Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Amma

A. and I just finished watched an interesting documentary on Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known around the world as Amma; the documentary, entitled Darshan: The Embrace, followed her on a tour around her native India as she shared her teaching with the thousands who attended her rallies. Many of you may recall her as the mahatma who traveled to the United States last year and spent hours giving hugs to the people who waited in line to see her at her different appearances. In fact, at the end of the documentary the filmmakers flash a statement which says it is estimated that Amma has given 23 million hugs around the world -- and the film of the rally which closes the documentary includes the fact that over a 21-hour period, she gave hugs to 45,000 people.

This is far from the traditional style of documentaries I have seen in the past, in that there is no running commentary or narration to explain what we are watching. The genuine affection that people feel for Amma is there, however, and her love for humanity is equally apparent. She says at one point that as a bee looks at a flower and only sees honey, and a sculptor looks at a block of stone and only sees a statue, she looks at people and only sees the good within them. It would be nearly impossible to try and explain the tremendous emotion on the faces of the people who are with her, so I won't even try -- you'll just have to watch it for yourselves.

If there's one drawback to the documentary, it's that you're left at the end knowing very little about her background. We see film clips of her from earlier in her life, and learn that she has spearheaded the construction of thousands of homes and the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital in India, and that she has received the Gandhi Prize for Peace. You don't learn more, but you're definitely left wanting to learn more -- and so while I strongly recommend you see this documentary, you can also go here and here to learn more about this remarkable woman.

6 comments:

alex said...
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Lone Grasshopper said...

What a sweet story! It makes me want to go out and hug someone.

jen said...

i've admired her, and checking out the film would be fascinating.

it's compassion she offers, yes? we are going round about that sort of thing today, you should check it out.

alex said...
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rdl said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

If only we can see the good in each one of us, there will be less animosity. Then our world might have been a better place to live. But then again, it takes someone who doesn't look at oneself most of the time but that of other people.

Ipanema