Amma’s hug: the Darshan
“I will continue to embrace until I have enough strength to help all those who come to me. I will put my hand on the crying person’s shoulder. Caressing people with love, comforting them and wiping their tears until the end of this mortal form – this is my wish. “Amma
Mata Amritanandamayi, best known as Amma, is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, leading the global movement Embracing The World, and is an inspiration to thousands of volunteers around the world.
Thanks to the vastness of Embracing The World’s actions and the strong message of peace (of which She is a personal example), Amma is regularly invited to participate in numerous international summits organised by the United Nations and UNESCO.
As a true citizen of the world, Amma holds free public programs all over India, Europe, the United States and Australia, as well as Japan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Africa and South America. In her speeches, She offers words of wisdom and advice on personal fulfillment, while simultaneously addressing the most pressing issues facing our society. From climate change to terrorism, to the tensions arising from the intersection of different cultures, to poverty and women’s rights, Amma invites us to participate in the process of building a more committed and careful society.
In December 2014, together with religious leaders from all over the world, Amma was invited by Pope Francis to sign a joint statement on the commitment to the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking by 2020. On the 8thof July 2015, She opened the United Nations Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development, as Chancellor of Amrita University. On the 20thof July 2015, She was invited to attend the Climate Minds Summit, Why Do I Care, at the Paris Elysee, along with 40 other religious personalities, in the presence of the President of the French Republic Hollande.
On 9 May this year, the first stone of the new Institute of Medical Science and Amrita Research Center, (which will have 2000 beds) was laid out on the outskirts of Faridabad (Dheli’s metropolitan area).
This new hospital is situated in a densely populated area and will service many people. These services will be administered by members of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Center (AIMS) in Cochin.The AIMS, among other things, stands out as one of the largest Indian hospitals for organ transplants. Over the last fifteen years, the Center for Excellence in Organ Transplants has performed around 1012 transplants, including heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, bone marrow, and small intestine, as well as compound tissues, such as hands and face.
In 2015, for the first time in India, 2 patients, Manu and Abdul Rahim, had both of their hands transplanted. After a year of rehabilitation, both patients were able to re-enter their workplace.
At the inauguration of the construction of the new hospital, Haryana’s Prime Minister praised Amma and her charitable works, saying: “India has a long tradition of saints who work for social reforms and help the poor. Mata Amritanandamayi is a brilliant example; She is the incarnation of love and compassion, and works tirelessly for the good of all humanity, considering service to the poor as the greatest form of worship. Throughout the world, her organization is providing exceptional service in education and healthcare.”
Amma always concludes her programs by embracing each participant. Amma has offered her embrace, known as darshan, to more than 37 million people worldwide. After her embrace, many people have felt the urge to offer their service to those in need.
A simple gesture – the embrace of a mother – has become the catalyst and the symbol of Embracing The World.
When she was asked why she hugs people, during an interview with the BBC, Amma replied: “It’s like asking a river, ‘Why do you flow?’ It happens spontaneously, because flowing is the nature of the river. Likewise, Amma’s nature is similar to the one of a mother who expresses love for her children.”