On Mata "Amma" Amritanandamayi, Atheists, + Erik Davis

Jai Jai Ma, Ananadaymayi Ma.

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.


More details: check out Guruphiliac, whose finally feeling like he's not being misunderstood. And here's the source for the above image.

posted by
Spiros Antonopoulos

TAGS — Ammachi, atheism, Erik Davis, Ma, Salon


1 total remarks for this post. Add your own remarks below.

Wed 08 Aug 2007 at 07:28AM

Antonio Lopez

I went to see Amma, but I wasn't feeling it, nor the hug. I felt bad because all these people were so in love. I know one person who inserts "Amma" into every sentence she speaks. My theory is that everyone has an experience in their life that opens up their heart (we hope), and they attribute that moment as the "ONE TRUE GOD," so it could be Christianity, Buddhism, yoga, Burning Man, or whatever. For me it was the Buddhist Metta meditation. I don't think I will ever "get" Amma, but all the power to those who do. I will remain skeptical, however, of gurus until the day I die.

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