I was directed to you website by a friend in Texas. I must
compliment you at how detailed and thorough your site is. I
have met many of the teachers listed and possibly agree with you on
many points - except for one.
AMMACHI - OR Mata Amritanandamayi of Kerala, India
Throughout the world she is called the hugging saint. She is revered
in her own country as a healer and sage, and credited with thousands
of miracles. She travels around the world and has a daily routine
that very few of us could live with or practice. She travels through
the United States every summer and has an Ashram in California and
New Mexico. But, as you say, who knows?
What began as one woman's journey to bring spiritual nourishment (on
foot!) and a path of devotion to thousands in her own country, has
become the driving force behind an international organization
promoting awareness of a greater spiritual journey and providing
healing to millions around the globe.
I realize you are skeptic and no one can fault you for your personal
belief system. Bat as you are rating these Guru's - I would like to
ask - how is this process done? Only by their websites or by
personal experience? Are you aware of her great charities and of her
800 patient bed hospital AIMS, (State of the art) that gives
medical care free to the poor in India?
I would like to share some direct experiences I have known from this
woman. (After all, who wants to take someone else's word for her
I was at a retreat with Amma in the early 90's in Rhode Island.
While showering for the morning session - suddenly the hot water
went off - and my
back was severely burned. With a great deal of pain - I managed to
get myself over to the hall where Amma was giving her morning
(Hugs and blessings) Her Swami approached her and explained what had
occurred. Amma called me to her lap and put me, face down, across
her knees. Then she put her hand on my back and held it there for
some time. When I arose, the burn was gone, the pain was gone, and
there were no marks that anything had happened to me.
A year ago, again on a retreat in Rhode Island, I became very ill. I
went for darshan, and when Mother Amma blessed me, she ran her hands
across my chest. At the same time I could feel something being
pulled out of me. When I arose I felt faint and week as well as some
body chills and dizziness. Her Swami explained to me that Amma had
taken pneumonia off my body system. I needed to rest awhile, but I
was fine. There were many witnesses to these events.
Needless to say, I am very disappointed of the rating you gave to
her, only a #2 - and that you could even compare her with others on
that list of #2 is appalling. [I have since
raised her up to 2 1/2.]
I would like you to recheck her and move her up to your highest
rating. You joke about an Avatar and see her as limiting. What do
you consider an Avatar to be? Have you one in mind - as skeptic as
you are? Did you think they would be without discipline or form in a
world that is crying out for some kind of spiritual order? Amma is
healing the heart of the world while you are busy debunking that any
of these powers exist.
The many great achievements she has done are even more astonishing
when one considers that this wise and influential woman has only a
fourth grade education. She grew up in a poor fishing village - in
poverty - and suffered from extreme gender, religious and color
prejudice. Her life is one of the most remarkable stories of our
time and I wonder if you or anyone else could actually live it? She
tires out every one of us mortals. No one - it seems can keep up
with her daily routine or quick mind. Have you ever met Amma or
received a hug from her? If not, I suggest you put that on your list
of priorities. She'll be in Dearborne, Michigan between
November 13th and 17th. maybe you will have a chance to drop by. If
so - I'll be there, with thousands of others. Many who will be
seeing her for the first time.
Hope you can put yourself out to be there.
I am strongly requesting Ammachi to be graded to no less than a
four. Please - I am very sincere about this request. I know about
the Guru's and have had direct experience with many. Some you have
graded higher are not worth the ash falling from a volcano.
I myself did not believe I could ever bow to a Guru. I was brought
up in a strong Christian faith - that notwithstanding - I never
knew about such things until I began to study energy medicine. I
have had direct experiences with Yogi Bahjan - Guru Mai - Robert
Jaffe - that George guy you rate so highly - and several others.
Most of them are money hungry - with some talent - and want crowds
to do their bidding. No - your site is not a race to the top - I
fully realize that - in some sense you have tried to come from
honesty and the heart. My concern is Honor. Amma does not need to
win any race, as she has already won all of them and more than
likely invented them.
Amma is not that way. Firstly - she is non-sectarian - even though
she is brought up in a Hindu environment. She wants people on this
planet to KNOW and serve GOD - that's it. She is very allowing as
well as disciplining. She believes in free choice and only wishes
to make our lives better. She never asks for money and her
retreats are affordable and there for all. Where else can you stay
for $200 - for 3 days with food and lodging included? She never
ridicules the maimed and ugly, the poor or downtrodden or the ego
maniacs. She loves them all.
I have LEARNED - Sarlo - through abuse, heartache and rejection
about Guru's. I love Amma involuntarily. Many times I doubt and
many times she brings me back into the fold - gently - with a
smile and a hug.
The Power of Love is the only power there is that is lasting and
we should all seek that honestly. How surprised we would be if we
all could learn the truth about a sacred energy that is available
to all of us - for FREE. We just have to learn how to use it.
(It's almost like buying a new VCR.)
I have not asked you why you choose to do this rating. Is it fair
- I do not know. But if this is in your heart to do - so be it. I
just must explain to you that if there ever were an Avatar - it
would be Amamchi. Perhaps several others also - why not? I
do not know. I DO know she is one and that's enough for me. (True Spiritual work is exhausting and ever vigilant.) It is not
the body or the organization that is worshiped, it is what Amma
brings to this planet far beyond our imagination.
I pray that someday you will know her through true experience.
With Love of Amma
Always in Her Service,
I get where you and others are coming from in terms of
reservations about an authoritarian tone, condescension etc.: to use your terminology, these
represent a clear problem with her flexibility. OTOH, as anyone who's hung around Ammachi for any length of
time knows, her capacity is over the top, not only in quantity (hugs per annum) but quality (sublime
heart-opening, playful synchronicity, ass-kicking power). I have yet to have anything but a positive
experience around her, and have always been able to integrate it in tangible ways (having more energy,
insight and patience, etc.) that give me deeper faith in my own understanding.
In fact, her flexibility, in person, is a lot greater than the for-public-consumption stuff on her website
suggests: I've heard some pretty wild stories about her that are worthy of Neem Karoli Baba. Some of
these things are finally being published, e.g. in the book "Amma And Me" by Manoharan. My own experience is
that her flexibility is not so limited (1) if you interact with her 1-on-1, with sincerity; and (2) if
you focus on the inner connection instead of the bhakti circus around her. She really does work
differently with different people, sometimes in unconventional ways that don't make it into the PR
material. Why this is, I don't know; maybe she wants to set a clean example for her householder devotees,
but is willing/able to work with the funky tantric types as well, if only in the background.
Given that, I'd certainly give Ammachi 3.5 stars under your system, hell, even 4 stars, if the definition
were modified to allow for an exceptionally high capacity albeit with limited flexibility. Anyway, I'm
glad to see you've been open to input and that her rating has slowly been creeping up.
~ JCB ~