Amma: A Two-Faced Mommy?
File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet
Amma continues to hug thousands at her San Ramon, California retreat center. A report in the San Francisco Chronicle compares her favorably to various disgraced gurus of the past. [Ed.note: A clever way to sneak in some promotion in an "objective" news report.] But the same article also uncovers an underlying hypocrisy in Amma's public presentation:
Many followers see Amma as an avatar, a deity come to Earth.Is Amma so naive as to not notice that everyone around her thinks she is God, and that it's printed in her literature? We're convinced that Amma knows this truth: were she truly sincere in her proclamations and actually sought to chill the claims of her divinity, she'd put herself right out of business. Amma and her people know full well that it is exactly these claims about her divinity that keep people (and their donations) coming.
Her own literature calls her "a phenomenon that happens once in 1,000 years"...
"I don't have any claims," she said, giggling... "Everyone is an avatar," she said. "Everyone is self-realized. Everyone is enlightened...
We've determined that the milk management puja is holding, so anyone wishing to remain an adult can breathe a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, the thousands getting hugs continue to regress, but only up until the point they can continue to hold their jobs. Devotees who are not capable of holding credit cards and making purchases in her bookstall just aren't that much use at an Amma center. At the very least, they've got to be able to cover the costs of their own baby-sitting.