Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi (Devanagiri: माता अमृतानन्दमयी, Malayalam: മാതാ അമൃതാനന്ദമയി; born 27 September 1953) is an Indian spiritual leader revered as a saint by her followers, who also know her as "Amma", "Ammachi" or "Mother". She is a widely respected humanitarian and called by some "the hugging saint".
- “Love is our true essence. This love does not have any limitations of caste, creed, colour or religion. We are all beads strung on the same thread of love. Awaken that unity and spread the message of love and service.” Frontpage of an official website
From Amritanandamayi's Message for Summit of Conscience for Climate (2015)
- Quotes of Amritanandamayi from her message for Summit for Conscience for Climate  , delivered July 21, 2015.
- When man cuts a tree, he is actually making his own coffin. It is not enough to plant one tree for each one he cuts. He may have to plant at least 50 trees or more. It is said that about 5 million people get cancer from polluted air.
- When fire breaks out in a ten-story building, the person living on the first floor cries out for help. The person living on the tenth floor says that it is not his problem. But it soon will become his problem too. He does not realize that. Amma always says that there is harmony in the universe. Everything in the universe is interconnected. The universe is a net held by each of us. When there is movement in the corner of a net held by four people, it will reflect everywhere. All actions we perform knowingly or unknowingly, alone or as a group is being reflected in the corners of the universe. It will not work if we wait for others to change. Even if they do not change, we should be willing to change. We should see what we can do.
From Amritanandamayi's Address at the United Nations Academic Impact Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development (2015)
- Quotes of Amritanandamayi from her address at the United Nations Academic Impact Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development , delivered at the United Nations in New York on July 8, 2015, as part of the UNAI-START/Amrita Conference on Technology for Sustainable Development.
- Today, universities and their researchers are ranked mainly based on the amount of funding they receive, the number of papers they publish and their intellectual caliber. ... Along with this, we should take into consideration how much we have been able to use their research to serve the lowest and most vulnerable strata of society.
- Segregating science and spirituality has been the greatest crime against humanity in the past century. These two main branches of knowledge that should have gone hand in hand were divided and practitioners were either labeled as modern scientists or representatives of religious faiths. “Only scientific discoveries apply to logic and intelligence. They are the only truth. Religious faith is blind and misguided.” This was the ideology that was popularized. All the recent natural disasters and the alarming changes in the global climate are challenging the further survival of this beautiful earth we live in. Now, many people cannot help thinking that all this may be the result of weighing science and spirituality on opposite sides of a scale and deeming that one is much greater than the other.
- The current gap between the haves and the have-nots is the bane of the entire world, and this disparity is increasing daily. A mountain on one side and an abyss on the other—such is the current situation. On one hand, there are those who live, squandering millions upon millions on luxuries. On the other hand, there are those who struggle in hunger and pain to make enough for just one meal—to make enough for just one day’s medicine. If we postpone reducing this gap any longer, it will culminate in violence, even widespread riots. A bridge of love and compassion joining these two groups is desperately needed.
About God (25 Apr '15)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from Brahmasthanam Temple Consecration at Manjeri (25 Apr '15) Brahmasthanam Temple Consecration at Manjeri (25 Apr '15)
- The real installation of God has to be done within one’s heart.
- Our supreme dharma is to realize God.
From Amritanandamayi's Speech Against Human Trafficking and Slavery at the Vatican (2014)
- Quotes of Amritanandamayi from her address against human trafficking and modern slavery, delivered at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Vatican City, Rome, on December 2, 2014, as part of a ceremony involving the singing of a Declaration Against Slavery by 12 religious and spiritual leaders.
- All religious leaders have the ability to help both the perpetrators—those who trap their fellow human beings in the net of human enslavement—as well as the victims who get caught in this net. They both need to be guided to the right path. Religious leaders should be prepared to fight this battle and uphold righteousness. This is not a war meant to kill. We need to be ready to fight a war to save the helpless from the grip of demonic minds. We don’t want a response born out of revenge due to perceived differences in caste, creed, religion, etc. Instead, we need to develop empathy, realizing the divinity within each person.
- Today the value of everything has increased. Men sell their sperm and women their ova for a great deal of money, but ironically, in many countries, a child can be purchased for prostitution or forced labor for a pathetic sum of 10 to 20 dollars.
- There are antibiotic ointments that aid in the healing of external wounds. Similarly, there are many different kinds of medication available to treat diseases of our internal organs, but there is only one medicine that can heal the wounds of our mind. This medicine is pure love. In order to heal the mental and emotional wounds inflicted upon the victims of human trafficking, we need to care for them with selfless love."
Practice Spiritual Values & Save the World (2013)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from Practice Spiritual Values and Save the World: An Address By Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi." Delivered on the occasion of the inaugural program of Swami Vivekananda Sardha Shati Samaroh: The 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, at Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi 11 January 2013. Copyright © 2013 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust
- We may have learned to fly like birds and swim like fish, but we have forgotten how to live like human beings. It seems we have to relearn that skill. How can we do this? It is only possible if we learn about ourselves. We have to subject ourselves to self-analysis. Why? Because it is not outer space, not the wind, not the ocean, not the seasons, nature or animals that are the cause of this world’s problems, but we human beings—our minds.
- In truth, many of the challenges faced by Sanatana Dharma have been self-created. We can blame others and point out the impact of globalization, foreign rule and other religions—and, perhaps, they can be blamed to a certain extent—but they are not the primary cause.The primary cause is our carelessness: we have failed to cherish and protect the invaluable wealth that is this culture. More accurately, we have not been courageous enough to do so. We ourselves have been digging the grave into which this culture of vast and ancient knowledge could become buried.
- Although we may see 1,000 suns reflected in 1,000 pots of water, there is only one sun. When we see the consciousness within all of us as one and the same, we will be able to develop a mind that considers the needs of others before our own.
Amritanandamayi's Address Upon Receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York (2010)
- UB Reporter's translation of Amritanandamayi's acceptance speech, delivered on May 25, 2010
- There are two types of education: education for livelihood and education for life. When we study in college, it helps us to get a job so that we can earn a living. We can become a doctor, a scientist, an engineer or whatever we want. We may go on to attain wealth, possession and fame. All of this comes from education for livelihood. But this alone will never make our life full and complete. Education is not only to help us live a comfortable life of plenty. When our plans fall apart, when we face failure and loss, when we are knocked down, education should help us get back on our feet. Education should help us regain our mental equipoise, self-confidence and positive attitude, so that we can continue forward. This is why education for life is as important as education for livelihood. Education for life is spirituality.
- We often hear people indignantly asking others, “Don’t you know who I am?” But if, instead, we could just ask ourselves, “Do I know who I am?” and perform sincere self-inquiry, we could find a permanent solution to all of life’s problems. Tragically, our approach to education is lopsided. We spend our entire lives trying to learn everything about the external world and the lives of other people, yet we never try to learn about ourselves, the inner world.
- It is Amma’s prayer that we develop the expansive-mindedness to embrace both scientific knowledge and spiritual wisdom. We can no longer afford to see these two streams of knowledge as flowing in opposite directions. In truth, they compliment one another. If we merge these streams, we will find that we are able to create a mighty river—a river whose waters can remove suffering and spread life to all of humanity.
Cultivating Strength & Vitality (2009)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from Cultivating Strength & Vitality: An Address By Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi," delivered on December 1, 2009, at the inauguration of the Vivekananda International Foundation in New Delhi. Copyright © 2010 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust
- When God’s power shines through us, it manifests as truth, auspiciousness and beauty. When God manifests through the intellect, truth shines forth. When God manifests through actions, it does so as goodness and auspiciousness. And when God manifests through the heart, beauty is the result. When truth, auspiciousness and beauty blend in our life, true strength awakens.
- True religious leaders love and worship the whole creation, seeing it as a manifestation of divine consciousness. They see the unity behind the diversity. However, today, many religious leaders misinterpret the words and experiences of the ancient seers and prophets simply to exploit weak-minded people.
- Amma sees the whole world as a flower. Each petal represents a nation. If one petal is infested with pests, it will affect the other petals as well. The beauty of the whole flower suffers. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to protect and nurture this flower. Therefore all the nations of the world should advance together, hand in hand, sharing and adopting each others’ worthy contributions and examples.
The Timeless Path (2009)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from The Timeless Path (2009) by Swami Ramakrishnananda; Puri, Copyright © 2009 by Mata Amritanandamayi Center
- As long as there is enough strength to reach out to those who come to me, to place my hand on a crying person’s shoulder, Amma will continue to give darsan. To lovingly caress people, to console and wipe their tears until the end of this mortal frame—this is Amma’s wish.
- Just as our bodies need proper food to live and develop, our souls need love to blossom. The strength and nourishment that love can give our souls is even more potent than the nourishing power of a mother’s milk for a baby.
- The light of the guru’s grace helps us to see and remove the obstacles in our path. An ashram is not a mere cluster of inanimate buildings, temples and trees; rather it is the very embodiment of the sadguru’s grace. It is a vital, dynamic and living institution that stimulates the aspiration of the sincere student to attain the state of oneness.
- Selfless service is the soap that purifies our mind.
- We should try to see everyone as God.
- God has given us the necessary faculties to become like him. Love, beauty and all divine qualities exist within us. We should make use of our faculties to express these divine qualities in our lives.
- Whatever form of meditation we do, whether we focus on the heart or between the eyebrows, the goal is the same: one-pointed concentration.
- Darkness is not something that can be physically removed. But when we let in light, darkness automatically ceases to exist. In the same way, when true knowledge awakens, the darkness of ignorance disappears. Then we awaken to eternal light.
- Jivanmukti is not something to be attained after death, nor is it to be experienced or bestowed upon you in another world. It is a state of perfect awareness and equanimity, which can be experienced here and now in this world, while living in the body. Having come to experience the highest truth of oneness with the Self, such blessed souls do not have to be born again. They merge with the infinite consciousness.
The Infinite Potential of Women (2008)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from "The Infinite Potential of Women: An Address by Her Holiness Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi." Delivered at the 2008 Summit of the Global Peace Initiative of Women: “Making Way for the Feminine: For the Benefit of the World Community," Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, March 7, 2008. Copyright © 2008 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust.
- The integrity, beauty and fragrance of future society should be expressed through mothers. The mother is the first teacher. As such, she is the one who can influence a child the most. Whatever the mother does, the child will imbibe. A mother’s breast milk does more than nourish just the baby’s body. It also develops the baby’s mind, intellect and heart. Similarly, the life values a mother transmits to her child give it strength and courage in the future.
- There is nothing more profound than the strength and beauty of two hearts that love each other. Love has the mind-cooling freshness of the full moon and the scintillating brilliance of the sun’s rays. But love will not enter our hearts without permission. Women and men should be equally willing to invite within this love that is waiting. Only love can bring about a permanent change in the mind-sets and, therefore, the realities of women and men.
- Love is an emotion common to all living beings. It is the path women can take to reach men, men to women, both to Nature, and Nature to the universe. And the love that overflows all boundaries is vishwa matrutvam—universal motherhood."
Compassion: The Only Way to Peace (2007)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from "Compassion: The Only Way to Peace, an Address By Her Holiness Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi." Delivered Cinéma Vérité’s 2007 Film Festival, October 12, 2007, Paris, France. Copyright © 2008 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust.
- These days, to prevent terrorist attacks, strict security measures are implemented in airports and other establishments. While such measures are necessary for our physical safety, they are not a final solution. In fact, there is one explosive in particular that is the most destructive of all. No machine can detect it. It is the hatred, loathing and vengeance found in the human mind.
- We must turn inwards to search deep within ourselves. “Is my heart still vibrant with life? Can I still experience the source of love and compassion within me? Does my heart still melt at the pain and sorrow of others? Have I cried along with those who are suffering? Have I really tried to wipe another’s tears to console them or given someone at least a single meal or a set of clothing?” Like this, we can honestly introspect. Then the soothing moonlight of compassion will spontaneously shine within our minds.
- There is no end to the war and death caused by man or to the tears shed by all the innocent victims of such tragedies. What were all these for? Only for conquering, establishing superiority and satisfying our greed for money and fame. Mankind has taken upon itself countless curses. In order to attain freedom from these curses, at least a hundred generations to come should wipe the tears of the suffering, striving to console them and alleviate their pain. At least now, as an atonement, shouldn’t we try to introspect?
Understanding & Collaboration Between Religions (2006)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from Understanding & Collaboration Between Religions: An Address by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi." Delivered at the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award Ceremony, May 2, 2006. Copyright © 2006 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust.
- May the tree of our life be firmly rooted in the soil of love. Let good deeds be the leaves on that tree; May words of kindness form its flowers; May peace be its fruit. Let us grow and unfold as one family, united in love.
- Just as one sucks the juice from the sugarcane and spits out the stalk, the religious leaders should encourage their followers to imbibe the essence of religion—which is spirituality—and not give over-importance to the external aspects. Unfortunately, today many are eating the stalk and spitting out the essence.
May Peace & Happiness Prevail (2004)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from May Peace & Happiness Prevail: Keynote Address by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi during the Closing Plenary Session of the Parliament of World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain, on July 13th, 2004." Copyright © 2004 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust.
- The body will perish whether we work or sit idle. So, instead of rusting away without doing anything for society, it is better to wear oneself out in the pursuit of good actions.
- The problem arises when we say, “Our religion is right; yours is wrong!” This is like saying, “My mother is good; yours is a prostitute!” Love and compassion are the very essence of all religions. What, then, is the need for us to compete?
- Love is our true essence. Love has no limitations such as religion, race, nationality, or caste. We are all beads strung together on the same thread of love. To awaken this unity and to spread the love that is our inherent nature to others—this is the true aim of human life. Indeed, love is the only religion that can help humanity rise to great and glorious heights. And love should be the one thread on which all religions and philosophies are strung together. The beauty of society lies in the unity of hearts.
The Awakening of Universal Motherhood (2002)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from The Awakening of Universal Motherhood: An Address Given by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious & Spiritual Leaders. Palais des Nations, Geneva, October 7th, 2002." Copyright © 2003 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust.
- The love of awakened motherhood is a love and compassion felt not only towards one’s own children, but towards all people, animals and plants, rocks and rivers—a love extended to all of nature, to all beings. Indeed, to a woman in whom the state of true motherhood has awakened, all creatures are her children. This love, this motherhood, is Divine Love—and that is God.
- The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth; it is a principle inherent in both women and men. It is an attitude of the mind. It is love — and that love is the very breath of life. No one would say, ‘I will breathe only when I am with my family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.’ Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion towards everyone is as much part of their being as breathing.
- Real love has nothing to do with lust or self-centeredness. In real love, you are not important; the other is important. In love, the other is not your instrument to fulfil your selfish desires; you are an instrument of the Divine with the intention of doing good in the world. Love does not sacrifice others; love gives joyfully of itself. Love is selfless—but not the enforced selflessness of women being pushed into the background, treated as objects. In real love, you do not feel worthless; on the contrary, you expand and become one with everything—all-encompassing, ever blissful.
Conversation in Helsinki (2000)
- Conversation with Riitta Uosukainen, as quoted in "Patience Leads To Love"
- If you have patience, then you'll also have love. Patience leads to love. If you forcefully open the petals of a bud, you won't be able to enjoy its beauty and fragrance. Only when it blossoms by following its natural course, will the beauty and fragrance of a flower unfold.
- Today people live to work rather than work for a living. They have forgotten their true goal in life. Subsequently they have forgotten their dharma. There is no communication between hearts, there is no sharing. Having lost contact with other's hearts, we become totally isolated. But in truth we are not isolated islands, we are links that form one chain.
- The heart does not talk, it is the intellect that does all the talking. All dealings are at the intellectual level. We have become like machines; our very lives have become mechanical. Life has lost its naturalness — like a garland of plastic flowers. There is no heart in life anymore. Only when hearts come together does true life blossom.
- Changing the world is like trying to straighten a dog's tail. However much you may try, you won't succeed. But although the tail won't straighten, if you keep trying every day, at least you will put on some muscle. Similarly, even though it is difficult to make a change, our effort to do so in itself brings positive results. It will help us change. Without waiting for others to change,if we change ourselves first, that will make a difference. Instead of worrying about results, focus on doing our best in what we are engaged in.
- God is not a limited individual who sits alone up in the clouds on a golden throne. God is pure Consciousness that dwells within everything. Understanding this truth, learn to accept and love everyone equally.
Living in Harmony (2000)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from Living in Harmony: An address given by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, Copyright © 2000 by Mata Amritanandamayi Center
- If world peace is to become a reality, peace and harmony first have to fill the heart of every individual. Love for humanity has to be awakened within us. Love and unity are not alien to human nature—they are our most fundamental instincts, the very foundation of our existence.
- There is one Truth that shines through all of creation. Rivers and mountains, plants and animals, the sun, the moon and the stars, you and I—all are expressions of this one Reality. Many who have realised this truth through their own experience have walked on this earth, and many are yet to come.
- The world is one family, of which we are all members. Peace and unity prevail in a household when the individuals fulfil their duties and responsibilities with the awareness that each member is an integral part of the whole. Only when we work together as a global family, not merely belonging to a particular race, religion or nation, will peace and happiness once again prevail on this earth.
Unity is Peace (1995)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from Unity is Peace: An address by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the Interfaith Celebration in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, October 21, 1995. Copyright © 1996 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust
- The life force that pulsates in the trees, plants, and animals is the same life force that pulsates within us. The same life energy that gives us the power to speak and to sing, is the power behind the song of the bird and the roar of the lion. The same consciousness that flows in and through every human being, lends its power to the movement of the wind, to the flow of the river, and to the light of the sun. How can there be any sense of difference once this subtle principle is understood? When we evaluate our growth and development in the light of this great Truth, we may wonder whether we human beings have really developed or grown at all. The progress that we see today is divided growth. Only some parts are growing—the world as a whole remains unhealthy. We cannot call this real progress.
- The truth “I exist” is self-evident. You may deny God by saying, “God is just a belief,” but existence cannot be refuted. That existence, that Cosmic Power, is God. God has no separate hands, legs, eyes, or body, other than our own. He moves through our hands, He walks with our legs, He sees through our eyes, and it is He who beats within the heart of each one of us.
May Your Hearts Blossom (1993)
- Quotes of Mata Amritanandamayi from May Your Hearts Blossom: An Address by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago, Copyright © 2003 by Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust
- Sanatana dharma does not ask us to believe in a God seated on a golden throne, high above the clouds. God is not a limited being. God is all pervasive, omnipotent and omniscient. God is the Principle of Life and the Light of Consciousness within us. God, who is pure Bliss, is verily our own Self.
- Religion is the secret of life. It teaches us to love, to serve, to forgive, to endure, and to interact with our brothers and sisters with empathy and compassion. Advaita (non-duality) is a purely subjective experience. But in daily life it may be expressed as love and compassion. This is the great lesson taught by the great saints and sages of India, the exponents of Sanatana Dharma.