Through her extraordinary acts of love and self-sacrifice, Mata Amritanandamayi, or ‘Amma’ as she is more commonly known, has endeared herself to millions around the world.
Tenderly embracing everyone who comes to her, holding them in her loving embrace, Amma shares her boundless love with all — regardless of their beliefs, their status or why they have come to her.
In this simple yet powerful way, Amma is transforming the lives of countless people, helping their hearts to blossom, one embrace at a time. During the past 45 years, Amma has physically hugged an estimated 39 million people from all parts of the world.
Now, Amma is coming once again to North America. Amma will be here for an 11-city tour from June 6 – July 18, and will visit Seattle, San Ramon, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago and Toronto for a series of free public programs and three retreats. Thousands will turn out to listen to Amma’s inspiring talks and to get in line for one of her profoundly touching motherly hugs.
Amma will visit Atlanta June 28 and June 29, at the Hilton, Atlanta. The event is free and open to all. Programs include inspirational music, meditation, spiritual discourse, and personal blessings.
COMPASSION IN ACTION
So, what is Amma’s message, apart from the healing power of a tender, heartfelt hug?
Amma’s teachings are universal. When asked about her religion, she replies “My religion is love.” Amma 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.
Amma’s tireless spirit of dedication to uplifting others has culminated in a vast network of charitable projects in India and around the world, under the global banner of ‘Embracing the World.’ For this work Amma has been honored with a number of international awards, including the prestigious Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence (2002), the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award (2006) and an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York (2010). In 2014, Amma joined Pope Francis and 10 other global spiritual leaders from a range of faiths to sign the Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery.
A LIFE-CHANGING EMBRACE
If you attend one of Amma’s free programs, one of the first things you will notice is that people come to Amma from all religions and all walks of life. Some have been walking the spiritual path for decades; others have never picked up a spiritual book in their lives.
Some come because they are suffering mentally, physically or materially and they hope Amma can help them. Some are simply curious. Perhaps they have seen Amma in the newspaper or on TV, and they want to see for themselves what this is all about.
Regardless of why they have come, in Amma’s arms many describe experiencing a feeling of radiant and unconditional love. Some are moved to tears and feel a cleansing of old wounds; others experience profound peace and even joy. Regardless of people’s different backgrounds or cultures, the experiences of the heart show us how similar we all are — how we are all searching for true love and compassion.
The stories of people who have met Amma are incredibly powerful, and provide an insight into the way in which Amma is able to deeply affect so many people and open so many hearts:
“After Amma’s hug, I slowly noticed a change in my thinking. I started to ask myself new questions like: ‘What happens to old people who have no money and no one to care for them? How do the poor care for themselves and their families? If I had a lot of money, would that make me happy?’ I hate to admit it, but at the time these were new questions for me – I’d never bothered to give these things much thought because I was always so focused on myself. I soon realized that my constant effort to be ‘more’ and ‘better’ was only so I could feel loved. Yet, through her simple embrace, Amma filled my heart up with love without asking me for anything in return. She had given it freely and somehow made me feel like I was inherently deserving of this love, just for being me. Only after I felt truly and unconditionally loved in this manner was I able to shift my focus a little bit away from myself.” —Julie Cairns, Sydney, Australia