols from the world’s great religions, including Jesus, Buddha and Mary as well as flowers of every color and candles.
Swamiji said Maa adheres to the famous Indian proverb: “Just as many as there are individuals, so many are there paths to God.”
He said her programs are open to everyone and called them “unique” because “she makes worship fun.”
Maa said she offers those who attend three things: pure love, accepting everyone for what they are; inspiration, meaning she motivates each person to help make them better; and appreciation, recognizing every effort a person makes.
She met the late Mother Teresa, who some Catholics considered a living saint, years ago in Calcutta. Maa said she wanted to see her “because she is my family, also … I love her.”
Maa’s message includes being true to one’s self because then a person is without fear. With a clear conscience, a person’s heart is silent. “That,” she said, “is peace.”
- Be simple. Many words burden the soul. Let the heart’s message be communicated through actions.
- Be free. Leave selfishness behind. “People whose opinions are valued will love us for what we are, not for what we have,” she said.
- Take refuge in God. One’s friends or relatives will not take a person to heaven. Salvation is gained through wisdom.
- Cultivate wisdom. Learn from everyone, everywhere. Then use that knowledge, which brings one in harmony with the universe.
- Develop discrimination. Pursue only those desires that will make one free.
- Let actions manifest love. People want realization, liberation, to become enlightened. Do not think it is something different from doing for others as you would have them do for you,” she said.
WHEN: Today, 7 p.m., at Futures For Children building, 9600 Tennyson NE (332-4146); Saturday, 1 p.m., the home of Al and Dianne Lopez, 900 Avenida Cielito NE (255-4169); and Sunday, 1 p.m., again at Futures For Children
WHAT: Programs of meditation, singing, storytelling on Friday and Sunday; fire ceremony on Saturday
HOW MUCH: Free and open to everyone