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Amma - The Divine Mother

         Her Holiness Mata Amritananda Mayi's first name was Sudhamani. She was born in a fisherman's family in the tiny coastal village of Parayakadavu, near Vallikkavu, of Quilon (Kollam) district in Kerala on the 27th of September 1953. Even when she was a smalll child, she could be found in trance or meditation. At the age of five she used to compose devotional songs in praise of Lord Krishna. At nine she withdrew from the school when her mother fell ill. In the course of the discharge of her domestic responsibilities, she had many an occasion to realise how selfish is worldly love. As she found that people who really suffered never got the love and care they needed, she grew more and more divine and compassionate.

         Once she had the glorious experience of the vision of the Divine Mother. She was found ecstatic and intoxicated with the divine vision with which she experienced becoming one. Thereafter her own people rejected her.

          ``Smiling, the Divine Mother became a mass of effulgence and merged in Me. My mind blossomed and was bathed in many-hued light of Divinity...'' Sudhamani became Mata Amritananda Mayi.Devi or Amma, the Divine Mother. The unending stream of devotees started. To reach out to the suffering people, she began a programe of touring as many places as possible. In 1987 Amma began travelling abroad to give darshan to her devotees there.

          In 1993 she was elected a president of the assembly of world religions at Chicago. She was also a speaker at the inter-religion meeting of the UN in New York in 1995.

AMRITAPURI ASHRAM: The house she was born developed into the ashram. It is today the headquarters of Mata Amritananda Mayi Trust. Huge buildings have come up to accommodate thronging Indian and foreign devotees. The place has been renamed Amritapuri. Accommodation and food are available for those coming from distant places. Free vegetarian meals are served three times a day. There is a cloak room, library, charitable dispensary, phone booth, post office etc. No drugs, alcohol, smoking, non-vegetarian food etc are allowed in the premises. Residing as well as visiting devotees do all the work in the ashram.

DARSHAN: Amma visits several places in the country to give darshan to her devotees. She also goes abroad to enable her devotees there to meet her - from May through July and again from mid-November to mid-December. Usually her programe for a day includes pooja, bhajan, a captivating discourse interspersed with very interesting stories and individual darshan. Because a large numbers of devotees flock to her, the individual darshan usually goes on till early next morning. Most Sundays and Thursdays Amma accords her devotees Devi Bhava Darshan. The programe starts around 5 pm. One may consult the ashram's monthly magazine, Mathruvani, for Amma's programes.

CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES: Apart from opening a string of Brahmasthanam temples throughout the country, the MAM Trust has undertaken massive schemes to provide succour to millions of suffering people. These include house for the homeless, pension for poor widows, educational and professional institutions, vocational training institutes, Homeopathic, Ayurvedic and Allopathic charitable dispensaries and a super-speciality hospital now fully functional at Kochi (Cochin).

HOW TO REACH: The ashram is located about 10 km north-west of Karunagappally which falls on the Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)-Cochin (Kochi) south-north, straight, coastal rail and highway route. The nearest airports are at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi, a little over a hundred km either way. The nearest major railway station is at Quilon (Kollam), about 35 km to the south of ashram on the coastal route. Moving north from Kollam, at Karunagappally station that is nearest to the ashram most trains do not stop. Many trains have a stop at Kayamkulam, further north. One can take local buses from Karunagappally ( about 8 km to the ashram), Ochira (7 km) or Kayamkulam (12 km) for the ashram down west.Taxis and autorickshaws are also available from these places. From Vallikkavu one has to cross the backwaters to reach the ashram situated on the coastal strip. There is a free ferry service. Ferry or public transport will be difficult to find late in the night.

For more information and guidance contact:

Ashram Headquarters:
Mata Amritanandamayi Math,
Amritapuri PO,
Kollam (Quilon),
Kerala, India - Postal Code: 690 525

Phones: 0476-896278, 0476-896179, 0476-897578, 0476-896399;
Email : mam@amritapuri.org
Websites: www.ammachi.org


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