Friday20 Jul 12:37 PM
On Mata "Amma" Amritanandamayi, Atheists, + Erik Davis
Salon just ran a piece on Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Ma, a.k.a. "Ammachi." Written by Erik Davis, it strikes a wonderful balance between a pragmatic but compassionate first-person account while also exploring the contrasting public faces of the multi-headed Amma: the phenomenon, the "brand," the Guru, her public works mission, the corporation, the hug-tour, and the devotee frenzy. He raises interesting questions and does a great job of investigating both the criticisms and the praise without becoming an advocate of either... too much. Well, I mean, ultimately, who can argue with a hug? Or with Amma's sheer dedication and endurance.
"It is true communion, pure love that flows, flows like a river. It is pure subjective experience. It's like somebody trying to explain about drumming. You cannot explain with words. In order to really understand, you have to play a drum or listen to it. It's a direct experience, a real meeting between hearts. It's like looking in a mirror and cleaning your face."
Mata "Ammachi" Amritanandamayi Ma to Erik Davis for Salon
Note: The article is great, but you've just got to feel the heat flying out from the Readers Letters, which are flaming off-the-hook. The sheer amount of knee-jerk reactions to his phrase, "increasingly arrogant atheists," is uncanny; and a telling show for the face of America's latest elitist fundamentalism. My jaw drops.
Please be nice.