After a beautiful weekend with my family, I decided to go see Amma (the hugging Saint). Amma is the malayalam name for "Mother", almost everyone in Kerala has a few older ladies they call Amma, as it is a name of respect and love. I have heard about Amma for a long time, her humanitarian work, her hugs, and her popularity in the Yoga community here in the USA. Amma has a powerful message of peace, spirituality and love. When I entered into the massive Manhattan Centre, my friend and I wound up on the top balcony as the venue was packed. Amma began to speak, in Malayalam (the language my parents speak). She is from the province of Kerala, from an area not to far from my Mothers home in India. There was such a profound peace in her gentle voice. I understood her every beautiful word, and since this was my first experience at an Amma event, I was translating for my friend beside me, until we realized their is a translator who explains her powerful message right after (LOL). Initially, I was confused by the sea of people who most likely did not understand Malayalam, but her energy & tone of voice speak volumes.
She said "laughter is the music of the world", this to me is such a powerful statement as we spend so much time with frowns on our faces, disappointments guiding our mental state, anticipation of negativity in our bones, why not laugh a little more? Amma is so right! She also explained how we use our brain to stop movement in our legs, in our arms, when we want to....why not use our brain to stop and still the mind? WOW, what a beautiful sentiment. Our thoughts, our ego, often times dictate much of our mental state, why not sit in stillness, sit with God? Amma spoke about the cycle of Karma, how our actions will always come back to us. Therefore, when we do good, good will return to us, and when we do bad, it will return to us as well, at some point, our Karmic Cycle will always make sure we learn and experience life fully. Amma's work is pure Karma Yoga (selfless service), the event was run by a lot of volunteers (many friendly faces I knew from Dharma's and other Yoga friends volunteered their time), and all proceeds of Amma's gift shop goes to her charities. While she provides amazing food at this free event, words of wisdom, Holy Water, and Puja, she also provides Dharshan at the end giving Hugs to all. I am grateful to have participated in this lovely event, to have her her words, and experienced her love. After a lovely weekend with family, it was beautiful to hear her message in Malayalam as well. Thank you Amma for being an example of love and peace.