Amma — a term commonly used in South India to refer to mothers — is an expression of compassion, divinity, and bonding. There is no love and kindness more powerful than that of one’s mother and in this case, one’s spiritual mother. Amma Sri Karunamayi is a true embodiment of this divine motherly love and she is known for her lively personality around the world.
Born in 1958, Sri Karunamayi was extremely devotional and keen on serving her community, especially those who were less fortunate. She was known to distribute food to the poor and was gifted at interpreting Sanskrit verses despite not knowing the language. As a child, her interests in charity and spirituality differentiated her from others her age and beyond. It was no doubt that Amma had a special quality to her that encouraged her to pursue her practice of meditation and worship.
As Amma transitioned to attending college, she continued to immerse herself in spiritual learning and meditation. As her meditations deepened, she remained in isolation for an entire month and experienced a significant personal transformation that expanded her focus to serving people universally.
Following this transformation, she traveled by foot to the holy Penusila Forest where she practiced a simple lifestyle similar to that of India’s ancient sages. Villagers in the area were astounded by her devout dedication to advancing her spiritual consciousness and her kindness to all, regardless of their treatment towards her. Her 10 years of tapasya led her to realize that her learning must be shared with the rest of the world and she emerged from the forest to travel to Bangalore where she began giving talks on Sanatana Dharma and other aspects of Indian spirituality. Her selfless deeds were not only within the realms of spirituality, but also extended to providing those who were less fortunate with basic necessities such as healthcare, housing, and education in an attempt to serve humanity as a whole.
Amma was eager to share her knowledge with people from around the world and expanded her reach to the United States. Her annual programs in the US include: giving spiritual talks, offering blessings, hosting meditation retreats, performing sacred ceremonies, and much more. Sri Karunamayi is known for being not only a valuable teacher, but also a keen listener. There are many stories of her comforting her devotees — many of whom are children — who share their troubles in hopes of receiving Amma’s guidance. Her work is similar to that of a mother without boundaries as she develops a bond with all those who seek her teachings and no one is turned away from the compassion of the Divine Mother.
Amma’s mission continues to spread throughout the world, inspiring and providing solace to anyone who seeks it. She is the recipient of many honorable and global awards such as the Woman of the Year Award 2013, 10 Years of Service Anniversary Award, Golden Swan Award 2013, and many more. Amma has also focused her efforts on humanitarian projects to spread the message of World Peace and establish strong connections between people of all cultures, faiths, genders, etc. Through the creation of Amma’s Global Peace Mission to create peace among people by addressing physical, mental, and emotional challenges, Amma has launched several initiatives to prevent pain and suffering within communities to the greatest extent possible.
Amma’s life journey is surely no ordinary one and serves as an example of the power of selfless devotion and meditation in creating tremendous change within oneself and the world.