Mata Amritanandamayi

Mātā Amritānandamayī is an Indian guru from Parayakadavu (now partially known as Amritapuri), Alappad Panchayat, Kollam District, in the state of Kerala.[1] Born to a family of fishermen in 1953, she was the third child of Sugunanandan and Damayanti. She has six siblings.[2] As part of her chores, Amṛtānandamayī gathered food scraps from neighbours for her family's cows and goats, through which she was confronted with the intense poverty and suffering of others. She would bring these people food and clothing from her own home. Her family, which was not wealthy, scolded and punished her. Amṛtānandamayī also began to spontaneously embrace people to comfort them in their sorrow. Despite the reaction of her parents, Amṛtānandamayī continued.[3] Regarding her desire to embrace others, Amṛtānandamayī commented, "I don't see if it is a man or a woman. I don't see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering."[4]