Friday, July 28, 2006

The Saint of Hugs

I have just returned from yet another trip to Massachusetts.

The first television show I watched when coming home was a film called DARSHAN about guru in India called "Amma". Amma has been a known "Holy Woman" for many years, and has an ashram ( a community ) of her own in India where people can come and visit.

She is also known as "The Hugging Guru". She doesn't charge anything. One of the many websites about her says :
Her long Sanskrit name is Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, which translates into Mother of Immortal Bliss. Yet to millions around the world she is known simply as Amma (mother) or Ammachi (beloved mother). So approachable is she that many have come to realize in her a love that is archetypical of "everybody's mother," which is, of course, difficult to describe.

It is estimated that she has hugged over 27 million times. She has also started numerous charitable agencies and programs to aid the poor and to provide education. She funds 30 soup kitchens in America, for example.

But here is the line I found most compelling :
At a young age, Ammachi concluded that human suffering stemmed almost fully from a lack of love. Thereafter she resolved to be part of the solution, thus offering her entire life as an expression of divine love.

Sit with that one for a minute ...all human suffering stems from a lack of love.

Look at your own suffering -- I don't mean the pain of a stubbed toe - I mean the suffering that has deep meaning attached to it in your life.

She is right.

So here is this woman, who asks for no money -- who will see the rich and the poor alike, who even goes into remote and poverty stricken villages. She does not claim to be divine. She is communicating the love of the divine. She is not a Messiah, nor does she claim to be, but that which is loved in her, is part of what we who are Christian love in Christ -- inclusive and unconditional love.

What gave me hope is that millions of people are interested in her -- and her charitable works. Things are such a tragic and cruel mess in the world right now - - to have women like this on the rise helps me hope. She does not want people to leave their faith communities. She just wants to communicate love.

The film says she kissed a leper's sores and they healed. My heart wants very much to believe that, because my soul knows that it is possible. Love can heal anything, anything.

Do you feel the great thirst in this story of this tiny and philanthropic woman? The world is so thirsty for love, for that unconditionally loving divine embrace. We have separated ourselves so far from love, even the knowledge of God's love, -- And here a woman in India attracts millions of people from all over the world, simply with a message of acceptance and love.

No diatribes, no elaborate cathedrals, no political champions, no wars -- just an embrace.


Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

remarkable woman. she reminds me of that other woman with a big heart and uncomromising actions, mother someone...i forget her name

I find people like this inspiring but slightly out of reach

1:47 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

I didn't know about her, thanks so much for telling her story.
In case you don't get back to my blog, Mr. D did well in surgery, asked to have his status changed to Catholic, and got a visit from the priest later that same day, all answers to my prayers for him. Thank you for asking!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Mata H said...

Harbour -- I understand...I just get blown away by the thirst she seems to bring up in people -- and the testimony her ministry is to what so many others leave undone.

Song - good news about Mr D..thanks for sharing.

2:48 PM  

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