Amma's Ashram


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Asia » India » Kerala » Karunagappally
April 22nd 2012
Published: April 23rd 2012
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Ever heard of 'the hugging saint'? She has travelled all over doing lots of hugging of strangers and also has many very worthy charitable causes she funds. She has an Ashram and I went for a couple of days to check it out. Interesting experience...

I mean I knew it was a bit of a cult, a hugging cult. But I didn't realise till I got there that her followers have actually deified Amma and sing worship to her, believing her to be the representative of Devi (the divine mother) on earth. It was a strange place to be: mostly because of the high number of westerners that have given up their lives to stay with Amma at the Ashram, even bringing up their young children on the compound with colouring books telling Amma's life story (which apparently includes being born blue and re-enacting half the miracle stories from the bible).

It felt such a relief to leave actually. I mean, I got involved there, did my 'sevi' (selfless service) and people were mostly friendly, but it was really hard to be around people with this mentality and not scream.

One massive highlight however is that the Ashram accomodation is 16 floors up, so I had a completely uninterrupted view of the whole sky for the most amazing lightning storm I have ever seen. The fork lightning was spreading right across the sky (which was bright orange for sunset) and the storm lasted for hours! You're not allowed any photography in the ashram but i will admit I broke this rule; although I was only taking pictures of the sky, trying to get a picture that would show even a part of how amazingly beautiful the storm was.

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