Hugging Hero is Embracing the World
Mata Amritanandamayi is an Indian spiritual leader known as ‘Mother’ and many regard her as a saint. Her message is delivered via a hug and in this way she has touched the lives of millions around the world.
The hugs are completely free of charge but involve a long wait in line as there is no shortage of takers. Visitors to the hugging sessions will have the opportunity to purchase Mata merchandise: the usual guru fare – some of which is gloriously over-priced – but there is no pressure or obvious efforts at salesmanship from her blissfully relaxed helpers. CFI.co understands that most of the profit generated by the Mata organisation funds worthy projects in India and other parts of the world. This seems to be a reasonable if relatively small-scale redistribution of wealth from the fairly affluent to the very needy.
We have no doubt that Mata Ammritandamayi is responding to a genuine human need and becomes our Hero given the incredible number of hugs during her typical 18 hour working day. Could it be that the visitor about to be hugged contributes as much himself to the magic of the moment? Most likely this is the case – and all the more wonderful if it should be so.
“The first step in spiritual life is to have compassion. A person who is kind and loving never needs to go searching for God. God rushes toward any heart that beats with compassion – it is God’s favourite place.”
The Mata Amritandamayi Math (MAM) is an international charity created in 1981 for the spiritual and material improvement of mankind irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It extends disaster relief, provides healthcare and education for the poor, supports the environment and feeds the hungry. MAM, and all other Amritanandamayi centres and organisations function collectively under the umbrella title of Embracing the World.
In July 2005, the charity’s disaster-relief work and other humanitarian activities were recognised by the United Nations which conferred Special Consultative Status to MAM with its Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC], thus enabling collaboration with UN agencies. Three years later, the UN’s Department of Public Information approved MAM as an associated non-governmental organisation to help its work of disseminating information and research into humanitarian issues.