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Interesting Amma Photos

In 2002 Amma was given the Ghandi-King Award by the United Nations. This is an award for promoting non-violence in the world. It was presented to her by Jane Goodall who is also very close to Amma.

Ghandi King Award

Another picture of Amma having fun with Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall

To follow is one of your author's favorite Amma quotes. When one watches Amma for some time while she is hugging, she is often laughing and joking with people. It is not unusual to see her break into deep laughter slapping her knee and so on. She also advises us not to be to serious about life in general. Only serious about doing our spiritual practices.

"Life should become one big, hearty laugh - that is religion. That's spirituality. That is real prayer. God is the innocent smile that blossoms from within."   - Amma


Amma laughing   Amma laugh 2


Amma laugh 1   Amma laugh 3


The Prime Minister of India

Amma has visited frequently with the past President of India and the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi (shown in picture below). It is also common for them to speak at Amma's birthday celebrations via video conferencing and, at times, they have been personally in attendance. She has also visited them at the capital of India which is Delhi.



Russell Brand Visits Amma

The well-known British comedian and activist Russell Brand has visited Amma numerous times in New York, London and also at Amma's ashram in Kerala, India. If you go to this link:

Russell Brand

You can read his account of his stay at the ashram. We have included him here because he is young and has his open and unique way of seeing things and describing Amma.

Russell Brand


Russell Brand 2


Jim Carrey

World famous actor Jim Carrey came for Amma’s darshan in Los Angeles.  After meeting Amma he tweeted: “I was feeling down about life ‘n’ love.  Then I met a woman named Ammachi and she gave me back my smile.  Darkness can not compete with her.”

Amma Jim Carrey


Pope Francis

Amma was invited by Pope Francis to be one of fourteen representatives of world religions to address the problem of human trafficking and slavery.

Pope Francis


Pope Francis 2


Amma Meets with Members of the US Congressz

In 2013, while Amma was having her annual retreat in Washington DC, she was invited by Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (California) and Betty McCollum (Minnesota) to meet with Congress men and women. Amma met with more than a dozen members of the United States Congress in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, July 10.

Among the Congressmen and Congresswomen that met with Amma were House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Maryland) and the civil-rights legend and 2011 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom John Lewis (Georgia). Others included Grace Napolitano (California), Henry Waxman (California), Janice Hahn (California), Mike Honda (California), Mark Takano (California), Barbara Lee (California), Jackie Speier (California), Ruben Hinojosa (Texas), Ami Bera (California) and Jan Schakowsky (Illinois).

Amma gave each of the Congresswomen and Congressmen her vibrant heartfelt hug and sat with them, one at a time, in private discussions. Many of them were visibly moved by this extraordinary experience and by Amma’s humanitarian outreach. Also attending were in excess of 50 of the Congresswomen and Congressmen's staff, who also had received Amma’s darshan and had talks with Amma.

Congressman John Lewis, famous civil rights leader from the 60s, was spontaneously moved to tears meeting with Amma.

John Lewis


Doctor Amma, PhD

Amma has received several honorary doctorate degrees from universities. The picture below is from the State University of New York (SUNY) in May of 2010. SUNY bestowed the doctorate degree upon Amma in recognition of her endless efforts to promote global peace, for her dedication and commitment to education and for the far-reaching impact of her many charitable activities in reducing poverty and human suffering in India and throughout the world.

Amma PhD


United Nations

Amma has given talks at the United Nations on a number of occasions. One of these events was UNAOC (United Nations Alliance of Civilizations) in Shanghai, China, in 2015.

More than 150 delegates from throughout the South Pacific and Asia attended. They were representing academia, governments, NGOs, corporations and cultural organizations. The event was a two-day Shanghai Consultations titled “Harmony through Diversity and Dialogue”.

Amma delivered Her speech on “Coexistence and Engagement Between Cultures.” Amma is the only religious/spiritual leader that had been invited to this meeting and it was Amma’s first visit to China.



UNESCO Parliament of Religions

In 2005 Amma was invited to be the keynote speaker at the UNESCO Parliament of World's Religions. Rev. William E. Lesher, Chairman of the Trustees of this organization had this to say about Amma:

"Amma is a very important religious leader and we are very honoured to have Her here as the keynote speaker on our closing ceremony. Amma is very loving, She exudes love and affection for human life and She does it in such a way that people understand the message that She brings. The Parliament is meant to build bridges between religions and peoples. Amma is a great example of unity and love to all of us. Personally, I feel that Her embrace is more than just a handshake, it’s more than a kiss of peace! It is a vigorously down to earth hug… And it is powerfully familiar!"

Unesco talk




Andrew Cohen

Advaita teacher and founder of the magazine 'What is Enlightenment' Andrew Cohen, had a short interview with Amma while attending the UNESCO Parliament of Religions. "For me Amma is the ideal. She is the yardstick. She is the measurement to which all of us should look, whether we are beginners on the spiritual path or matured seekers. She always shows that you can give more love, show more compassion. Amma is the greatest living saint on this planet. I met many Masters, but in Amma I see a combination of unconditional love and ferocious determination and an indomitable spirit. Her example is peerless," said Andrew Cohen.


40 Million Hugged

As discussed previously in this book, Amma has hugged 40 million people in 40 years which works out to almost 3,000 hugs per day! We cannot even begin to comprehend such a thing. We cannot comprehend why anyone would do such a thing! It becomes a little more vibrant in our minds if we follow Amma on a tour and we actually experience her doing this. She is relentless taking no breaks at all. Since she doesn't hug everyday, she has to have some days where 10 and 20 thousand people are hugged. These days are quite common in India. To follow are a few pictures.

Crowd 1


In the picture below, Amma is in the tiny white pyramid tent where everyone is looking.

Crowd 2


Crowd 4


This is a picture of people in the main hall at Amma's ashram.

Main hall


A picture of Amma in the very early days with the handful of disciples that had come to live with her.



Amma Hard at Work

On numerous occassions varous government agencies have asked (pleaded) with Amma to clean certain large public areas that were important such as areas of pilgrimage. The trash that had built up was beyond comprehension. As of this writing, there are almost no public trash cans in India and it is very common to simply throw trash on the ground. If you drink a bottle of water in a plastic container it goes on the ground when you are done. If you are riding in a vehicle, it goes out the window. Amma has initiated a number of programs to reverse this trend.

Here are pictures of Amma involved in clean up operations. Amma and her many helpers will work for several days on one of these areas. It is common to see thousands of large black trash bags full and to measure the refuse removed in tons and hauled away on trucks.

Amma cleaning 2

Amma cleaning

Cleaning 3


Especially in the early ashram days, Amma would do much manual labor for the constructing of buildings. She would give darshan (hugging) until the wee hours of the morning then go work for several hours carrying sand and bricks or digging.

Construction 1

Construction 2

Construction 3


Amritapuri, Amma's ashram in Kerala, houses about 3,000 residents on most days. One can stay at the ashram in a shared room for $125 US per month and this includes meals. Each day the ashram kitchen prepares food for this. Anyone can walk in off the street and eat here for free. There are three other "restaurants" in the ashram (Indian Canteen, Western Canteen and Western Cafe) which require payment for food but it is very cheap. The picture below is the ashram kitchen preparing a meal.




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