The Self Awareness Institute

is a global spiritual family and virtual learning center


The Self Awareness Institute is a global spiritual family and virtual learning center spread out over a hundred countries working together to enlighten the world so we may all live together in prosperity, happiness and peace. It was started in 1985 by Yogiraj Vethathiri Maharishi and SaiGuru Steven S. Sadleir in Laguna Beach, California. We have teachers all over the world. 


Saiguru Steven S. Sadleir, Founder


Steven S. Sadleir, or Saiji, was born on January 26, 1958, the son of a carpenter, in Newport Beach, California, and he began meditating innately as a child of five and had an innate awareness of the Divine from his earliest memories. His paternal grandmother, Ruth, was the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister, and it was through her tutelage that Steven learned the Bible and fell in love with Jesus and he still considers Christ his Satguru. Christ, and the Holy Spirit, live in Steven and guide his every move as Saiji. Steven later writes a book and a screenplay called Christ Enlightened, The Lost Teachings of Jesus Unveiled, based on his 40 years of study on the life of Jesus Christ. Sai’s whole mission is to witness that the Kingdom of Heaven lies within us, and the time to realize it is now.

Even as a child Steven would sit on his bunk bed cross-legged meditating on his 3rd eye, not even realizing he was meditating and Satya Sai Baba would come to him and guide him to other worlds and planes of existence. It was not until 1989 that Steven was finally able to meet Satya Sai Baba in person at his ashram in India. And it was in a private audience with Baba that he gave Steven his spiritual name “Sai.” Baba gave him his own name, as he was Steven’ spiritual father. SAI is also the acronym for Self-Awareness Institute or SAI. At the age of seven, during a tonsillectomy, Steven reacted to the anesthesia and “flat-lined” or died for several minutes, it was during this time that Steven left his body and God spoke to Steven and told him he had to return to his body to fulfill some mission he had yet to realize, and he was brought back to life to fulfill that mission. So he is right now.  

Steven began practicing yoga in elementary school by watching Richard Hittleman’s Yoga for Health on television, the first Yoga Television show that aired in the late 1960’s. As an early teen he began taking yoga at the Yoga Center of California with Ramakrishnaandaji, and then other teachers. In High School he began reading both The Bible and Bhagavad Gita from cover to cover for the first time. Steven attended the services of over 100 different sects of Christianity as well as attended services at ISKCON - the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, better known as the Hari-Krishna movement, as taught by Swami Prabhupada. Steven never officially became a member of ISKCON but became a vegetarian and fell in love with Krishna as a result of this association and study with them. 

Inspired by George Harrison of the Beatles who was inspired by the Maharishi, at 16 years old (1972). for his birthday, Steven was initiated into Transcendental Meditation or TM by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Transcendental Meditation became Saiji’s primary meditation for the next few years. It was the Maharishi who helped Steven to realize that the Age of Enlightenment was dawning and the role he was to play in it. Like so many other spiritual seekers of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Steven was also inspired by such books as Be Here Now by Ram Dass, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self Realization Fellowship and Kriya yoga (which we will get to in a moment), as well as many other contemporary writers and new age teachings. 

Guruji has always been drawn to go into the wilderness to commune with God, and at 16 (1972) he climbed to the top of the Palisades Glacier in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, over thirteen-thousand-foot elevation, to meditate and pray. It was here, at the summit after fasting, meditating and praying for days, that God spoke to Steven and called him to study every religion, spiritual path and teaching and write a book about it. ​After 15 years of research, 7 trips around the world, attending the services of each faith, taking the initiations of each group covered, learning the rituals and practices of each group he wrote about he finally completed his first book Looking for God, a Seeker’s Guide to Religious & Spiritual Paths of the World which was published (originally by Penguin/Perigee) and became a best-seller. It’s now in its third edition.

While In high school Steven took more formal yoga training under B.K.S. Iyengar of the lineage of Krishnamacharya - who also trained such luminaries as Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi and T.K.V. Desikachar.  These represent the primary forms of Ashtanga yoga and Viniyoga that are practiced around the world today. It was around this time that Sai began studying Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and performing pujas and penance. It was also around this time Saiji also began studying with Native Americans and a Kahuna of Hawaiian Huna tradition. While still in high school he had a vision quest in the Arizona desert with Wallace Black Elk, of the Lakota Nation, and attended many native American rituals including sweat lodges and shamanic voyages with peyote, mushrooms, and other sacred substances. 

During another vision quest in 1976 (at 18) took him to the Mineral King - between California’s Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, Sai climbed up to the timberline of this wilderness and witnessed an incredible lightning storm which caused a small forest fire. He took off his back pack and climbed to the fire and noticed that a series of trees had caught on fire and that it formed a ring of fire. So, he spontaneously went and sat in the middle of this ring and went into a deep Samadhi. Unaffected by the swirling embers, he was given a vision of himself teaching to large audiences, a vision that has already come to pass. This photo of the fire was taken before leaving it to burn itself out.

Sai went even deeper with Vishudevananda of the Sivananda lineage, this both broadened and deepened his practice. For decades, Sai would go to every new type of yoga that was being offered in Southern California to learn it. Yoga became the center of his life. He attended classes with Bikram in Los Angeles and years later led a meditation for him at his International Yoga Conference in Los Angeles, and still later Sai took more advanced asana classes with Tim Miller in Carlsbad, California. It was also around this time that Sai began studying the Vedas, Upanishads’ and with Swami Chetananda, of the Ramakrishna lineage and Vedanta Society. This is where Sai grew passionate about the Sanatana Dharma, non-duality, Advaita and Vedanta, which he now teaches. This is Gnana yoga or Jhana Yoga. His inspirations were Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadata, and he came into an awareness of awareness itself.

As Sai deepened his yoga practice, he began going into spontaneous movements, making strange sounds, seeing and hearing unusual phenomena like that which is described in the Bible’s Book of Acts where during the Pentecost the Apostles of Christ began speaking in tongues, shaking and moving spontaneously and hearing strange sounds and seeing light around each other’s heads (prana kriyas). Then he watched a video of Gurudev Shree Amritji teaching what he then called Kripalu yoga - now I Am yoga or Amrit Yoga - who explained the inner dynamics of Prana Kriya, and thus helped Sai develop the ability to connect with his own Shakti. Although this inner connection with Gurudev stayed with him, he only recently met him in person in 2017 while interviewing him for Sai’s movie Global Enlightenment while in Rishikesh, India, during the International Yoga Festival. They now work very closely together. Gurudev Shree Amritji was given Shaktipat by his guru Swami Kripalu, who is part of the Lakulish lineage in India, and was one of the first to introduce yoga in the West. He is today one of the world’s true living masters. 

Sai also took basic training with Yogi Bhajan in who teaches the Sikh form of Kundalini Yoga, in the late 1970’s, at 19, at his center on Robinson in Los Angeles. Yogi Bhajan was a great inspiration to Sai. He also began studying Sikhism, the Guru-Granth Sahib, and the teachings of Guru Nanak, as well as the teachings of Mahavira and the Jain religion. During this time, Sai was going to college at night and selling diamonds and gold as investments in Newport Beach, California, during the day. It was through a client of Steven’s, a Congressman from New York named Allard Lowenstein in 1978 (age 20), who was also US Ambassador to the United Nation’s under President Jimmy Carter’s administration, who first shared with Steven how the world really worked and who controlled it, and opened his eyes to see why we have so many wars and so much suffering. It was Ambassador Lowenstein who inspired Steven to continue his studies in International banking and learn about how the international monetary system worked, so we could change it, and thus change the world. This is all explained in Steven’s book Money & Power, the Secret History

In 1980 (age 22), Sai also received Shaktipat (spiritual energy) for the first time from Baba Muktananda of the lineage of Bhagwan Nityananda. Years later Sai met Muktananda’s successor, Gurumayi, in Ganespuri, India, and had darshan with her. And in the early 1980’s Gurumayi’s brother, Nityananda, played bhajans and gave darshan at the first Satsangs Guruji gave in Laguna Beach. California. Shaktipat is a blessing. Years later, Sai was blessed to receive Shaktipat from Swami Lakshmana Joo, the Shaktipat master from the Kashmir Shaivite lineage who Muktananda mentions in his book Play of Consciousness. It was also around this time that Sai made contact with intelligent life forms from other solar systems, and began exploring astral worlds and other dimensions at will. Now, in his early 20’s he began teaching yoga and meditation classes while in college working by day and going to college at night, first studying psychology and then switching to business. 

During college Steven was also drawn to the iconoclastic teaching of Osho, at the time known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and he later went to Puna, India, to be with him. The first meditation classes Guruji gave were at the former Osho center in Laguna Beach, California, and many of his current students are from the Osho community. At this time Sai was attending college at Orange Coast College, Menlo College, Stanford University and then, through a Rotary Scholarship, on to get his Masters in Financial Economics, specializing in International Banking, at the University of Wales, in Bangor, North Wales, United Kingdom. He later worked as an economist for the US Government, at the East-West Center, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and then as an Economist for the International department at Lloyds Bank, in Los Angeles, overseeing foreign exposure to loans the bank made throughout Asia that were in the billions. He was learning the Tao of money, even while studying Taoism and Kung Fu at the time.


Thus, during his teenage years Saiji studied each of the major lineages of classic yoga forms and styles, as well as broadening his search through his twenties to each of the other world religions and spiritual practices. Steven studied many forms of Buddhism, and took training in Zen with Suzuki Roshi, and took refuge with, and did the “empowerments” (initiations) of Tibetan Buddhism with, Kalu Rinpoche.  Steven studied Sufism with Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, the son of Hazrat Khan the founder of the Sufi Order of the West, and began studying the Kabbalah with Rabbi Philip S. Berg at the Research Center of Kabbalah in Los Angeles. 

Sai also hosted Yogiraj Siddhanath, based in Puna, India, and practiced various Kriyas with him, both at Guruji’s Self Awareness Institute in Laguna Beach, California, and at Siddhanath’s ashrams in Pune. Saiji recounts going out to an ancient overgrown Shiva temple in the wilderness and having powerful psychic experiences with Siddhanath. Once Swami Yukeswar Giri appeared to Sai in an astral body in the presence of others at his ashram in Pune. Here they are together again at the International Yoga Conference in Rishikesh in 2017. 

Saiji has also taken dozens of shamanic voyages with various native North American and South American “medicine men”, traveled to the jungles of Borneo in Malaysia and Luzon in the Philippines to stay with headhunters (one group that had never seen a white man), experienced African and Caribbean Voodoo, and traveled in the Dream World with the aboriginals of Australia. He studied Wicca with a line of druids when he lived in North Wales, and participated in Western Wicca (White Witchcraft) with the Divine Circle of the Sacred Grove in California. He also has studied most of the ancient wisdom teachings and Hermedic Orders, and is trained in tarot and astrology, as well as, most of the New Age and New Thought teachings such as Religious Science and Eckankar, Reiki, and numerous healing modalities and martial arts, and more advanced kriya and kundalini training. All this for research for his book that he was writing for God. The book was the basic training. Once the book was off to the publisher, Shivabalayogi Maharaj summons Saiji to India to perform Yoga Tapas under his direction. Sai begins extended sadhana, sitting first for twelve plus hours a day, working up to sitting 23 hours a day, and maintaining this Samadhi for forty consecutive days and nights. 

All these years of research, practice and writing culminated in the publishing of Guruji’s first book The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide, and a then a second edition was published by Penguin called Looking for God, a Spiritual Seeker’s Guide to Religious & Spiritual Groups of the World which became a best-seller. The third edition is now published under 



Kriya, Kundalini & Shanktipat

Saiji is now called to go much deeper in his practice.


Babaji, above, guided Steven as a child and taught the Science of Kriya Yoga to Lahiri Mahasai, below.

Lahiri Mahasai’s great grandson, Chuni Lal Lahiri, taught it to Guruji in Varanassi. India, after first studying with other Kriya Masters in Orissa, and in California, including at the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas where he still likes to visit and surf. Below is Saiji with his Kriya master Chuni Lahiri in Varanassi, India. Guruji has now been teaching Kriya yoga for over forty years, and has integrated Kriya into the Kundalini practices, Dhyana and Shaktipat for a more powerful sadhana.


Yoga Tapas & Shaktipat


In 1989 Saiji was directed to study with the arch Yogi Sri Sri Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj by Satya Sai Baba and other gurus Saiji had studied with along the way, in order to undergo yoga tapas (sitting in samadhi meditation for at least 12 hours a day). When Swamiji first met Sai he instructed him to start sitting for two, and then four, hours a day. For several years, Sai would travel with Swamiji to introduce him at programs In Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, and help give the Initiations into Dhyana along with Swamiji’s assistant Jaggadish. Swamiji would conduct his Shaktipat through them.

Steven had traveled throughout the USA with this Yogi and introduced him to audiences and helped him give the initiations throughout Southern California, and after completing his Yoga Tapas training the Maharishi asked Steven to teach meditation (Dhyana) and give Shaktipat. He started his yoga tapas at the Ashram of his root guru, Vethathiri Maharishi sitting with him in Chennai for a week sitting in samadhi for at least 12 hours a day, and then started increasing his meditation time when he arrived at the ashram of Sri Sri Sri Shivabalayogi in Bangalore. Here, he started again at 12 hours of sitting in Samadhi meditation, and then increased his sadhana up to sitting 23 hours a day, and then maintained this tapas under the Maharaj’s guidance for 40 consecutive days and nights. Below is a photo of Sai and Shivabalayogi waiting at an airport in Santa Barbara, California, where he was assisting Swamiji with initiations there, above is the day Guruji completed his tapas and was asked by Swamiji to give the initiations.

After completing this accelerated Yoga Tapas, Swamij instructed Saiji to give Shanktipat and Initiate spiritual aspirants on his behalf and sent him back to the United States with pounds of vibutti (sacred ash) to conduct the initiations properly. Saiji has since initiated tens of thousands of people all over the world, and continues to give Shaktipat free of charge to anyone. 

Shaktipat is the transmission of spiritual energy which invokes Samadhi. Saiji guru now gives live teleconferenced Shaktipat transmissions that are picked up over the phone by students in five continents all at the same time. These calls are free and you are welcome to join anytime. Just check the home page for next date and time, and sign up for the newsletter.

Sai returned to Banglalore, India, in 2016 to the Sri Sri Sri Shivabalayogi ashram to interview Sri Jaggadish for his film Global Enlightenment, and to talk about this yogi that was famous for healing people, making it rain, and awakening higher consciuosness. Sri Jaggadish and I are giving shakti to the camera below, he also appears in Saiji’s new movie on enlightenment called Enlightenment Now, the Awakening of Humanity. 



Kundalini Yoga

Guruji’s true spiritual mentor and root guru comes from am ancient line of Tamil Siddha’s from the Tamil Nadu state in South India, the arch yogi: Yogiraj Vethathiri Maharishi. He is both is a respected Kundalini Master from an ancient lineage of Siddhas and an Ayervedic doctor who first trained Steven to become a Kundalini Yoga Instructor in the early 1980’s, and then guided him for the next five years to become a Master. It was the Maharishi who encouraged Saiji to formally start the Self Awareness Institute with him, in 1985, and then he asked Saiji (Steven) to give the initiations on Swamiji’s behalf, and to continue guiding Swamiji’s students when he had to stop traveling the world due to his age. This is when Saiji’s work began to grow.  
During his time at The Temple of Consciousness Swamiji continued to expand his concepts of the Unified Field, Consciousness and the means to create happiness and peace on Earth. In Tamil Nadu State where he is from, he is called “the average man’s philosopher” because he explains things so clearly they are easy to understand, and is considered one of India’s greatest Siddhas. His illumination became Saiji’s inspiration, and to him we dedicate this work.  He understood how the universe worked more than anyone Saiji had ever met and that scientific understanding and practical application of yoga is what really drew Saiji to Swamiji. Vethathiri Maharishi was a true pioneer in awakening the consciousness of the planet, and created centers all over the world. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and still has millions of students all over the world meditating through the World Community Service Center. His practices are taught in schools all over India, and his face appears in airports and other public places all over India, and his work continues through WCSC and the Self Awareness Institute and Saiji. 
Since then the Self Awareness Institute has gone through many reinventions of itself, and now has students in over 120 countries. Thousands have been initiated, and millions have been receiving instruction and Shaktipat from Guruji through the media. Ninty percent of Saiji’s students and members of the Self Awareness Institute have not met Saiji in person yet. Sai recently went to visit another Kundalini Master from Vethathiri’s lineage named Sadguru TKS. Sai went with his film crew for the Global Enlightenment movie to interview this powerful Kundalini Master in 2016. Here they are together in the photo below. Sadguru TKS also appears in Saiji’s new movie Enlightenment Now, the Awakening of Humanity, where he brings together a dozen of the world’s most powerful gurus to discuss yoga and enlightenment. 
Sai Guruji was also asked to give Satsangs at various ashrams throughout India, including this on below in Chennai (Madras)
And this one in Tiruvelveli in far South India (below).
Sai Guruji being recognized as the “American Guru” by Sadguru TKS at the Tirunelveli ashram. 
Sai, the Self Awareness Institute, and all it’s members are dedicated to fulfilling Swamiji’s dream of a world living together in prosperity, happiness and peace. There are hundreds of WCSC centers Swamiji founded around the world and thousands of teachers teaching, and millions practicing. You can always receive free instruction on Guruji’s Podcasting site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To listen to Enlightenment Radio click here


Below Sai Steven S. Sadleir is with Pujaswami and Gurudev at the Parmath Nikatan Ashram in Rishikesh, India, leadings a prayer.


With Pujya Swami Ariti

Our Mission

The mission is to enlighten the world. 

Through teleconferencing courses, webinars, seminars & retreats all over the world the Self Awareness Institute is a virtual community with members in over 120 countries. We are not a following, but a community dedicated to spreading divine love through the enlightenment of humanity.

 Streaming Consciousness


Free Meditations & Satsangs 24/7

Saiji’s meditations, courses and talks have been recorded and uploaded to a show called Enlightenment Radio - FREE MEDITATIONS AND TALKS 24/7. ERadio was at first broadcast via Live365 virtual radio, where it reached millions all over the world, and can now be heard via Libsyn, iTunes, iHeart, Stetcher and other venues.

Click here to listen now. 




Sai, aka Steve S. Sadleir is also the author of over a dozen books, including two best-sellers, as well as CD sets, digital courses, podcasts and videos. Most of his books are now published by and available on

Television & Streaming

Steven recently hosted twelve episodes of a show called Spirit Clips for the Hallmark Channel (now Feel’n) that reached millions , and he frequently appears on television, (most recently on NBC, Reno, for in 2017 for his movie Enlightenment Now, the Awakening of Humanity),  He also recently finished 13 Episodes of Enlightenment for Streaming for the Soul network, and has yet another new series that was filmed in India called Roses of Rishikesh which comes out later this year. He is currently working with Gurudev Shree Amritji and other leading gurus to create a new Yoga Channel for the Internet. 

Sai is also going to be shooting his new show, both live streaming and for the new Yoga Channel in Rishikesh, India, January 15-26 during the Enlighten Man festival which he is co-hosting. It will be filmed at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living ashram in Rishikesh. Sri Sri was just interviewed by Sai for his new movie Enlightenment Now. 

The Enlightenment Show from Rishikesh

Sai will be hosting a new show that includes a line up of some of the greatest Yogis, Gurus, Baba’s and Masters, including one of the pioneers who first brought yoga to the West, Gurudev Shree Amritji. Gurudev just completed a Shaktipat Immersion Retreat at his ashram in Florida, and are beginning to put together a platform to take the science and practice of yoga to a whole new level and spread it around the world. To learn more about Enlighten Man, our Retreat & Carnival in Rishikesh, Satsangs and The Enlightenment Show click here. 

Here is Gurudev Shree Amritji and Sai transmitting shaktipat together, at the Shaktipat Immersion Rereat at Gurudev’s ashram in Salt Springs, Florida. Gurudev & Guruji’s students mix and experience different kinds of shaktipat and the bliss grows. 

Motion Pictures 


Guruji also has a Guided Meditation DVD and he appears, as himself (a “guru”) in Alan Swayer’s award winning documentary about how Eastern spiritual philosophy and teachers are influencing Western Civilization called Spiritual Revolution, and he also appears, as himself again, in the new spiritual drama called 3 Magic Words produced by Michael Palin, both are streamed online. Saiji also both co-produced and stars in a documentary that was filmed in India where he is interviewed, and interviews the world’s leading gurus, called Enlightenment Now, the Awakening of Humanity. It was the feature film a the Rishikesh Art & Film Festival and received “Best US Documentary” at the Buddha International Film Festival. Guruji is currently in production on another film called Global Enlightenment and his screenplay, Christ Enlightened, is currently under consideration now.. 

You can watch a Preview clip of Enlightenment Now below.

We will be filming The Enlightenment Show at Enlighten Man January 15-26, 2018 in Rishikesh, India. It’s a yoga festival, carival, two weeks of morning yoga and shaktipat meditation with Guruji Sai at the Maa Yoga Ashram, and evening music and Satsangs with Guruji at the Art of Living ashram, as well and india’s first Burning Man along the Ganges River. To learn more click here. 

The Enlighten Man event serves as the formal initiation to the Age of Aquarius and enlightenment of mankind. Thousands are coming together to initiate and celebrate our own enlightenment. It’s time to enlighten. 

World Peace Meditation with Guruji Sai, Gurudev Shree Amritji and Yogiraj Barak Bushan, Rishikesh 2017. 

Corporate Programs

Guruji is also a financial guru and has Corporate programs, including Enlightened Leadership. He trains medical staff how to mediate and teach it, and how to eat right, and Enlightened Kids pilot programs in several prominent high schools. For more information go to


Self Awareness Institute

Phone: 8089878949
Email: [email protected]


Mailing Address Only
Self Awareness Institute12-2213 Pi’ilani Road, Pahoa, Hi 96778 




Note Regarding Emails to Mr. Sadleir: Due to his current writing, lecture, and teaching commitments, Steven S. Sadleir is unable to personally respond to the overwhelming number of emails, questions, and inquiries he receives on a daily basis. We encourage you to still contact us if you do have questions.

Steven is available for questions and answers during our free teleconferences where everyone is welcome to attend. He can only make time for private sessions for enrolled students in the Self Realization and Graduate Courses. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to answer your questions.

Note Regarding Phone Calls: We value your interest but due to the high volume of calls we will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible via phone or email.