- Religion and Philosophy»
ANNACHI MA: THE HUGGING SAINT
Modern Indian Woman Saint
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (a/k/a Ammachi Ma), a great modern woman saint, was born in a village called Parayakadavu, Kerala, India on September 27, 1953. Her birth name is Sudhamani Idamannel. She was nine years old when she ended her education to take care of her siblings because of her mother's illness. Her brother attacked her with a knife because she refused to marry and decided to take up the spiritual life instead. She is a woman of great courage. Unfortunately, violence against women is way too common in our world.
She is a karma yogini in that she offers her thoughts and actions to God/Goddess. People would gather in front of her front steps by the thousands. She is considered to be a mahatma, a great soul. Many consider her to be an incarnation of the Divine Mother. Ma herself denies that she is an incarnation. She says no one should worship her, but that they should worship God instead. In her great love, experienced in charitable activities and through her hugging, many have experienced an aspect of the Divine Mother: unconditional love.
Ma shares her great wisdom, despite her lack of higher education. As a mentioned before some say she is an avatar (incarnation) because as a child she realized God and had no teacher. This is considered to be very rare among spiritual teachers.
Ma says, "Reasoning is necessary, but we should not let it swallow the faith in us. We should not allow the intellect to eat up our heart. Too much knowledge means nothing but a big ego. The ego is a burden, and a big ego is a big burden. Devotion without knowledge can not free us, but knowledge without devotion is like eating stones." To me this is great wisdom. I know that when I am performing a new musical composition, delivering a new Katha (talk) or singing a Kirtan song both are necessary in accomplishing a great connection with my listeners. These experiences are emotional connections with people and with God/Goddess. You can experience all of these experiences without any heart connection, but it is just not the same. The heart is so important in truly reaching others.
Another great pearl of wisdom from Ma is thought-provoking for a number of people: "The masculine principle has overtaken the world and that is causing many problems today. We must bring the nurturing energy of the feminine back into the world. That is why we are worshiping the Goddess today." I can really relate to what Ma is saying from my own personal experience. I had a vision of Krishna a couple years ago. He told me that: "We are missing the feminine today in the temples. It is through the Goddess that the ecological crises can be solved. So speak of both--they have been neglected." Hinduism is a nature-based spiritual path, but often people just embrace the chemical lifestyle of the West. They forget Ayurvedic medicine and living close to the Earth. This experience was the first time I came to realize the power of the Goddess in real terms and the feminine aspects of spiritual power.
If you want to learn more about Ammachi Ma go to: www.amritapuri.org. Another good source to read is Daughters of the Goddess/The Women Saints of India by Linda Johnsen, Yes International Publishers, St. Paul, MN. Their website is: www.yespublishers.com. I used these two sources in this blog. Ma is one of the great women who will be honored this month. March is Women's History Month and was established by U.S. Congress in 1987. It is a month to connect with our Divine Feminine. Jai Jai Ma!
JAI SHRI AMMACHI MA!, Radhapriestess