‘’Where there’s love, there’s no effort’’
According to Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), well known as one of India’s foremost spiritual leaders, our soul needs love to grow. Like a seeds needs water, our soul needs love. She reaches out to people and consoles those who are suffering, uniquely expressed by a motherly embrace. Because love is her inborn nature.
Amma was born in a poor fisher village in Kerala, South India in 1953. As a young girl she was already occupied with spiritual practices. She spent many hours in deep meditation and was singing devotional songs. Her parents noticed that their daughter behaved differently from the other children. People thought she was crazy, because nobody understood her behavior. She had her own principles and this caused a lot of problems with her parents, and they wished she could behave as a normal child. When Amma was nine years old, her mother became ill, and Amma had to quit school in order to help with household tasks and the care of her seven siblings. Every day she went door-to-door gathering food scraps from neighbors for her family’s cows. She discovered that some people had enough to eat, but some suffered tremendously from poverty. Amma was deeply affected by the suffering of these people, and started to help them by giving them food and clothing from her own home. For doing so she was several punished by her family, but this couldn’t stop her from helping people in need. When she got older some people in her town started to notice she was special and came to her and listen to her preaching’s.
After a long period her family finally also started to accept Amma for who she was and supported her spiritual practices. She became more popular in her town and began to receive people in her home to give them spiritual guidance. This was the beginning of a new path in her life. She started an ashram and when she was 30 a foundation was born, known as Embracing the World and she has already helped millions of people by providing food, housing, education and medical services for the poor. Today she still is participating in many spiritual and charitable activities, she also travels around the world to offer a personal embrace.
In October 2015, Amma visited Holland and we decided to take the chance to meet this embracing mother. The event took place in Expo Houten and when we arrived it was really crowded. A lot of people came to visit Amma. People had to wait for hours to get a personal embrace from Amma. The organization gave us a guided tour and told us a lot about Amma. At that point I didn’t know much about Amma. But suddenly I felt differently, I sensed a higher energy and felt uplifted. From that moment I knew it was real and that Amma was really special. After our guided tour we were allowed to receive Amma’s embrace. We stood in line and before I knew it, it was our turn to meet Amma. In my experience it was a long hug. She whispered some kind words in my ear and afterwards she gave me a beaded bracelet. After the embrace we were allowed to sit on the stage near Amma. We felt a sense of peace. Sometimes people ask mother Amma if she doesn’t get tired seeing thousands of people a day and she answers with a laugh. ‘’No, where there’s love, there’s no effort’’.
Written by Sadja Faili