Mata Amritanandamayi, also known as Amma or the “Hugging Saint,” is a prominent spiritual leader and humanitarian from India. She was born on September 27, 1953, in the village of Parayakadavu in Kerala, India. Amma is renowned for her selfless service, teachings on love and compassion, and her unique practice of hugging people to provide comfort and solace.
Key aspects of Mata Amritanandamayi’s life and work include:
- Hugging Devotees: Amma is famous for her darshan, during which she embraces thousands of people, often lasting for hours. This practice is seen as a way of imparting her love and compassion to those who come to her seeking solace and guidance.
- Spiritual Teachings: She offers spiritual guidance and emphasizes the importance of love, compassion, and selfless service as the core principles of her teachings. Her philosophy is rooted in Hinduism, but she emphasizes the universality of all religions.
- Charitable Work: Mata Amritanandamayi has founded several charitable organizations, including the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), which is involved in various humanitarian activities such as providing healthcare, education, housing, and disaster relief to those in need. Her organizations have undertaken numerous initiatives to improve the lives of the underprivileged.
- Interfaith Dialogue: Amma has been a strong advocate for interfaith dialogue and harmony. She believes that all religions share a common goal of promoting love and compassion and often hosts interfaith events to foster understanding among different religious traditions.
- Global Presence: Mata Amritanandamayi’s teachings and charitable activities have gained recognition and followers worldwide. She has traveled extensively, hugging and comforting people from diverse backgrounds.
- Environmental Initiatives: Amma is also actively involved in environmental conservation efforts, including tree planting and advocating for sustainability.
- Ashram: Amma’s main ashram, known as the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, is located in Amritapuri, Kerala, India. It serves as a hub for her spiritual activities, charitable work, and gatherings.
Mata Amritanandamayi is revered by millions of followers for her humanitarian work, spiritual teachings, and her unique way of offering solace and love through her embrace. Her work and influence extend well beyond the borders of India, making her a prominent figure in the global spiritual and humanitarian landscape.
Mata Amritanandamayi, called Amma by devotees all over the world, helps people relieve distress and pain, with her compassion, warmth and affection. She was earlier known as Sudhamani Idamannel, and was born on September 27, 1953. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi is widely respected for her humanitarian and charity activities. She founded a worldwide organization called Matha Amritanandamayi Math, headquartered at Vallikavu, Kollam. Mata Amritanandamayi Amma acts as the chairperson of this charitable organization which is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities.
Amrita Institutions play a major role in our educational and healthcare sectors. Mata Amritanandamayi Math established Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham or Amrita University and Amma is the Chancellor of this university. The university campuses are spread across South India and offer highly value-added bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences – AIMS, a 1300-bed super-specialty hospital in Kochi that provides the highest standard of medical care.
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math publishes a monthly spiritual magazine Matruvani as well as Immortal Bliss, a quarterly magazine. Amma also makes annual tours and conduct programs in India and throughout the world.
Thousands of devotees came at Amritapuri to seek her for spiritual guidance and consolation. Recognized as a Hindu spiritual leader, in 1993, she was elected as one of the presidents of the assembly of global religions in Chicago. She also received the ‘Hindu Renaissance Award’ for Hinduism Today, an international journal on Indian culture in the same year. The United Nations invited her for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in order to speak at the Interfaith Celebrations in New York.