Posted on 19 September 2014.
Imagine somebody who has embraced over 34 million persons individually. Imagine someone who has travelled across continents, year after year, for 40 years, wiping the tears of those seeking solace– irrespective of country, colour, caste or socio-economic background. Imagine a being, whose sole mission in life is to shower unconditional love and compassion.Imagine a person for whom round-the-clock selfless service is something which flows straight from the heart. Imagine a leader whose personal example has inspired ordinary mortals to create a wonderful edifice of: national and internationally recognised charities, globally respected health and wellness institutions; a nationally accredited and respected network of educational institutions & centres of advanced learning. Imagine, again, a Master who has initiated countless seekers across the world into a spiritual orbit guiding each one of them on to a path where they could discover their true inner self and the very meaning of life itself. Well all these appear to be beyond human imagination –but this has been the mission of Amma for the past four decades.
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi or Amma as she is fondly known the world over, says “The beauty and charm of selfless love and service should not die away from the face of this earth. The world should know that a life of dedication is possible, that a life inspired by love and service to humanity is possible”. What inspires a common man today, in any country, is not words, but deeds which complement words. And Amma leads by example, not for a year or two, or for a decade or two –but has been at it for over 40 years.
On Sept 27,2014, when lakhs of disciples, devotees, well-wishers and first-time visitors from over 100 countries come to Amritapuri, Kollam (Kerala) to observe Amma’s birthday, Mother will be giving darshan to each and every individual who wishes to receive it –and this will be done non-stop for over 24 hours. And this unique darshan experience has been enjoyed by people across the globe, not just on a birthday, but around the year for four decades.
It is this spirit of boundless compassion that has spawned a vast global network of institutions and range of social service initiatives that touch the core of human existence—Humanitarian, Healthcare, Education, Ecology, Gender Equity, Interfaith & Religious Harmony, World Peace… And the pivot around which all these initiatives of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math rests, is the spirit of “giving”
No wonder, former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam quipped, “…I want to share what I have learned (from Mata Amritanandamayi Math): Giving. Go on giving. You can give. It’s not only money. You can share knowledge. You can remove the pain. And you can even go to the person who is suffering. Every one of us—the rich and poor—can give. That is the message that I get from Amritapuri. There is no greater message than Amma’s giving to all the people of this region, and Kerala, and India, and to the world.”
In a world where the principles of success are based on a foundation of individualism, materialism, cynicism and opportunism, Amma has charted an absolutely different path, where both the Ends and the Means are based on the tenets of boundless love, selfless service and unity of hearts. That explains how a tiny fishing hamlet in Kollam has, just over a period of a few decades, become the fountainhead for a remarkable humanitarian movement encompassing a wide range of institutions and initiatives: benefiting millions of underprivileged; providing solace to lakhs who have been the victims of natural and man-made calamities; enabling health care and wellness through sophisticated, yet affordable hospitals; a multi-campus-multi-disciplinary university—and above all becoming a ‘United Nations’ of sorts, by bringing together a huge pool of diversified human talent across nationalities to work selflessly for an over-arching mission.
Amma normally says that God, by whatever name, doesn’t reside in a make-believe heaven above in the sky—but that it is our attitudes and actions, our hearts and minds that can create it, wherever we are. And Amma has ceaselessly shown by example, that this can be done. And if there is heaven on earth, it is this… Echoing this thought, Jane Goodall, world–renowned primatologist and environmentalist, had this to say at the United Nations headquarters at Geneva, when Amma was presented with the ‘Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence’, “… Amma is the very embodiment of goodness. She believes that God does not discriminate between the sexes, and I believe she stands here in front of us, God’s Love in a human body”
– Sushil Kumar