Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī (better known as Amma, or “mother”) is a guru known for her powerful hugs. They are reputed to have a deeply spiritual quality.

Amma is the hugging guru

Amma is a guru known for the special, perhaps even spiritual, quality of her hugs.

Like many saints and mystics, Amma demonstrated her abilities at a young age. People just kept coming back for her hugs!

Can you imagine? Grown men and women lining up to get a hug from a simple village girl. They must be something special.

Skepticism is always warranted, of course. If you fall in that camp, we recommend watching Louis Theroux’s (the ultimate skeptic) experience hugging Amma. Let’s just say it really took him by surprise. The video is available below.

Beyond the hugs, which you have to line up for hours to receive, she’s set up a commune for her devotees. Amma teaches a form of spiritual practice called bhakti, which encourages followers to absolutely devote themselves to her. It’s made her quite wealthy.

Amma is changing the world one hug at a time.

A guru, profiteer, or both?

Does she have anything to impart beyond her hugs, though? The devotional practice she’s set up is a carbon-copy of almost every other guru operating in India. Is this the case of a guru simply doing what works?

Viewed more cynically, one can argue she’s simply taking advantage of the great wealth available to gurus who teach the path of devotion. You can’t miss the trinkets her organization sells at every opportunity. Profits are immense.

By all means, get hugged by Amma if opportunity allows it. Who knows, it may change your life. If you yearn for instruction and inspiration from a master, though, it may be best to look elsewhere. Unless you have a few bucks to spare.

“In this age of selfishness, selfless service is the only soap that truly purifies.” – Amma



  1. Are you freaking kidding? Have you not read “Holy Hell” by her closest advisor for 20 years, Gail Tredwell? This woman is closer to Donald Trump than anyone else behind closed doors.

  2. For those who want to know the behind-the-closed-door Ammachi, please do yourself a favor and read “Holy Hell.” If you haven’t read this book, you do not know the real story of Mata Amritanandamayi.

    • not sure who gayatri / gaily Tredwell really is. Psychiatric patients full of hate can tell a lot . And before you believe blind, better believe nobody you don’t really know

  3. VERY Glad the cynic REPORTER had the “experience” he was NOT expecting. Western people need to experience some kind of miracle to “believe” … I think the Biblical Quote is; “least ye see miracles, ye will not believe”

  4. So what criteria are you using to determine ratings? I’m not a devotee of Amma. Never got hugged. Didn’t read the scandal book. The 3/5 rating has no meaning if alleviating suffering is the criteria. So Amma doesn’t disperse pearls of mystical wisdom. That’s your criteria? I’m looking at her website and it appears her foundation is India’s Medicaid division. What monetary or self serving benefit does she derive from traveling constantly and hugging people for 10-12 hrs at a shot. Why don’t you try it?

    • Hi Dan. I have tried her hugs – three times, in fact. They are some of the best of hugs of my life. But that’s where her teaching stops. I feel that a “3” rating is more than fair considering the other teachers and Messengers on this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *