I use to stay up all night to study for exams in college, but tonight I’m staying up for a spiritual event. I was introduced to Amma three years ago, a training client of mine volunteers at all of her events in San Ramon, CA.
Amma, which means “Mother”, is a spiritual master. She is also known as “The Hugging Saint.” Over the past 35 years, she has hugged over 25 million people. She will sit for 18-20 hours straight without any breaks until she has hugged everyone that has come to see her. The feeling is overwhelming. I have been lucky enough to have received hugs from Amma three times in my life. I’m going again tonight; but tonight is very special because I can ask her to give me a mantra. The program starts around 6 AM and will end at 10 AM, the next day.
Amma’s following donates to her charity which raises over $80 million a year now and funds orphanages, hospitals, a university, and dozens of schools. But her giving doesn’t stop there, her organization is even better known for its humanitarian relief efforts around the world. When Katrina hit the USA, she was the first person to donate over $1 million in relief. And when the Tsunami hit India and Sri Lanka, she immediately pledged over $23 million but soon realized that wasn’t going to be enough and double the donation to $46 million.
I don’t understand how she can do so much. She was born in a poor, small fishing village in Kerala, India. As a child, against her parents’ wishes, Amma served the elderly, the poor and the sick; she even took care of the untouchables. She never had a spiritual mentor or guru. When asked about her religion, she responds, “My religion is love and service.” And after hugging thousands of people in a single day, a person asked if she was tired of listening to same problems and hugging people, she responded, “Where there is love, there is no effort.”
If you want to learn more about Amma, you can visit her website at:
Now check out this short news program on Amma – “The Hugging Saint”