Many people wonder how a little girl from a simple South Indian village came to be known throughout the world as "Amma, the Mother of All." Motherhood, in its ultimate sense, has nothing to do with bearing a child, but with love, compassion and selflessness. It lies in totally giving one's self to others. 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.
Indeed, actions speak louder than words. Yet the Truth as heard from Amma's lips has deafening impact. Whether delivered to crowds of thousands or in the intimate setting of the ashram, Amma's satsang is always unforgettable. Amma is eternally established in Truth, which is beyond words, beyond thoughts. Perhaps this is what She was trying to impart to us through Her birth. Yet when She wants to convey that silence, it assumes the form of a thought. A collection of these thoughts is presented here, so that one day we too may realize that silence.
Amma's mystical poem Ananda Veethi describes Her transcendental experience of attaining union with the Divine (listen). "Seeing nothing as apart from my own Self "— this was Amma's vision, that everything in creation was part of Her own Self. At that time the Divine Mother also imparted to Her a mission— to ask the people to fulfil their human birth through the message "Oh man, merge in your Self!"
This message lies at the heart of all of Amma's institutions and charitable activities. Amma's children manage Her projects with the faith that they will be transformed through their service to the world, gradually transcending their personal likes and dislikes and becoming more compassionate and selfless; more closely identified with the Universal Self, the Atman.
Amma has never sought to convert anyone; Hers is not a sectarian mission. But Amma has always stressed that along with a new home, a pension, an operation or a meal, the beneficiaries of Her charitable projects receive a compassionate smile and a kind word from those who serve them. In this way those who give, those who receive, and those who look on—all are transformed by the selfless love and sense of universal kinship, blossoming in an experience of essential unity amid apparent diversity—the oneness in the Self.
Seeing the whole world as an extension of her own self, Amma is ever ready to forego her own body's needs in order to bring a smile to someone's face, wipe their tears or to simply listen to their sorrows. The sweet manner in which she laughs and jokes with people, shares in their success and failure has endeared millions to her throughout the world. In fact, many see Amma as their lifelong confidant and friend. Giving darshan in this manner is verily Amma's life—day after day, week after week, year after year. In fact, Amma has been doing so since she was just 17 years old, and she has been known to sit embracing people continuously for as long as 22 hours. Amma is able to make such a personal sacrifice because in her arms people feel safe, feel comforted, loved, feel that finally they've found someone who knows them through and through. And with that feeling they get the strength to move forward in life, and this, Amma feels, is infinitely more important than her physical needs. Be they young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor—everyone receives the same unconditional love. Amma turns no one away. The atheist has just as much a place with Amma as the devotee
For Amma, Advaita [non-dualism] is not a mere philosophy, but something to be lived. As such, Amma's every thought, word and deed resound with that greatest of truths: Everything within and without is divine. Accordingly, Amma oversees a massive matrix of humanitarian activities. Hospitals for the sick, homes for the homeless, disaster relief, orphanages, hospices, free pensions, suicide-prevention, employment programs… the list is endless. Influenced by Amma's example and experiencing her pure love, thousands upon thousands of people from around the world have been inspired to take up a life of service—giving whatever time or money they can spare in order to help others. It is the seed of love Amma has planted within them beginning to sprout that has brought this about. This has been Amma's vision from the beginning. Amma says, "In today's world, people experience two types of poverty: the poverty caused by lack of food, clothing and shelter, and the poverty caused by lack of love and compassion. Of these two, the second type needs to be considered first—because, if we have love and compassion in our hearts, then we will wholeheartedly serve those who suffer from lack of food, clothing and shelter." This is the secret behind the success of Amma's charitable mission and how its expansion seems to be constant and without end. And the brilliance of Amma's grand scheme is that not only are the downtrodden uplifted but also the volunteers, as the selflessness of their actions purifies their minds, helping them to gradually progress along the spiritual path. Amma's charitable social services cross all barriers of nationality, race, caste and religion, and have drawn the attention of the world community. In 2005, Amma's organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, was given special consultative status by the United Nations.
Humanitarian, Mother, Friend, Guru, God…people see her differently. Amma has offered herself to the world. In reality, Amma is beyond all such roles, knowing her true nature to be the true nature of us all—the blissful divine consciousness that pervades this universe. But out of her infinite compassion, Amma comes down to the level of whoever is standing before her—the poor, the lonely, the seeker—in order to give what is desired, what is needed. It was for this purpose alone that Amma was born and for this alone that Amma lives today. In fact, Amma has said that she wishes to be lovingly caressing someone, consoling them and wiping their tears even when she breathes her last
Amma has a Desire
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
It is Amma's prayer that at least this small dream be realised."