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Amritapuri embraces the ideal ‘The world is one big family’ by Fanny

Eyes of Buddha

13 May 2015

Many philosophers across the world have enthusiastically embraced the philosophy that the world is one big family. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi is one such philosopher and spiritualist who professes to live by this noble ideal. Popularly known as Amma (‘Amma’ means mother) among her followers, Mata Amritanandamayi is an Indian spiritual leader whose sayings are followed with firm reverence by millions of people all across the world. She was born in a village called Parayakadavu in the South Indian state of Kerala. Parayakadavu is now known as Amritapuri and it houses the main ashram (monastery) of Amma. In this ashram, it is quite common to find people from virtually all parts of the world. Though these people are divided various parameters such as nationality, religion, language, race and customs they are united by a common pursuit to find the meaning of life. The ashram is open all round the year to any individual who is interested in this higher quest for meaning. There have been numerous instances where foreign nationals have lived here for years together and some of them have even made Amritapuri their home. This quaint little South-Indian coastal town has truly become a global village and the number of international residents has grown to more than 3000. The ashram provides meals and accommodation facilities to all its residents for as low as 3 US dollars a day. The ashram does not subscribe to any particular religion nor does it preach any. The mission of the Amritapuri ashram as well as the organization is to attain spiritual unity and therefore there is no visible presence of any religious undertones. As Amma herself has so often proclaimed, “My religion is love”, the only religion practised here is love and kindness for fellow human beings. Such a virtuous principle not only melts away all the differences that separate people but it also unifies them into one huge family. In order to sustain the principle, the ashram offers yoga retreats, meditation programmes and studies in traditional spiritual practices to interested individuals. These programmes not only help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the participants but cultivate inner peace in the hearts of individuals. Peace is the platform on which the concept of ‘Love thy neighbour’ is built. A stay in the Amritapuri ashram would certainly be an enriching and enlightening experience for any human being.

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