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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mata Amritanandamayi

Mata Amritanandamayi

Mata Amritanandamay is a Hindu spiritual leader and teacher, who is revered as a saint by her followers. She is widely respected for her humanitarian activities. Mata Amritanandamayi, more popularly called Amma, is one of the most widely respected and appreciated women in the world. Also known as the 'Hugging Saint', Amma is known to hug and bestow her unconditional love on people from all walks of life. Starting her spiritual practice from the small district of Parayakadavu (Kerala), Amma has become world-famous today and is known for her humanitarian activities across the globe. It is believed that receiving a hug from Mata Amritanandamayi relieves a person from all the pain, anxiety and tension. Some of the people also believe her to an avatar of the Great Mother.

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi was born Sudhamani Idamannel in the small village of Parayakadavu (now partially known as Amritapuri), Alappad Panchayat, Kollam District, Kerala in 1953. Her schooling ended when she was nine, and she began to take care of her younger siblings and the family domestic work full-time. As part of her chores, Sudhamani gathered food scraps from neighbors for her family’s cows and goats. Amritanandamayi says at these times 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 even touch others, especially men. But despite adverse reactions by her parents, Amritanandamayi continued.

In 1981, after various seekers had begun residing at her parents’ property in Parayakadavu for the sake of being Amritanandamayi's disciples, a worldwide organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, was founded. Amritanandamayi serves as chairperson of the Math. Today the Mata Amritanandmayi Math is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities.
Amritanandamayi's darshan is the centerpiece of her life, as she has received people nearly every day since the late 1970s. With the size of the crowds coming to seek Amritanandamayi's blessings increasing, there are times when she gives darshan continuously for more than 20 hours. Amritanandamayi is well known for her devotional singing.

Amritanandamayi's world-wide charitable mission comprises a program to build 100,000 homes for the homeless, orphanages, relief-and-rehabilitation in the face of disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, free medical care, pensions for widows and disabled people, environmental-protection groups, slum renovation, care homes for the elderly, and free food and clothing for the poor, amongst others. The majority of work is done by volunteers as a form of spiritual practice.

Amritanandamayi (better known as the mother of vallikkavu, or Amma in Malayalam) has strong ideas about the mission of her life. Sanyas as per her is not an excuse to lead and idle life. Even though a loving mother to the disciples she is a tough task master also.There is at present an army of brahmacharis in the ashram, who have to lead a very hard life. The physical pleasures are strictly forbidden. Food almost eaten raw and no taste makers allowed. Her motherly love enables them to withstand any hardships in the process of over coming worldly passions. Finally they get well groomed to carry out her mission of transforming the world as per the vision of the divine mother.Amritanada mission is one of the foremost in carrying out humanitarian, cultural, and educational activities throughout the world.

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