who is amma?


The Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust runs a plethora of charitable institutions under the benign guidance of Amma. These humanitarian activities serve the most disadvantaged sections of society by providing development assistance, economic aid, medical aid, and educational facilities for everyone. Amma's generous spirit of service and love permeate these activities which reach the poorest areas of India and serve the masses whom society has rejected. Teaching by the example of her own life, Amma blends spiritual awareness with practical social service.

Amma feels that service helps one to build compassion for those that are less fortunate. It is toward this end that all of the work of maintaining the ashram and attending to the thousands of people who come there is done by the residents themselves. Amma feels that those who work hard and undergo the tribulations of the poor will be able to serve them properly through a sympathetic understanding. Amma practices what she preaches and she herself joins in all of the work.

"I desire peace for the people; this is what makes me happy. In this world where so many people live in luxury and comfort, there are many who are suffering poverty and even starvation. With cooperation and love, we must selflessly serve the whole world without expecting anything in return."

Accordingly, she has launched two distinct types of volunteer institutions: 1) direct aid organizations and 2) educational facilities designed to help the underprivileged help themselves.

Direct aid organizations include a program to build 25,000 homes for the poor, women's shelters, pension disbursements for widows, orphanages, hospices, hospitals, and community aid centers, homes for the aged, eye clinics, speech therapy centers, just to name a few. One of the major projects is the 800 bed Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) hospital, which offers state-of-the-art medical treatment including open-heart surgery, neurosurgery, and organ transplants-free of charge to the needy.

Concurrently, Ammachi's network of educational facilities is blossoming all over India. So far, it includes numerous elementary, secondary, vocational, and graduate schools, ranging from remote tribal tutelage to advanced business and technical certification. In particular, the Amrita Institutions Campus in Coimbatore, India offers advanced degrees in engineering, information technology and management.

In the west, Amma has equally encouraged devotees to serve selflessly in their own communities. This has resulted in the successful launch of the "Mother's Kitchen" program. Mother's Kitchen volunteers routinely prepare and serve delicious healthy meals to the poor and needy in many US inner cities. These "vegetarian soup-kitchens" prove to be very popular with the homeless and this effort is being organized in new cities throughout the country. Another future project well underway is a home for the aged in Oklahoma.

In short, these humanitarian activities are impacting India on a grassroots level. By directly serving those people who are in dire need, Amma's numerous charitable activities are transforming society one person at a time. Furthermore, these activities provide hands on opportunities for individuals to become involved in their communities.

"We must light the lamp of faith and love in our hearts. This will remove all darkness in and around us."
-- Amma
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