Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma (Mother) as she is known, through her extraordinary acts of love and self-sacrifice, has endeared herself to millions of people around the world.
“Love is our true essence.
Love has no limitations of
caste, religion, race
We are all beads
strung together on
the same thread of love.” —Amma
Tens of thousands wait patiently in line, often
through the night and into the morning hours, for a
chance to receive a blessing, a motherly hug and a
few soothing words from this smiling woman in a
simple white sari. They know that their turn will
come; she doesn’t turn anyone away, even if it
means embracing people for a whole day and night,
nor does she charge any money. Regularly, Amma
gives darshan for hours on end, without a moment’s
rest. In some places, she has embraced 40 to 50
thousand people in a single programme, sitting almost
24 hours to do so.
When asked by the BBC, “Why do you hug people?”
she replied, “That is like asking a river, ‘Why do you
flow?’ It simply flows because that is its nature. In
the same way, this is Amma’s nature—a mother expressing
her love to her children.” This unique, extraordinary
expression of universal love is known
as Amma’s darshan.
A vast network of charitable activities inspired by Her tireless spirit of dedication to uplifting others has led many people to discover the beauty and sense of peace that come from selflessly serving.
Amma teaches that the Divine exists in everything, sentient and insentient. Perceiving this underlying unity in all things is not only the essence of spirituality but also the means to end all suffering. Amma's teachings are universal. Whenever she is asked about her religion, she replies that her religion is Love. She does not ask anyone to believe in God or to change their faith, but only to inquire into their own real nature, and to believe in themselves.