(Digital art Courtesy: Hiral Varun)
- She is called Amma (Mother).
- She hails from a little fishermen’s hamlet in Kerala, India. She is hardly educated up to primary school. She is now a world-renowned Hindu saint and a globally recognized philanthropist. She travels across the length and breadth of India and also across the globe every year to meet people. She is known as the Hugging Saint. She is a ceaseless fountainhead of divine love.
- She embraces each and every individual who comes to her for her darshan. She spends 10-14 hours a day, at least 4 days a week in meeting and hugging people who come to see her in thousands. She has been doing it ceaselessly since the age of 22/23. (She is now 65 as in 2018). She has hugged more than 33 million people across the world.
- She is an unconditional giver. All the people in this world are her sons and daughters. She gives pure love to the world suffering in scorching selfishness; she heals people both physically and mentally.
- She spreads spirituality to earnest seekers as a Sadguru. There are several tens of Sanyasis and hundreds of Brahmachari / Brahmacharinis living in her Ashram at Amritapuri, along with hundreds of household devotees (both Indians and foreigners) who are doing spiritual sadhana (meditation, mantra japa, devotional singing, studying shastras like Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads etc) and also doing selfless service, leading a very frugal and simple life, under her guidance.
- She serves the poor and the downtrodden. She runs hospitals, orphanages, schools, colleges, and research institutions. She is always there with a helping hand extended, whenever and wherever there is a natural calamity.
- Here is an attempt to showcase, for the sake of historical records, what she has been doing year after year in her action-packed life ever since her birth. No wonder she is hailed as an Avatar of divine mother Parashakti; the power she radiates is immeasurable; what she has accomplished and what she has been doing is simply beyond the grasp and capacity of not only ordinary human beings but also scientists, rationalists, and agnostics.
1953 – 27th September
- Sunday, after 9 AM (in star Karthika) The Holy Avatar of Amma happens – The girl child, later named Sudhamani (Later Mata Amritanandamayi) was born to Dhamayanthi Amma and Sri Sugunanandan as their 3rd child at Parayakadavu, a fishermen’s hamlet in Alappad, Kerala. Her birthplace, in future, acquires the name Amtitapuri.
1957 (Age 4)
- ‘Kunju’ (Little) Sudhamani frequently turns inwards, forgetting the outer world and goes to a meditative state.
1958 (Age 5)
- Sudhamani starts going to elementary school. She is soaked in Krishna bhakti most of the time even at such a tender age.
1960 (Age 7)
- Sudhamani starts composing devotional songs on Lord Krishna. Most of the time her dress is wet with tears she sheds crying for her beloved Krishna.
1962 (Age 9)
- Sudhamani discontinues school (in a couple of months after joining 5th standard) and takes charge of doing all domestic chores since her mother falls sick. In all her free time, she is immersed in the devotion of Sri Krishna.
1966 (Age 13)
- Sudhamani starts going to her Mother’s elder sisters’ house for doing their domestic chores. Sudhamani gives the families’ rice to the poor and gets the wrath of the relatives.
1968 (Age 15)
- Sudhamani was sent to her uncle’s house in Karunagapally for doing their domestic chores. Here too she starts giving food and provisions from the house to the poor and needy and gets punished for her charity.
1969 (Age 16)
- Sudhamani returns to her parents’ house and gets fully engaged in doing all domestic chores from 3 AM in the morning till 11 PM and also immerses herself in intense sadhana and Krishna Bhakthi. She also serves the poor people in the village and distributes food and provisions stealthily from her house. Gets punished frequently for this charity.
1970 (Age 17)
- Sudhamani learns tailoring at a Christian Institution attached to a Church (for about 3 years) in her spare time. She goes into meditation at the graveyard next to the church. The old priest in the Church gets highly impressed by her character and devotion to God. He predicts she will come up as a great lady in the future.
- Sudhamani loses sleep crying and singing for her beloved Krishna. Her family members get highly disturbed by her behavior. They think she is mentally deranged.
1975 (Age 22)
- Sudhamani’s intense prema bhakti on Krishna ends up in a divine experience of Lord Krishna merging in her.
- 5th March 1975 – Sudhamani first Krishna Bhava (involuntarily expressing the divine mood of Lord Krishna) at the courtyard of her neighbor Sri Ratnam’s house where Srimad Bhagavada parayanam was going on.
- On the next Bhagavata Parayanam day, based on demands from people to prove her divine power, Sudhamani does a miracle by converting water to milk and also to panchamritam when she shows Krishna bhava again.
- Soon regular Krishna Bhava darshan to devotees begins at the cowshed area next to her house.
- Later a simple temple (Kalari) comes up in the cowshed area where her bhava darshan took place.
- Soon after, Sudhamani gets Devi Parashakthi in a divine vision for a brief while. She immerses in deep Prema Bhakti to seek Devi’s vision again. Sudhamani’s behavior turns very weird bordering on madness.
- Her family members could not understand her divine madness and get very disturbed. Her elder brother Subhakan, who could not accept Sudhamani’s bhava darshans and her divine moods, orders her to get out of the house. In order not to trouble the family members, sSudhamani opts to stay outdoors all the time, be rain or shine. She was out of body consciousness most of the time; animals and birds start giving her company with love and they bring food to her too.
- September 1975 – After 6 months of intense longing, she gets the vision of Devi once again and Devi immerses inside her. Amma sang her experience and the divine commandment she received from Devi thus in her song ‘Ananda Veedhi’
. . . . . .
Smiling, She became a Divine Effulgence
And merged in me. My mind blossomed,
Bathed in the many-hued light of divinity
And the events of millions of years gone by
Rose up within me. Thenceforth,
Seeing nothing as separate from my own Self
And merging in the Divine mother
I renounced all sense of enjoyment
Mother told me to ask people
To fulfill their human birth.
Therefore I proclaim to the whole world
The sublime truth that She uttered
‘oh man, merge in your Self!”
. . . . . . . . .
Sudhamani resolves to dedicate her life totally to mitigate the suffering of the people and serve one and all as embodiments of God.
- Amma (Sudhamani) begins giving Devi Bhava Darshan too in addition to Krishna Bhava Darshan. She hugs each and everyone who comes to her for darshan, hears their woes and offers solace.
- Amma starts facing lots of opposition from and harassment from The Rationalists Movement (‘Committee to remove blind beliefs’) who consider her bhava darshans as fake with an intent to fool people and make money.
- By 1975 year-end – During one Krishna bhava, Amma predicts that she will be having lots of devotees coming to her from far and wide, including from abroad. She also predicts that she would travel all over the world many times.
- Prabhakara Siddha Yogi, a famous avadhuta with extremely weird behavior, who was believed to be living across a couple of centuries, comes and visits Amma. He recognizes her as Kali Mata.
1976 (Age 23)
- Harassment, public ridicule, attempts of physical attack and attempts of murder happens to Amma from locals and members of the Rationalist movement. Amma’s family members feel highly disturbed about such happenings. Amma faces such opposition for the next couple of years with evenness of mind.
- Based on Sugunananda’s prayer during Devi bhava to relieve her daughter from Devi’s possession, Amma falls into deep samadhi the next day and could not be revived to life despite all efforts. Conceding to intense prayers and inconsolable crying of her devotees and family, she comes back to life after 3 hours.
- Unnikrishnan (Amma’s first resident brahmachari of the ashram, later Swami Turiyamritananda Puri) meets Amma and starts staying in the temple.
1977 (Age 24)
- Amma visits Madurai Meenakshi temple with devotees. She goes into deep samadhi for about 1.5 hrs in front of Meenakshi sannadhi.
1978 (Age 25)
- Dattan the leper starts visiting Amma during Bhava Darshan and his acute and deep wounds of leprosy gets cured over a period of time by Amma’s licking of his wounds.
- June 1978 – Amma’s elder brother Subhakan, who could not understand or accept Amma’s spiritual moods, and seemingly lunatic behavior, was strongly against his sisters’ divine bhavas and was extremely mentally disturbed. He commits suicide. Amma had to face negative propaganda and criticism from the rationalists and the public on account of this happening too.