Amma, known as the hugging saint, is in Kuala Lumpur and will be offering her hugs and blessings for 2 days - on Monday (tomorrow) and on Tuesday at 7pm at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan, Selangor. Admission is free.
She is called the "hugging saint" because she actually hugs everyone who comes to see her. Amma, born in Kerala, India, in 1953 into a poor fisherman’s family, is considered a healer and spiritual guru in India and in many parts of the world, and is credited with many miracles. Her organisation has been doing plenty of humanitarian work worldwide. In Malaysia, she is represented by the Amriteswari Soceity of Malaysia.
In an interview with T. Selva of the Star, Amma said, “I am what people want to see me as. I don’t worry too much about what they see me as".
Life has not always been easy even for a saint. Just like everyone everyone else attempting the unconventional, Amma had to face a lot of "occupational hazards" when she first stated hugging people. She had to confront the criticisms and even physical attacks of the conservative Indian society for her harmless hugging. Even in today's Malaysia, if you randomly go around town hugging people, I'm sure you'll be swiftly dealt with by society, if not by the police.
According to T Selva's article, the traditional Indian society she came from, including members of her own family, fiercely condemned her unconventional behaviour, particularly when she was a young woman. People even threw stones at her, there were attempts to poison her and she was even stabbed. Despite all these, she survived and has not been distracted from her purpose.
Have any of you met Amma ? Please post your comments.