Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)
During her annual visit to Paris, Amma (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi) received the 2013 Chromy Award on October 18th in front of 5,000 disciples.
Since her first encounter with Amma, in November 2012 in New York, it was Anna Chromy’s deep wish to honor this extraordinary personality (Mahatma) with the Award. Two of Anna’s Chromatology paintings (Love and Transformation) had since been influenced by the writings of Amma and her philosophy of Love and Compassion.
But what is even more inspirational than Amma’s message is her ability to translate her words into acts. All her followers in over 30 countries worldwide give time and money for unpaid social work. In this way many small streams create a powerful river which helps to change the world for the better. In India alone Amma feeds over 1 million people through her Embracing the World Foundation, and gives shelter and education to more than a hundred thousand people in need.
Amma can therefore be rightly considered a “Conscience” of our century. The photos show the announcement of the ceremony, Amma receiving the Award from Anna Chromy, and Amma embracing (giving “Darshan” to) Anna Chromy and her husband Wolfgang Stein, President of the Conscience Institute.
Amma is a Hindu spiritual leader. Her real name is Mata Amritanandamayi but she is known affectionately as Amma, or “Mother”.
One of her senior disciples says, “Mother is an extraordinary saint, in the number of people she intentionally instills spirituality into – even to extent of hugging every single person who comes to her. Basically, every one is potentially what Mother is. Mother’s presence is invoking that reality (of divinity) within that person.”
In an interview with the French magazine “Inexploré” the movie producer and director Claude Lelouch declares his admiration for Amma as the woman who has most impressed him in his life.
Claude Lelouch speaks as a devotee. His international career started with the movie “Un Homme et une Femme”, which gained him two Oscars and the Palme d’Or:
“Amma has looked at me in a way no other woman ever has. To meet her gave me greater pleasure than my Oscars. Amma has this incredible smile when she welcomes you in order to embrace you.
She is obsessed with the power of love and gives her force and energy to everybody.”
At the invitation of some Western devotees, Amma first traveled to the U.S. and Europe in 1987. As she was known by reputation in only limited spiritual circles, her darshan programs were often held in private homes attracting only dozens of people, or a couple hundred at most. Gradually, as a result of word-of-mouth, many thousands now see her at each stop. Amma routinely makes a summer U.S. tour, followed by Europe in the Fall. An ashram was founded in San Ramon, California in 1989 at the behest of her western children who longed for a center to practice her teachings and dedicate themselves to her mission. Since then several ashrams and centers in N. America, Europe, Australia, S. America and Africa have been established.On a typical tour stop, Amma leads a brief morning meditation followed by darshan late into the afternoon. In the evening, she returns to give a satsang (inspiring talk) followed by bhajans (devotional songs). At the conclusion of the bhajans, Amma starts giving darshan to one and all gathered at her presence. Amma would leave the hall only after she receives every single person present. The darshan usually extends till the early morning hours of the next day. All the while, Amma sustains a beaming smile while lovingly embracing one after another. With each hug and smile, an obvious spark of her own energy is passed along. The bliss and tranquility of being in the Amma’s presence is unique and indescribable.
Over time, Amma’s popularity has risen to the point where in India she has been known to individually hug over 50,000 people in one day, sitting sometimes for over 20 hours. Amma travels all around the world to receive all her children around the globe.
Amma has time and again emphasized that the duty of every human being is to realize his true Self, or in other words,’ know who we really are.’ She does not favor any particular religion. When asked to which religion she belongs, she says, “My religion is love and service.”