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Mata Amritanandamayi Devi - The Hugging Saint of India
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
“Only when human beings are able to perceive and acknowledge the Self in each other can there be real peace.” - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
Mata Amritanandamayi is a highly revered spiritual leader of India to have millions of followers not only in India but also abroad. She is much reputed as ‘The Hugging Saint’ or ‘ Amma ' meaning mother. She is well known for her humanitarian activities. Ma Amritanandamayi offers a hug to everyone who approaches her and is known to have hugged over 50,000 people in a single day. She might have hugged at least 30 million people in the past 30 years. She spread the message of love and compassion to the world. Her Devotees and the people who have visited her experience the positive aura around her. Even if you go to her with a troubled mind and mind heavy with troubles after meeting her one would feel as if the burdens were taken away by the loving and comforting embrace of the Mother.
She was born as Sudhamani in the small village near Quilon (Kollam) in Kerala on September 27, 1953 to a fishing family. She had to end her education at the age of nine to take care of her siblings. She is said to have had many mystical experiences even as a child.Mata Amritanandamayi received several awards and recognitions for her humanitarian activities and has helped millions of people through her Charitable Organization all over the World. Some of these activities include providing food, shelter for the homeless, medical aid, hospitals, pension to widows, educational institutions, orphanages, home for the aged, helping victims of natural disasters etc.
There are several books, magazines, CD’s and TV programs which where made on this saint. A film on the life of this Saint ‘Darshan – The Embrace’ was officially selected for showcasing at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Saint or Fake Guru?
Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness by Gail "Gayatri" Tredwell narrates the cruelty, abuse and hypocrisy of her Guru Mata Amritanandamayi.