WELLNESS: Embracing World Peace with India’s ‘Hugging Saint’ Amma




“For the benefit of others, and also for ourselves, we should have the attitude of caring and sharing. We are all links in the chain of life. If one link is weakened, it will affect the strength of the whole chain.” _ Mata Amritanandamayi

More commonly known as “Amma,” cultural ambassador and humanitarian Mata Amritanandamayi returns to New York this week during her 2013 North American tour. Free programs are open to all and scheduled July 11-13 at Jacob Javits Center’s North Hall, but newcomers should heed guidelines on her website if you’d like a hug. On Saturday, Devi Bhava, a celebration devoted to world peace, begins at 7 p.m.


Amma was born in a remote coastal village in southern India, and began embracing people in her village as a way to ease their suffering. Now, millions are inspired by example and come to experience the “Hugging Saint’s” compassion or learn more about her charitable works. According to reports, proceeds from Amma’s tours help fund Embracing the World, a global network of humanitarian projects in more than 40 countries, providing a range of help, including disaster relief work in India, Japan, Haiti and the United States.

Meeting Amma

Volunteers are available to assist throughout this process, so feel free to ask questions. Arrive early since a token system is used and designed to ensure that the first people to join the line are the first to meet Amma. When your token number is called, head to the center aisle in the back of the hall.

  • When your token number is displayed, find a place to store your shoes. You can put them in your bag or leave them in one of the shoe racks outside the hall. If you are unable to remove your shoes, let a volunteer with a green scarf assist you.
  • Find a place to store any large belongings. You may keep your small valuables, such as purses or wallets, with you.
  • If you brought an offering for Amma, bring it with you. You are welcome to bring flowers and fruit from home, but please do not bring other food offerings.
  • If you brought an item to be blessed, such as a photograph or an object, bring that with you as well.
  • Families or couples can be embraced together, or you may wish to be embraced separately. It’s entirely up to you.
  • After you receive your embrace, you will have an opportunity to sit near Amma for a short time.


Learn more: http://www.amritapuri.org/

Amma.org: http://amma.org/

Amma NY (satsangs): http://www.ammany.org/

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