Amma: The Chronicles of the hugging Saint

26-AMMA-slide-57Q6-articleLargeGurus emerged thousands of years ago in India as learned explainers of the Upanishads, philosophical teachings underpinning the Hindu religion.

Amritanandamayi is an Indian Guru from Parayakadavu (now partially known as Amma), was born to a family of fishermen, she was the third child of Sugunanandan and Damayanti. LikeRamakrishna Paramahamsa, Sudhamani displayed an intense love for God right from very tender age. Her favourite god was Krishna. She started praying, crying and shedding tears seeking the darshan (meeting) of Krishna and she composed and sang impromptu several devotional songs on Lord Krishna right from childhood

This amazing woman is changing the world through kindness with the help of magic hugs (seriously) Amma is best known for literally embracing the masses; she has hugged millions of people around the world, a feat that has earned her the nickname “the hugging saint.” Her status as a spiritual therapist has attracted a large following in the globally.

Amma Begins.

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Amma’s education ended at the age of nine, when she began to take care of her younger siblings and the family domestic work full-time.

As part of her chores, Amritanandamayi gathered food scraps from neighbours for her family’s cows and goats, through which she was confronted with the intense poverty and suffering of others. She would bring these people food and clothing from her own home. Her family, which was not wealthy, scolded and punished her. Amritanandamayi also began to spontaneously embrace people to comfort them in their sorrow. It was not permissible for a 14-year-old girl to touch others, especially men. But despite the reaction of her parents, Amritanandamayi continued. Regarding her embracing of others, Amritanandamayi commented, “I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering

In a New York Times article “Amma’s multifaceted Empire, built on hugs‘ by JAKE HALPERN, he goes on to speak of his meeting with Amma and the profound and impressive work that she does;

Amma has energized an entire organization that often fills the vacuum left by government. When a tsunami devastated parts of southern India in 2004, it took the state government of Kerala five days merely to announce what it would do by way of aid and relief. Amma, however, began a response within hours, providing food and shelter to thousands of people; in the following years, her organization says, it has built more than 6,000 houses.

Controversy

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How Amma’s efforts are paid for remains something of a mystery. Her organization raises about $20 million a year from sources worldwide, according to a spokesman, but in India, the finances are not public. And the M.A. Center, her United States organization, is registered as a church and thus doesn’t have to disclose its finances the way secular tax-exempt groups do. However no evidence of illicit funding or financial malpractice has been found.

There have been attempts on her life; In August 2005, Amma was attacked by a man named Pavithran. He was sitting with other followers praying and singing in front of Amma. He then rushed to Amma with a knife, but was overpowered by a group of disciples.

The Embrace

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Amma’s transformation from an eccentric girl into the mother guru started in the late 1970s. Word of her hugging spread, and she received a steady stream of visitors, many of them Americans like Neal Rosner, a Chicago native, who would take up residence. Mr. Rosner, who moved to India after graduating from high school and still lives at Amritapuri.

She has travelled the world promoting her Hindu philosophy, ‘which espouses love, introspection and selflessness, as well as her many charities, which now include hunger and disaster relief, free health care for the poor, orphanages and recycling efforts’. Amma’s hugging phenomenon is known world over even inspiring a film-Documentary- “Darshan-The Embrace’

Though there is a malaise of politics that goes along with a person of Amma’s fame, if there is one salient lesson that can be taken from her, it is that a hug can be the purest expression of Love for all people.

*Free hugs for everyone*

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