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religion is love and service.”
“My sole mission is to love and serve one and all.”
Amritanandamayi Ma, affectionately known as Ammachi,
or "little mother," was born in Kerala, India in the 1950's.
Even as a young child, she refused to acknowledge the caste system
and instead loved and served all people regardless of their status
in Hindu culture. Her message to all who encounter her is to realize
the true self, to realize one's own inherent divinity. Ammachi's
unique form of giving darshan, which is Sanskit meaning to see and
be seen by God, is to embrace all who come to see her. Ammachi has
been known to individually hug over 50,000 people in one day, sitting
still to receive each person for over 20 continuous hours. She began
touring the world to give hugs and to spread her message of service,
love, and self- realization in her 30's.
In recent years, Amma has given addresses at the
Parliament of World’s Religions in Chicago, the United Nations in
New York, and the Global Peace Initiative of Women religious and
Spiritual Leaders in Geneva. Amma's emphasis on compassion and service
has inspired innumerable humanitarian activities all over the world.
In 2002, Amma's service of love and compassion was acknowledged with
the Gandhi-King award for Non-violence. She envisions a world where
each person realizes the divine within them to fully engage in a
life of service for others.