Amma Graces Chicagoland with Hugs and Blessings
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, affectionately known throughout the world simply as “Amma”, will be in Chicago from July 1 to 3 at MA Center Chicago (MACC), Elburn. Translated as “mother” in Sanskrit and dozens of other languages, Amma elicits associations of nurturing, protection, wisdom and deep caring. Her Chicago programs are free and open to the public.
Amma, a 61-year-old South Indian woman born to a fisherman’s family of humble means, has become a world figure known for her remarkable humanitarian work, including donating $1 million following hurricane Katrina and giving Japan, India and Sri Lanka more than $22 million and hundreds of her volunteers that went there to help rebuild after they were hit by tsunamis and hurricanes.
Amma’s morning and evening programs include live music, discourses, Integrative Amrita Meditation, a unique meditation designed by Amma, and an opportunity to explore the peaceful 142 acres of ashram grounds. Visitors can purchase and enjoy chair massage, radiant healing, Vedic astrology, shopping, organic food and books. The highlight of meeting Amma is her hug, or darshan. It is recommended to arrive 60 to 90 minutes before the program starts for a token to reserve a spot.
As a spiritual leader, Amma’s life revolves around giving darshan as she gazes into people’s eyes and soulfully connects with each of them. Many become inspired to reorient their lives toward service, spiritual seeking and environmental awareness and commitment. To date, Amma has given more than 33 million hugs.
Amma considers love to be her religion, and she believes that actions taken to alleviate suffering are the embodiment of love. In Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe and elsewhere throughout the world, Amma has constantly offered inspiration through her talks, her work and her personal connection with each visitor. Amma gently guides her “children” toward emotional fulfillment and an inspired sense of vision.