World-Renowned Humanitarian and Spiritual Leader...
Amma Visits LA in June
By Nancy J. Murray




Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, dubbed as the “Hugging Saint” by international media, will be returning to Los Angeles from June 16-20 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport.
“Amma” as she is affectionately called, is a world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader from India whose mission over the past three decades has been to spread love and compassion and better the lives of the poor and suffering. Amma, 53, has hugged more than 21 million people throughout the world to date, and she is not stopping any time soon.

The Washington Post has compared Amma to Gandhi and Mother Theresa. Her outstanding contributions to the world community have been recognized through awards such as the United Nation’s Gandhi-King award, whose recipients also include Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela. Her non-profit organization, M.A. Center, representing multiple charities in India and elsewhere, presented $1 million to support the victims of Hurricane Katrina (Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund organized by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W Bush).

Amma has traveled to the USA since 1987 spreading her message and embracing millions. She first included Los Angeles in her world tour in 1988, where she received several hundred seekers who recognized her unique presence at what were then at the Presbyterian Conference grounds in Temescal Canyon Park in Pacific Palisades. In those early days, gatherings were small and intimate. Today, her tremendous energy allows her to receive 175,000 people in 19 hours in India.

Amma’s officers and organizers periodically encourage Amma to take more rest from her multiple worldwide tours, but Amma will not hear of it. Regarded as a living saint by many, her boundless energy and fervent commitment to relieve mankind’s suffering come from an unobstructed flow of divine love and a consciousness anchored in a state of oneness. Her events sometimes stretch long into the morning of the following day to the consternation of her volunteer staff. Amma remains as fresh as the rose petals she showers upon her admirers – not moving from her chair.

The Los Angeles program is a gathering at which individuals will spend time with Amritanandamayi. A Sanskrit term, “Darshan” means to have an audience in the presence of a holy person.”  The multi-day program typically attracts 4,000 to 9,000 people daily to receive a hug and hear her simple message of love. Over the years, many have cried their pains away and been comforted on Amma’s bosom in a soothing, warm motherly embrace. Amma gently wipes away the tears, and many visitors to her lap experience a lifting of cares and worries.

Ammachi was a keynote speaker at the “Parliament of World Religions” convened every 100 years, which last took place in Chicago in 1993. Her address stressed the new urgency for religious principles to permeate our lives. “The language of religion is the language of love. But it is a language the modern world has forgotten. This is the basic cause behind all the problems that exist in the present day world. Today, we know only limited selfish love. Transformation of this limited love into Divine love is the goal of religion.  Within the fullness of true love blossoms the beautiful, fragrant flower of compassion.
Amma stresses that calming the mind is the first step in finding lasting inner peace.

“There is one Truth that shines through all of creation. Rivers and mountains, plants and animals, the sun, the moon and the stars, you and I…all are expressions of this one Reality. It is by assimilating this truth in our lives, and thus gaining a deeper understanding, that we can discover the inherent beauty of diversity. When we work together as a global family, not merely belonging to a particular race, religion or nation, then peace and happiness will once again prevail on this earth, which is drenched with the tears of division and conflict.”
— Amma
from a speech delivered to the United Nations

Free public programs will be held starting at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on June 16 and 17. A final free program will be offered on June 20 beginning at 7 p.m. A retreat will be held at the Hilton on June 18, 19 and 20 (pre-registration required). For more information, please visit www.amma.org  For more local LA information, visit: www.amma/org/la or call (323) 469-1247


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