In 1953, in a small village on the coast of Kerala in Southern India, Amma was born into a poor family of fisher folk. From Her birth itself it was clear that She was different. Without any prompting, She was deeply spiritual and the intensity of Her compassion was remarkable.
Even from Her early childhood, Amma knew that God, or the Self, alone is Truth. Thereafter, She performed severe spiritual practices, and Her own parents and relatives could not understand Her exalted spiritual state. So out of ignorance they began scolding Her and opposing Her spiritual practices.
At the age of nine, Amma left school to look after Her ailing mother and all of Her brothers and sisters. She would work before the sun rose until late in the night. One of Her duties was to collect food for the family cows. To do so, She would gather grass and visit neighbouring homes to ask for vegetable peels and other left overs.
Whenever Amma went to visit these houses, She always found that the people were suffering - sometimes due to old age, sometimes due to diseases and poverty. So, Amma shared their problems and sufferings. She saw that children who had previously prayed for the long life of their parents now considered them a burden. So, Amma always wondered, 'Why is there no real love in this world?' Amma always felt so much compassion and love for the suffering people. Whenever She had time, She used to lead these people to Her parents' house. Sometimes, She would give them a hot bath, feed them, and sometimes She even stole things from Her own house to give these starving families.
People began to notice that there was something extraordinary about Amma - that She was completely self less, and that She was dedicating every moment of Her life to caring for others, and that She radiated a boundless love. While Amma was still in Her youth, the universal motherhood within Her compelled Her to spontaneously embrace everyone who came to Her, feeling each one to be Her very own child. Hundreds of people began coming each day to spend a few moments in Her arms. Amma would listen to their sorrows and console them. She also began teaching them the true purpose of life.
In 1979, Amma's first monastic disciples came to reside permanently at Her side. It was they who named Her Mata Amritanandamayi Devi - Mother of Immortal Bliss. As more and more young men and women felt inspired by Amma's selfless compassion and began coming to Her for spiritual guidance, an ashram was founded. Thus in 1981, the construction of a few humble thatched huts next to Amma's family home marked the beginning of the ashram.
But Amma's children were not in India alone. Her heart felt their longing from all over the globe. In 1987, in response to their invitations, Amma embarked on Her first world tour. Today Amma spends most of the year travelling throughout India and the world in order to uplift suffering humanity through Her words and the comfort of Her embrace. Click here to find out where Amma is now.
Amma’s teachings are universal. Whenever She is asked about Her religion, She replies that Her religion is Love. She does not ask anyone to believe in God or to change their faith, but only to inquire into their own real nature, and to believe in themselves. Find out more about Amma's teachings and messages for spiritual and social upliftment.