domingo, 28 de marzo de 2010

Mata Amritanandamayi, Indian Saint

Mata Amritanandamayi, Indian Saint

Mata Amritanandamayi is an Indian Spiritual leader honored by her followers as a `hugging saint`

"Everyone in the world should be able to sleep without fear, at least for one night. Everyone should be able to eat to his fill, at least for one day. There should be at least one day when hospitals see no one admitted due to violence.

By doing selfless service for at least one day, everyone should help the poor and needy. It is Amma`s prayer that at least this small dream be realized." is Mata Amritanandamayi Devi`s desire. Love, compassion, empathy and tolerance, these qualities under the pressures of modern life have all disappeared. Through Her loving embrace and charitable activities, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi affectionately known as Amma or Mother is healing the heart of the world, rekindling love and mutual respect, and awakening people to their fundamental oneness. This widely respected humanitarian also called by some `the hugging saint`. Amma, the concrete form of Love, her only wish is that Her hands should always be on someone`s shoulder, consoling and caressing them and wiping their tears, even while breathing Her last. Through Her extraordinary acts of love and self-sacrifice, Amma has endeared Herself to millions. Amma`s compassion crosses all barriers of nationality, race, caste and religion. Amma`s teachings are universal. Whenever She is asked about Her religion, She replies that Her religion is Love. She 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 him or herself.

Mata AmritanandamayiAmritanandamayi was born in a poor fishing village in Kerala, Southern India, in 1953. She was given the name Sudhamani (Ambrosial Jewel). Her father sold fish to make a living. Her mother relates that the child wasn`t born crying as babies usually are, but with a beaming smile on Her face. It was clear that She was unique Even as a small child. At six months She could walk and talk, and by the age of three She was constantly singing. By the age of five She was composing beautiful, extraordinarily profound hymns to Her beloved Krishna. Her schooling ended when she was nine, and she began to take care of her younger siblings and the family domestic work full-time. The pain of others was unbearable to Her because Her empathy was such that. Though just a child, She began to contemplate the question of suffering. She was punished when She gave away the family`s food and belongings to the poor, but Sudhamani would not stop Her acts of kindness. During Her early teens, Sudhamani was sent to the houses of relatives where She labored for long hours, taking care of their households as well. Throughout all her duties She was incessantly singing and chanting Krishna`s name, and imagined that all the work she did was for him.

So powerfully She feel the presence of God within Her that She wanted to reach out and comfort and uplift those who were less fortunate than She. Her devotees claim that she had many mystical experiences as a child. Since 1981, she has been teaching spiritual aspirants all over the world. She founded a worldwide organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, which is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities. From humble beginnings she undertook a journey to attain "universal motherhood". She addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Amma teaches renunciation, but only in the midst of a lifetime of refusing to consider Her own comfort. Amma teaches Advaita, but not without Her every breath bearing testament to Her inability to see any man, woman or child as different from Her own Self. Amma is eternally established in Truth, which is beyond words, beyond thoughts. Many of Amritanandamayi`s followers believe in her powers to perform miracles. She goes on to say that water was miraculously changed to panchamrutham (a sweet often prepared for Hindu religious ceremonies) in her presence and that her devotees were able to light lamps out of conches filled with water. She is also considered by some to be an avatar of the Great Mother.

Amritanandamayi`s main Ashram is Amritapuri. It is located in Parayakadavu, Kollam, Kerala. Amritapuri is also the name by which the location of the ashram is now known. Amritapuri is also one of the campuses of the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham the institute founded by Amma.

The Mata Amritanandamayi Math is a public charitable trust headquartered at Parayakadavu also known as Amritapuri, Kollam, Kerala, was founded to promote the message of Mata Amritanandamayi. The Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust is the parent organization for numerous spiritual, educational, social and cultural activities. Their activities include program to build 100,000 homes for the poor; hospitals; orphanages; hospices; women`s shelters; pension disbursements for widows; community aid centers; homes for the aged; eye clinics; and speech therapy centers. Many of Amma`s centers in the US run `Mother`s Kitchen`, or `vegetarian soup-kitchens`, where volunteers prepare and serve meals to the poor and needy. The Mata Amritanandamayi Math runs 33 schools, 12 temples, one super-speciality hospital in Kochi, feeds thousands during mass kitchen, provides pension every year to over 15,000 widows, builds 25,000 houses annually for the homeless and has 35 Amma welfare centres all over the world to spread her spiritual message. Recently, Mata Amritanandamayi Math announced a billion rupees i.e. 23 million dollars in aid to the victims of the 2004 tsunami. The Math`s relief work is happening in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar islands and in Sri Lanka. In September 2005, Mata Amritanandamayi donated $1,000,000 to the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Katrina fund. She also sent a top aide to the devastated areas soon after the storm struck in the United States to assess the kind of help needed by victims. In October 2005, thousands of blankets were sent and distributed to the survivors of the Kashmir and Pakistan earthquake.

A monthly magazines concerned with spirituality in India is published by the Amritapuri Ashram in both Indian and European languages named `Matruvani`. Matruvani was first published in 1984. The magazine has been translated into English, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali and Hindi. European Matruvani is also published in French, German, Italian, Finnish and Spanish.

Mata  AmritanandamayiAmritanandamayi is known to the world media as `the hugging saint`. She offers hugs to everyone who approaches her. Amritanandamayi is said to have hugged at least 30 million people in the past 30 years, worldwide. "Darshan - The Embrace", a film on the life of Amritanandamayi was officially selected for showcasing at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Jan Kounen, an award winning filmmaker, directed the film. Manuel De La Roche of France, is the producer. Jan Kounen and his crew began shooting the footage for the film in 2003 during Amritavarsham50, Amritanandamayi`s 50th birthday celebrations in Kochi. The team also traveled with Amritanandamayi on her Indian and International tours in order to complete the movie. Kounen says, "when I first took up the project and started filming, I thought, `Amma is a good person, doing good things, in turn I can do something good for her`. But as it went on, I realized, no, I am the one who is receiving the gift" about the film.

In 1993, she represents Hinduism at the Parliament of the World`s Religions in Chicago. Amritanandamayi was the keynote speaker at The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland held in October 2002. This was an initiative of the UN` Millennium World Peace Summit, in which Amritanandamayi spoke in August 2000. The Gandhi-King award was presented to Amritanandamayi in 2002 in recognition of her lifelong work in furthering the principles of non-violence by The World Movement for Nonviolence at the UN General Assembly Hall (Palais Des Nations) in Geneva. The three previous recipients of the award were Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, and primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. She also address at the Interfaith Celebrations on the 50th anniversary of the UN in 1995.

The first set of monastic disciples of Amritanandamayi came to her in the late 1970s. Swami Amritaswarupananda was the first disciple to be initiated as a sanyasi. Other senior disciples are Swami Turiyamritananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Swami Purnamritananda and Swami Amritatmananda. Bramachari Dayamrita Chaitanya is one of Amma`s senior disciples stationed at the MA Center located in San Ramon, CA. He is in charge of all activities performed by the MA center in the US and all branch groups.

Sreeni Pattathanam is a rationalist and atheist activist , writer from Kerala, India. He wrote a book critical of the Amritanandamayi ashram. Amma also came under criticism in June of 2007, from dozens of elected officials, religious and community leaders throughout the state of California as a result of her choice to stay at the LAX Hilton during a labor dispute. Rabbi Michael lerner, the editor of Tikkun Magazine, declined to receive an award which he was scheduled to receive from the spiritual leader. He wrote a letter adressing the saint "Amma, there is no possibility of creating a more loving and caring world that I know you are so committed to so long as spiritual leaders like yourself fail to link spiritual ideals to concrete social justice for poor and working people."

(Last Updated on : 9/09/2009)

More on Indian Saints...

Mata Amritanandamayi
Swami Dayanand Sarawati
Maharshi Yogi

Shri Shri Ravishankar
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Ramdev

Sahajananda Swami
Swami Sahajand Saraswati

Swami Raghavendra
Ramana Maharshi

Baba Loknath
Swami Parijnanashram

H H Shankarashram- I Swamiji
Swami H H Parijnanashram II
H H Shankarashram- II Swamiji

His Holiness Swami Keshavashram
Swami Vamanashram
Swami Krishnashram

His Holiness Swami Pandurangashram
Swami Anandashram
Swami Parijnanashram III

Shrimat Sadyojat Shankarashrama
Swami Chidananda Saraswati
Swami Nigamananda

Ramana Maharishi
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
Swamiji A .Parthasarathy

Acharya Koshoreji Vyas
Annada Thakur

Baba Sheikh Farid Shakarganj
Bhagat Sain

Bhagwan Das
Guru Har Krishan Ji

Guru Hargobind Ji
Guru Ramdas Ji
Hazrat Inayat Khan

J. Krishnamurti
Khwaja Ghulam Farid

Meher Baba

Neem Karoli Baba

Pandit Satlal Siboo

Pujyapada Ayodhya Dasji
Ram Singh Baba
Sri Morari Bapu

Sri Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari
Sri Swami Brahmanand Maharaj
Sri Swami Krishnanda Saraswati

Sri Yukteshwar
Swami Agnivesh
Swami Anand Ji Maharaja

Swami Chinmayananda
Swami Divayanand Ji Teerth
Swami Jinendra

Swami Jitatmananda Maharaj
Swami Kral Babji
Swami Lakshman Joo

Swami Mast Ram Jee
Swami Nand Lal Ji
Swami Ram Tirth

Saint Ramlinga Swamigal
Swami Ramanand
Swami Shraddhanandaji

Swami Tapovan Maharaj
Vaishnavacharya Goswami

Ved Vyas

Guru Nanak
Ramakrishna Paramahansa
Swami Sri Bharati Krisna Tirthaji

Pandit Shraddha Ram Phillauri
Baba Ram Singh

Baba Dayal Das

Sathya Sai Baba

Srila Prabhupada
Sri Chinmoy
Swami Jyotirmayananda

Swami Muktananda
Swami Rama
Swami Rama Tirtha

Amar Das

Ramalinga Swami
The Pandharpur Pilgrimage and the Pandharpur Saints

Adi Shankaracharya
Swami Ramakrishnananda


Swami Akhandananda
Swami Shivananda

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