Day 21: Amma

Posted on May 31, 2010. Filed under: New Age, Week 4 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Today the great and famous Amma came into town! This was the brochure that weird guy from Day __ gave to me and told me to go to. Well I went, and it was pretty interesting. I’d never heard of Amma but apparently she’s a really big deal. I think she could be compared to today’s Mother Teresa.


I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this and when Noah and I showed up we knew this was definitely a big deal in certain circles. Mostly women in long flowing colorful dresses were crowding the area. Noah was greatly intimidated by this and decided to leave. The energy of the place was overwhelming and tangible. There was a line for receiving hugs from Amma, who is called the “hugging saint” at times.

While we waited for her to show up a video played talking about her charitable endeavors. It showed her hugging countless people and the way she hugged every one of them as if they were her own children was amazing! This woman had been everywhere! I was beginning to get really excited about this. There was a meditation session before Amma began her “Darshan” (hugs), the man who guided us was fine and all, but the speakers were much too loud and whenever he spoke I almost jumped.


The event was taking place in a grand ballroom with half of the ballroom being filled with vendors. The vendors were for charities, selling lots of New Age stuff like jewelry, clothing, crystals, herbs, incense, soaps, massages and the like. The prices were incredibly outrageous. I ended up spending $30 on some Tulasi (sacred herbs), a pendulum thing, and a massage.


The pendulum is supposed to give me answers about my chakras and life. It’s made out of agate which apparently acts as “A gate” to the spirit realm. The vendor told me to either bury it foot deep in earth for a week or soak it in salt for a day or 2 (he suggested I bury it but I don’t really have enough time for that).

The herbs have been blessed by Amma herself. According to the vendor there tulasi adapts to your body and heals it accordingly. Sounded pretty good to me, and at only $3 for 8 grams didn’t seem like an unreasonable price (compared to the $20 t-shirts that just had the Om symbol on them!) so I got them. I think I’ll put some leaves in my medicine bag.

What? It’s not like I’m smoking them!


Noah had to leave me there so I was wandering alone for hours before my turn to see Amma. It made me really depressed walking alone the whole time with nothing to do except read brochures and buy stuff. When it finally came time to see Amma I was really nervous. I initially imagined I would get to talk to her, but as I got closer I began to see that the process was much more formal than I thought it would be. There was a crowd of people surrounding her and they were there to keep things moving.


As I got closer I got to see Amma hug others. I was looking forward to the hug; her face seemed so sincerely loving. Sometimes while she hugged people the helpers/entourage would talk to her and they would hold a conversation which was the only thing that put me off a bit.


It was finally my turn, the people surrounding Amma had their hands all over me; guiding me through absolutely everything. They pushed me towards her, pushed my head in her lap, Amma chanted something, then as the pulled me to my feet I was handed this:



That’s right. 2 flower petals and a Hersey’s kiss while be forcefully and mercilessly pushed out of the way for the next number. The hug felt brief and… not special. After all the hype I was incredibly disappointed. I mean a Hershey’s Kiss?? Why not something meaningful and relevant to the theme of giving or something. I’ve never felt so heavily disregarded, so easily pushed away to be forgotten! The experience overall was a negative one, one that enforced my belief that I didn’t belong here, that New Age wasn’t who I was.



I can’t have faith in something like that; I can’t believe a hug will make me better and then when it doesn’t do anything I definitely can’t make myself believe it did. I felt this terrible frustration and bitterness. The whole day seemed to conspire against me!


When Noah came to pick me up and I told him of my experience he made a great point about the whole thing: what if all the hype was to get people to donate more money to Amma’s numerous charities? What if that was how she raised her money? Remembering the 20 dollar bills in the donation jar and all the hype around it made me see his point. I didn’t know whether or not I should feel proud of their genius or outraged by the scam.


we went home and watched Firefly, a show all of our friends told us years ago we needed to watch. It was cheating but I needed it and I’m glad I did it. It lightened my crappy mood plus I got to spend time with Noah.


I also had some tofu BBQ, my mom made it so I don’t have the recipe




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4 Responses to “Day 21: Amma”

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Before we start to speak of something or someone it’s always better to go and see for yourself.
The truth is much better received this way.

Then too, what you see and feel may not always be correct. just because one haven’t felt anything means a million conclusions. An example will prove this point i guess. A rose in a garden will invoke different experiences like, A guy in love will think of his lover, a scientist will try to see how the atoms are arranged, but someone in divorce will fail to see it’s beauty because of his troubled mind. Won’t this be applicable here too?
Remember, all great ones where not recognized when they where alive and in flesh. We like people troubled to the most when they are alive. And when they go we worship them. What a funny world is this …!

We have to think well before accusing someone. After all we tell ourselves to be educated , right?
It is always a good option to go out and see the truth for ourselves before accusing. They are not hiding but easily available to you all. Go and see and then speak. We’ll be happy to listen to your words.
Accusing is easy but courage shown to accept the truth in front means you are true to yourself at least. Don’t mind what people say about you. The most important thing is you found out the the truth which lasts for ever.
One more thing, Suppose a diamond is lying by the side of the road, recognizing and picking it up depends on your hands. If you didn’t pick it up, who’s at the wrong side?
One may go on speaking about diamonds or accusing it, proving it not to be diamond at all using great jugglery of words, but what matters ; will the diamond’s value decrease with his words?
The winner is, One who picks it up; as simple as that!
Hope all will take this comment in right spirit.
Just wanted to say, Please don’t ever generalize wrong doers with genuine ones. It’s better not to speak than speaking wrong ideas or notions or thoughts.
And again no body is forced to follow any one. It’s one’s own wish whether to believe or not. And if they get cheated it’s because they’ve not tested for the authenticity.
Remember, Thinking that, ‘i know everything that happens in this world’, without having any idea even for their own mind’s thinking ; will anyone listen to your words?
I’m not here to prove anything or something. just felt very bad, in not recognizing, how badly everyone is crying for help.
Always remember , 30 million people , which include doctors, lawyers, engineers, PHD holders and scientists are following someone means there is something which we are missing for sure.
You cannot tell everyone is a fool. They’ve experimented these true god-men in every possible way and surrendered at last. Omnipotence and omniscience are tested too. Also scientists have asked many scientific facts and have cleared there doubts which have troubled for long time from them and were startled to get clear answers from these seemingly uneducated people.

Life is going fast, we don’t know were we are heading to still when a help is offered we say ‘not needed, i can manage !’.

Think well. It shows courage, real courage !

I think you may have misunderstood my intend behind this blog post. I don’t have a personal problem with Amma or what she represents. I simply wrote how the experience made me feel personally and my thoughts on it.

I hope for and am glad that others have a much better experience with her. Personally I did not gain anything from it and the Hershey’s may seem like a more sincere gift to others but becoming vegan for New Age and also going to this event for New Age made me feel like it disregarded some of their demographic of people who would come to this event.

It is everyone else’s choice to decide if they agree with my statements. I hope to never guard my feelings on a topic related to this experiment as it would be in-genuine and dishonest. I fully expect people to disagree with my personal feelings and opinions but I will never limit my blog to keep from getting criticized.

Perhaps the tone in my writing may appear defamatory or accusing, but it is meant to reflect how I was affected by a certain aspect of this experiment. The aspect was not focused on Amma herself, but the idea of an important figure being “deified”, the event in it’s full scope, and how it affected me and this experiment.

Thank you for your comment and insight, the article you linked me was very informative and I’m glad to see another perspective besides my own on this experience.

sorry, if i had been harsh or worse in selection and use of words.
It’s just that, found your article to be a discouraging one for someone who wants to know more and meet her.
We will never know what others are going through. This meeting may change their life for ever. After all 30 million cannot be cheated so easily, i guess.
And the whole thing is not charged also. Including parking everything is free and the Hersey you received included.
It may just mean that, you are not ready to have some experience you expect to happen. Who knows.
By looking into history it’s always true. Everyone who met Jesus or Krishna or else, didn’t get to know them except a selected few.
So , no offence , I’m happy that you met her and prayers for a good and happy life.
Even that shows a great courage and a good mind that you’ve decided to meet her.
I must tell, i was against her in the beginning. Now i breath because she’s there for me !

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