Divine Mother “Amma Sri Karunamayi”

FrizzText’s A-Z photo challenge is now at “M“.

A month before I walked in Spain, the Divine Mother, the world-renowned Hindu spiritual leader Sri Karunamayi, blessed me and my pilgrimage on the Camino.  This post is about that meeting.

Sri Karunamayi

Sri Karunamayi

Sri Karunamayi who is revered in India as an embodiment of divine motherly love, and affectionately called “Amma” [the Telugu word for “mother”] by her devotees has focused her life on the spiritual uplifting of humanity through meditation, knowledge, service, and selfless love.

She was born in South India in 1958 on the most auspicious holy day in India.

  • In a prophecy by one of India’s most revered holy men, her mother was told she’d give birth to a divine child who would bring peace.
  • Though she had never studied Sanskrit, she would often surprise her father with spontaneous insights into the inner spiritual meaning of the verses.
  • When she was twenty-one she spent ten years in meditation seclusion in the remote and sacred Penusila Forest.

“Local villagers who spotted her sometimes mistook her for a statue, as they could not even detect the movement of breath in her perfectly still form.”

One of her favorite sayings is “If you take one step toward me, I will take a thousand steps toward you.”

DSCN4491

I met the Divine Mother at a Spiritual Center in Pasadena in March 2012.     We had to take off our shoes. Photography was not permitted.

The chapel was full, there were men, women and children in the audience most of them dressed in white, but as I didn’t know about the “wear white dress code” I wore a red tee-shirt and jeans. [It was acceptable as I was wearing “clean modest attire that covered the knees and shoulders.”]

Amma, began the ceremony by pouring a milk, ghee and honey mixture over a divine figurine (a murti), while chanting Sanskrit mantras.

As the offerings are gently poured over the murti, divine blessings radiate out towards all those present, providing protection, purification, and spiritual elevation.

The pouring of libations on a deity is called an abhisheka.

Amma spoke for about thirty-five minutes, and then she gave everyone in the audience their individual blessing. I had to wait almost two hours for my turn.

When I learned that she’d also bless a specific object, I took off the simple $8 green Chrysoprase stone I always wear and put it on the tray for her to bless it.    I noticed that the people ahead of me placed holy statues, rosary beads and photos on their trays.

DSCN8456

My chysoprase stone on the wooden table.

When its your turn to be blessed you silently kneel in front of Amma who is sitting up on a platform.

During our one-on-one time in her presence, we weren’t  permitted to speak unless she asked us a question, and if she handed us anything we had to take it in our right hand.

It had been a long morning and I was tired when I received her blessing. I closed my eyes when she put her hand out to bless me,  and felt the vibrations of her energy on my forehead. It was beautiful.

blessing

blessing (photo from Amma’s site)

I made sure I took my necklace, and the card where I’d written my blessing request in my right hand.

She also gave me some gifts: a little plastic bag containing sacred ash which I was to place on my tongue every morning, and a picture of herself with the words to three mantras on the back (that we were to chant twenty-seven times a day “for our healing”)

[Full disclosure – I haven’t recited the chants or placed the ash on my tongue though I carried them with me when I walked on the Camino.]

When I looked up to thank her, I wasn’t surprised to see a layer of exhaustion in her eyes, so as well as sending my silent smile of thanks for her blessing and gifts, I used gestures to wordlessly let her know that I could see she was tired. She acknowledged my gesture with a nod of thanks, and our eyes locked in a woman-to-woman moment I’ll never forget.

When we left the chapel we were each given a little sip of the milk mixture – which was delicious – and two little silver foil packages of sacred ashes.

DSCN4488

we had to leave our shoes outside

Through her international speeches and programs, Amma also raises money for her charities:

  1. The Sri Karunamayi Free Hospital provides free medical care to all who need it.
  2. She’s building houses for hundreds of people displaced from their ancestral lands when an artificial lake flooded their homes.
  3. She runs two primary schools in India which provide free schooling, books and uniforms to over 600 students.
  4. Because the people in South India are drinking water contaminated with excessive amounts of fluoride, the general population are suffering from dental and skeletal flourosis, kidney disorders, bone ailments, organ failure.  Amma has built twelve water treatment facilities, four reverse Osmosis water treatment plants and eight more were due to open last year.

This video is a good introduction on Amma’s life and charities

For more information on Amma or to donate to one of her charities, please click here

Amma’s charitable projects offer life-saving help in a region where no other charities operate and where governmental assistance is nearly non-existent. These are truly forgotten people, but thanks to Amma, the villagers now have reason to hope.

She has already begun her 2013 tour of North America. Click here for the schedule.

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About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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58 Responses to Divine Mother “Amma Sri Karunamayi”

  1. frizztext says:

    I’ve been impressed by the shoes, left outside …

    • dearrosie says:

      I wonder what they’d do with the shoes if it was raining. 😀

      • nrhatch says:

        That’s what I was thinking!

      • SONAGIRI says:

        OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
        OM NAMO NARAYANAYA
        108 Pranams beloved divine SELF ,
        This child is planing a great YATRA in south INDIA for next JANUARY-FEBRUARY …
        See : http://www.sonagiri.org/new-page-3.htm
        So please can you give me AMMA KARUNAMAYI ‘s E-mail or one of Her closed devotee …
        Waiting your answer with all my thanks , Love and blessings ,
        sonagiri from france

      • dearrosie says:

        my apologies Nancy, I just noticed I hadn’t responded to your comment.
        I still don’t know what they’d do. Though it doesn’t rain very often in L.A., March is still in the rainy season…

      • dearrosie says:

        Bonjour Sonagiri – Bienvenue sur mon blog.

        Thank you for including a link to your blog. I can see that you’re planning an amazing pilgrimage through south India. I’m sure it’s going to be a life-changing experience for you.

        Unfortunately I do not know Amma’s email. I’d assume there’d be a link on her website.

        In Spain pilgrims are called “peregrinos”. Thanks to you I’ve now learned the Hindu word for pilgrimage =“Yatra” and a pilgrim = “yatri”.

        Are you going to do it barefoot? I walked in Spain with Sue Kenney, a Canadian peregrina, who walked the route barefoot.

  2. Thank you for sharing your blessing

  3. Thank you for sharing this interesting post!

    • dearrosie says:

      I thank you for coming over to read the post. It makes me happy to know that you found it interesting. I wonder whether Amma’s travels take her to Scandinavia?

  4. What a sacred moment you had! I especially liked the part where you saw her – really saw the woman inside. Lovely.

    • dearrosie says:

      I feel very fortunate that I was able to be blessed by this remarkable woman. I feel as though she gave me a gift of clairvoyance with my blessing. When she placed her hands on my forehead I felt her peace, and when I looked in her eyes to thank her and saw how tired she was I understood that though revered as a saint and someone who performs miracles, she was also a human being who was exhausted. It was a WOW moment.

  5. I was going to say something similar to what renee said. I find eyes fascinating. They do so much more than receive optical stimuli. They are sharing tools. So that was my favourite part of your story – the exchanged look and acknowledged understanding.

    • dearrosie says:

      I also always look in people’s eyes for their truth. I learned that from my mother. One of her expressions was “the eyes are the window to a person’s soul”.
      Amma gave me a gift of clairvoyance with my blessing. When she placed her hands on my forehead I felt her peace, and when I looked in her eyes to thank her and saw how tired she was I understood that though revered as a saint and someone who performs miracles, she was also a human being who was exhausted, that was powerful.

  6. Ten years of seclusion would give one the opportunity to really get to know thyself. Her charitable works require strength and her people need her strength, one that was carefully nurtured over time. Very centered and interesting woman.

    • dearrosie says:

      I was hoping to join the group meditation when Amma comes to Pasadena this year, but unfortunately it conflicts with a previous arrangement.

      Did you watch the movie Georgette? Its under ten minutes and is a good introduction. Thanks to Amma, the people in those remote villages now have free medical care and education for their children, plus life-saving water treatment plants.

  7. shoreacres says:

    Thanks so much for sharing both your experience and something of the life of this very interesting woman.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading about my meeting with Sri Karunamayi Linda. Every morning when I put on the green stone she blessed I feel blessed all over again, which of course makes me feel happy, so I start my day feeling happy and grateful. Its a blessing that continues…

  8. So interesting thank you! and I love that saying you quoted of hers about the steps 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for joining the discussion Anne. Have you met Sri Karunamayi? I know she travels all over the world but I don’t know whether she goes to Australia.

      I also love that quote: “If you take one step toward me, I will take a thousand steps toward you.”

  9. What a beautiful and amazing moment for you, that I’m sure has given long lasting encouragement to you. I went to a “blessing” of this nature with my niece at one time and I felt uncomfortable because I wasn’t prepared, and in that, felt like a spectator. I felt very intrusive “watching” other people. But I’ve never forgotten it. Probably today I would enter in more freely, but at the time I wasn’t really that open. I have commented before on your necklace, and now I know the special qualities it holds. This was lovely to read, Rosie.

    • dearrosie says:

      I had to cancel several appointments and get there early in the morning but I’m so glad I went. She gave me so much more than just one morning of chanting – whenever someone comments on my necklace I feel they are getting some of Amma’s blessing. 😀
      When she placed her hands on my forehead I felt her peace, and when I looked in her eyes to thank her and saw how tired she was I understood that though revered as a saint and someone who performs miracles, she was also a human being who was exhausted, and that was a powerful moment.

      I know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable and like a spectator at a “blessing” like this. I was a spectator in many ways – I wasn’t wearing white, I was on my own and didn’t know the chants – but I was ready to be part of it so allowed myself to be open to the experience.

  10. How fascinating — and I love that you let her know YOU knew she was tired… you are always so thoughtful, Rosie!! And I’m sure her blessing meant a lot on your long road of the Camino!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation Betty – I always appreciate hearing what you have to say.
      When I saw how tired she was I wanted to hug her… Amma gave me so much more than a memory of a blessing in a chapel – I wear the stone every day and whenever someone comments on it (and I get many complements) I feel they – and I – are being blessed by her. 😀

      On day three of my walk in Spain I bought another stone from a woman who is psychic, spiritual and a Reiki master and who told me, “Put your hands over the stones in the drawer and see which one calls to you…” and then explained why I chose that particular stone and what its message meant for me…. I wore both my stones every day when I walked on the Camino (and still do); and every step I take I hear the tinkling sound which takes me right back to my pilgrimage where I first heard it.

  11. Thank you for introducing me to Amma Sri Karunamayi. We would all do well if we started taking thousands of steps toward each other. Your chysoprase stone is very pretty and, if I understand correctly, is used to promote joy and healing. And with Amma’s blessing, even more so. What an amazing experience for you, Rosie, to feel connected in a special moment to a deeply spiritual being.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation Barbara. I don’t remember when we became blogging buddies but we’ve known each other for a couple of years and hundreds of posts, and you always have something nice to say and show great understanding and friendship. You have taken thousands of steps towards me. Namaste dear friend 🙂
      To be blessed by a saintly woman like Amma was a moment I’ll always treasure. I felt her peace and love when she placed her hands on my forehead, and when I looked in her eyes to give my thanks and saw how tired she was I understood that though revered as a saint and someone who performs miracles, she was also a human being who was exhausted, and my gosh that was powerful.
      You’re the only one who looked up the powers of the chysoprase stone. Its been good to invite “Joy and healing” into my life.

  12. What an inspiring woman in these times.

  13. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Rosie, as Kate Shrewsday said in her comment, “What an inspiring woman in these times.” I looked at the schedule, hoping she might be coming here to Missouri. That’s not happening this year, but maybe it will in the future. And I can always donate to the wonderful work she is doing that unites all of us as One. Thank you so much for sharing your blessing and for telling us about her. This is the first I knew of her. Peace.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Dee I’m so glad you joined the conversation.
      What a shame that Amma isn’t going to Missouri this year. I hope you’ll be able to meet her in the future – if she’s not going to be in Missouri perhaps you could plan a trip to a nearby city?

  14. What a wonderful post, Rosie, and so inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing the whole experience!

    • dearrosie says:

      Nice to see you here Anne. I’m delighted to know you are also inspired by my meeting with Amma.
      btw when I looked at her schedule I noticed that she’d going to be in Toronto in July.

      I’m going to pop over and check out your blog now.

  15. Doris says:

    Rosie I have no words, this is an amazing post, what a beautiful experience, I would love to go to el Camino is one of my dreams and then you got a blessing oh my what a dream come true. Beautiful…and love the pictures she gives us a sense of tranquility just by looking at her.

    • dearrosie says:

      hello Doris,
      thank you for joining in the conversation. It makes me really happy to know that my post has inspired you. Don’t give up your dream of walking on the Camino – I waited almost 20 years before I made my pilgrimage.

      Amma gave me so much more one blessing in that lovely chapel. I wear the chysoprase round my neck every day and whenever someone comments on it (and I get many complements) I feel they – and I – are being blessed by her. 😀

  16. I like the part where you felt a momentary connection with her on a ‘human’ level.

    Rosie, if you can, try to watch the Hindi movie ‘Oh My God’, starring Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar. I loved it! Maybe ask your Indian friend about it.

    • dearrosie says:

      Welcome back AIT!
      To be blessed by a saintly woman like Amma was a moment I’ll always treasure: I felt her peace and love when she placed her hands on my forehead, and when I looked in her eyes to give my thanks and saw how tired she was I understood that though revered as a saint and someone who performs miracles, she was also a human being who was exhausted, and my gosh that was powerful.

      Thanks for the movie recommendation AIT. I did a google search and see it was released in the US so I should be able to see it.

  17. A wonderfully spiritual experience. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  18. vishalbheeroo says:

    Hi
    You write so well. Though I am a non-believer I respect your perspective.
    Cheers
    Vishal
    http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello vishalbheeroo
      Thank you for visiting my blog. When you say you’re a non-believer do you mean you aren’t interested in getting a blessing from Sri Karunamayi?

  19. nrhatch says:

    Fascinating post, Rosie. I’m glad you had a chance to participate and share that woman-to-woman moment.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks Nancy. To actually sit in front of a living saint is something I’ll never forget, and then to see the plain exhaustion in her eyes and being able to reach her with my love was so empowering for me.

  20. Robin says:

    What an interesting experience. How wonderful that you had that woman-to-woman moment. I think little moments such as that are the truly divine. I checked her schedule and see I’ll miss her visit to Cleveland (I’ll be living on the east coast by then).

    • dearrosie says:

      Oh my gosh Robin thanks for letting me know you’re moving. What a shame you’ll just miss Amma’s visit to Cleveland but there’s always next year.
      To sit in front of a living saint is something I’ll never forget, and when I saw how tired she was, and that I could connect with her with my love, it was an empowering moment and one I’ll always treasure.

  21. restlessjo says:

    I read that your stone promotes joy and healing, Rosie, but where did you come by it originally? Is there a story?

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Jo,
      Isn’t it lovely to wear a stone that looks so lovely (I get complements on it every day) yet also promotes joy and healing? The story? My Naturopath prescribed the homeopathic remedy “chysoprase” for me and suggested I also wear the stone. I found it at a store that specializes in stones and crystals, put my hand over the basket and this one chose me… I love the unfinished interior – we are all works in progress.

  22. souldipper says:

    What a great experience, Rosie…I didn’t know you did this. If you mentioned it, it didn’t sink in! What a good way to begin an experience that had your heart pounding just a bit more than normal. I wonder if you felt it gave you some of the courage you mustered to do the El Camino.

    • souldipper says:

      P.S. – I’m so glad you acknowledged her fatigue. I have no doubt your sensitivity and care raised her energy level considerably. You truly are a blessing, Rosie.

    • dearrosie says:

      I met Amma a year ago – don’t remember if I mentioned it Amy. I had some difficult days on the Camino – days when my knees and back were hurting me and touching the stone round my neck certainly helped.

  23. jetta1223 says:

    Dear Rosie, Thank you for your lovely blog about Amma Karunamayi. I enjoyed reading the comments as well. I almost made it to the LA blessing, but never made it out there. I met Amma about 6 years ago in NY. She is genuine and holy and sincere in her mission to help humanity. I love her very much and consider her my spiritual mother. There is a new video of Amma which is about 25 minutes long and well worth watching, it’s mostly about her free hospital project but shows a lot more than that, very uplifting… enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-aS7GIsc9c

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi jetta1223
      I don’t know how I missed your comment. Forgive me for not replying sooner.
      Thank you for taking the time to write and also thanks so much for the youtube link.
      I agree with you that Amma is genuine, holy and sincere in her mission to help humanity.

  24. veena says:

    who ever is this so called amma is.. as people say and belive brings peace in the world and unity…..my experince is different,.. i had very good close friend for few years…. but the topic of amma brought between fight huge fight both verbal and physical …were my friend chocked me and my friend now we are enemy … amma came between us and now we both are enemy and there is not peace and unity or love between me and my ex friend . we hate each other now and i hate so called any amma or gurus saint etc because of her my good friend left me alone. and not only that i almost died ….its been now six months now
    everything was going smoothing till amma came between our relation ship

    were is peace and unity and love ? religion god guru all this does not bring peace love unity but it creates and develope fight war hate enemy my personal experince

  25. Anon says:

    Rosie – Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for this post from 2013. This week for the first time I met Amma Karunamayi in one of her blessings sessions. Prior to going there I didn’t know how this worked and your blog entry was very useful.

    I had written down a few of my personal thoughts/questions on an index card and handed to Amma as I approached her. She read it, placed her hand on my head and closed her eyes for 15-30 seconds. I didn’t feel anything special right at that time – but felt very peaceful and contented for the next 1-2 days. I guess the pull was strong so I went back 2 days later and participated in Home ceremony she conducted. I generally don’t care too much for Hindu rituals (I am a hindu myself) but being in her presence was indeed blissful.

    I have not been her followed per se – but wanted to share the above experience with your readers and thank you as well for your original entry.

    On a different note, for anyone interested here is a recent interview of her by Buddha at Gas Pump team – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbXtSqcv_jM.

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