Reputed as a tireless humanitarian, Mata Amritanandamayi, better known as «Amma» or «Ammachi,» is scheduled to visit the Boston Area to conclude a popular ten-city U.S. tour, where she will receive thousands with her blessing-a healing embrace. Two free public programs will take place at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Rd. West, in Marlborough on July 15th.

The U.S. tour began in Seattle, then followed to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Dallas, Iowa, Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. before finishing in Marlborough.

Considered a living Saint in her homeland of India, Amma, (55) has quietly gained an extraordinary reputation over the last 30 years as a result of the extensive charitable institutions she has established and for her personal outreach. The recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, Amma sleeps merely a couple hours per day, teaching by the constant example of her own life that is dedicated to selfless social service. In a recent CBS TV Primetime Special entitled In God’s Name, Amma was profiled as one the world’s twelve most influential religious leaders, and the only woman selected. Other figures included Pope Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama, the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem, the Grand Ayatollah, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

«Mata Amritanandamayi…is fast becoming a world-renowned spiritual leader like Mother Teresa or Mohandas Gandhi.» -Reuters News

Boston Area Programs: Darshan.
It is expected that thousands will visit Amma for her darshan programs in Marlborough. Darshan is a Sanskrit term describing «audience in the presence of a holy person». In a radical departure from Indian tradition (particularly for a woman), Amma’s darshan consists of a long tender embrace. She has been doing this, as a natural expression of love since she was a teen. It is estimated that Amma has given over 28 million hugs in her life. In India, vast crowds usually assemble to the point where Amma may individually receive and hug over 30,000 people in one day, sitting continuously. She will never turn anyone away, nor charge any money. Amma has been dubbed «The Hugging Saint» by the international press.

Humanitarian Institutions: «Compassion to the poor is our duty to God»
With official NGO status granted by the U.N., Amma oversees a vast network of volunteer humanitarian activities of three distinct types: 1) direct aid to the needy, 2) educational institutions designed to help the underprivileged learn to help themselves, and 3) social programs that serve broader society and the environment. The list of endeavors is remarkably long, ranging from 1300-bed charitable hospitals, to the building of over 100,000 homes for the poor, to orphanages, pensions for widows, hospices, a wide array of subsidized schools, to Green Friends, an environmental youth program, whereby over 150,000 tree saplings are planted annually. New charitable activities are created rapidly and regularly around the world by volunteers, inspired by Amma’s example. For more information, please visit www.Amma.org.

Since 2001, following the devastating earthquakes that rocked the Gujarat regions of India, Amma emerged as a leading figure in disaster relief. Through her charitable trust, three razed villages were entirely rebuilt. In 2004, her efforts towards Tsunami Relief made international headlines (World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, BBC News, New York Times) as over $50 million has been contributed to that cause. In the U.S., a million dollar aid donation was given to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

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