Introduction: Who is Amma?
Mata Amritandamayi, otherwise known as Amma, was born in a village in Kerala, South India in 1953. Thousands upon thousands travel all around the world to get one hug from Amma. Doing so will ease ones tension, suffering, and clear the mind of stress. Even at a young age Amma was composed with deep wisdom and drew her attention to meditation and singing heartfelt songs. Unfortunately, at the age of nine, her mother became very ill and it was up to Amma to take care of household tasks as well as her seven brothers. Amma had to drop out of school and take on very mature and difficult work, which she did outstandingly. With much devotion and dedication one can already tell the amount of affection and emotional support Amma takes upon. Amma’s entire family lived through poverty and unfortunate conditions, yet Amma blames no one for their sufferings. In fact, where Amma encountered people that were in need, she would bring them food stamps and clothing from her own home caring little about the thought of being scolded. Selflessness acts such as this is commendable.
In addition, Amma was deeply affected by those who suffered even though in Hinduism, suffering of an individual is due to his or her own Karma. Although Amma came to accept this concept, according in the article of “How She Began,” Amma continues to tell her audience, “If it is one man’s karma to suffer, isn’t it our dharma (duty) to help ease his suffering and pain?” This quote signals all individuals to lend a hand to the unfortunate and help as much as one can. Now, in her life of service and unconditional love for all beings, Amma offers a motherly embrace for those who seek solace in her arms. Amma travels all around the world as she believes, “It is my duty to console those who are suffering.” Unquestionably, Amma delivers exceptionally upon this message. She accepts others sorrows and needs as her own.
There are four teachings Amma contributes to her audience: Practice, Service, Conserve, and Love.
According to Swami Paramatmanandra Puri, Amma says we should cultivate in order to gain inner peace in our daily lives and for spiritual consciousness to dawn in us. By this, Amma means it is not enough to just do spiritual practice. One must also enhance qualities that can keep his or her minds calm, such as kindness, patience, or selflessness. For example, if one comes to Amma and says he or she has been doing meditation for the past five days yet still do not feel at peace Amma response will be the same each time, “It’s true that you were doing practices, but it was leaking out in so many ways.” “Leaking out” refers to anger, fear, worries, hatred, or even jealousy, which can consume all of one’s energy. If we save our energy, we will maintain our health and also become closer to our Self.
According to the Article, “Sending Seeds to Kenya,” in the summer of 2014 when Amma left California, a nine year old girl, Noel Garfield, watched the Embracing Kenya video and was immediately inspired. Noel wanted to connect with the kids at the Amrita Children’s Home in Kenya. She started to make handmade cards to send in a care package to Kenya. After contacting the Children’s Home, Noel found out that a volunteer, Sheena Shah was beginning a permaculture project that summer. When Noel found at, she could not help but add planting seeds to the care packages. When the package arrived in Kenya, Sheena sent pictures of the children planting seeds that Noel sent. When Noel saw the pictures, it motivated her to help kids with their blossoming garden. With simple gestures such as these, kids around the world are able to connect through love and most importantly help one another out, which is the whole point of Amma’s teachings. As one can see, Amma and her many support facilities affect not only those that are being helped but people around the world have a chance to show their own loving and caring abilities.
Here is a picture of kids sending care packages to Kenya:
According to an Excerpt from Immortal Bliss, Amma’s message is that there is an inseparable bond between man and nature. Because of mans thoughtless actions, the equilibrium in nature is getting disturbed. For example, the air and water have become polluted, rivers are drying up, seasons arrive unseasonably, and new diseases are spreading. Is she right? Absolutely. She believes if things continue at this rate, the human race is in for a monumental catastrophe. There is a place for everything in nature. The forest, mountains, and rivers have their own dharmas (duties) and without them performing their duties, we are in for a ride. Everything in nature happens on its own, one must not mess with the natural beauty of nature. “If we forget our responsibilities, if we give free rein to our desires, nature will retaliate,” says Amma. Every individual has a responsibility to take on the correct path of action.
Here are a few examples of Amma in her own words and what I make out of them:
- “The more you give, the more your heart is filled. Love is a never ending stream.” To me, this means love can never be an ending stream because one should never stop giving.
- “May your thoughts, words and actions arise from love.” To me, this means do not act upon anything without considering how will my actions affect others?
- “Love is the only medicine that can heal the wounds of the world.” This to me means, one cannot expect the world to change if everyone disagrees with each other. Everyone must reach a common ground to make things work.
Amma’s Affect on Public:
Most people come to experience her embrace, her unique way of spreading comfort to the world. While some come to gain peace, others are drawn to her charitable events and work. Many that are fortunate enough to meet Amma, learn to find out that they are moved and inspired to go out and do better for the world and themselves.
Video of Amma on Good Morning America:
A Simple Hug Can go Far:
How the Media Views Amma:
Amma does not need the help from media or any other source to get people to come to her, Amma herself is enough. She began her service in the mid ’70s and nothing was advertised, still hundreds came to join Amma’s mission. Now, 30 years later, the press has taken notice of her compassionate self. Wherever Amma goes, the press follows. Amma answers all of the reporters questions and even embraces the journalists. They go in for answers and return for more than they bargained for. The interviewer goes in for a story and instead finds love through Amma. How strong is Amma’s power over the media? One has to meet her to find out. Many people wait hours and hours just to get a hug from Amma, that in itself says something. Those people come back come back to visit Amma too, this tells me that Amma certainly does have a unique compassion towards the world and everybody in it. Amma’s motherly love goes beyond just healing, it connects us to our self.
Personally, never have I heard of a woman such like Amma. Many say getting an embrace from Amma is an honor. After hours of reading, watching videos, and looking at some of Amma’s work I can truly see why. She seems to bring many at peace with themselves and relieve them of unwanted tension or stress. At such a young age, Amma was wise and shared unconditional love with strangers. That ability now, has become her duty. I think that is powerful and that her mission can change the world. Amma really does it all: traveling around the world to help the unfortunate, providing shelters, organizing charity events, and finally sharing her gift with millions around the world. If we had more positive and influential people such as Amma, this world would definitely be a more peaceful and serene place. She does what others cannot. If I am ever lucky enough, I would love to meet Amma and gain the inspirational experience.
Anadi. “Sending Seeds to Kenya.” http://amma.org/teachings/sending-seeds-kenya
“How She Began.” http://amma.org/about/how-she-began
“In Harmony with Nature.” Immortal Bliss. Issue 3 http://amma.org/teachings/harmony-nature
“In Amma’s Own Words.” http://amma.org/teachings/ammas-own-words
Puri, Paramatmananda Swami. “Purity of the Heart.” Amma. http://amma.org/teachings?page=2
Sudeep Dharan. “Amma on Good Morning America.” Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XecITDtF53Y\
Sudeep Dharan. “Amma on ABC 20/20” Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkznW59_-Rc
“What Media Says About Amma.” The Homepage of Amma. http://www.amritapuri.org/amma/others/media