Friday, June 08, 2007

Little Amma Stuck In The Wake

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

If we liken Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Ammachi) to a large ocean liner plying the waters of Western satsang junkies, Sri Karunamayi Amma is an itty bitty skiff getting bounced around in the wake.

But that's not going to stop her from touring the States in direct competition with the Big Gal:
Karunamayi stopped in the area for five days as part of her 2007 U.S. tour. A practitioner of Sanatana Dharma, an ancient form of Hinduism that promotes meditation as a form of healthy living, she spends about four months in the United States each year.
She's the little boat that could, chugging along as Big Amma gets (and makes for herself) all the attention. Too bad folks are going to a Karunamayi Amma satsang for the same reason they go to an Ammachi satsang: to get a jolt of their own shakti by way of a self-deception by believing that these devi ladies have more.

She may be the smaller vessel, but that doesn't mean her exhaust isn't just as stinky and clarity occluding as that coming off the bigger ship.

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44 Comments:

At 6/08/2007 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LAX workers infuriated by Ammachi:

http://www.ammatour.info/

 
At 6/08/2007 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Majorly clarity-occluding!!! Karunamayi Amma is touted as an incarnation of the Devi; this is said right in front of her and she doesn't deny it. She infantalizes the devotees to the max, calling them "my babies." You'd think with all this love-bombing her inner circle would be pleasant, but the closer people are to K.A., the more jealous and backbiting they appear to be. She blatently plays favorites among them, so this could be why!

"Miracles" supposedly happen around K.A., like miraculous healings, and piles of kumkum suddenly appearing on and around her feet (too bad no one ever sees it while it happens, photos are taken afterwards). She's an orthodox Hindu and makes sure everyone's Sanskrit pronunciation is perfect, but that also means her teachings are rife with superstition and that the Indians are treated better than westerners.

Ex-Siddha Yogis and other guru-cult refugees like to hang with K.A. because the crowds are still smallish, so they might actually get a little attention from her...and the chanting's pretty juicy...but it's a very, VERY cultish scene!

 
At 6/08/2007 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, here's the latest discovery. The name Ammachi is actually trademarked, and so are her meditation techniques:

http://www.amma.org/amma-info/trademark-list.html

Amma is a CORPORATION. Why are devotees not seeing this??????????????

 
At 6/09/2007 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know people who served her for a decade and she never visited their home, just gave them a chin chuck in pasing, while she shamelessly courts the rich Indians who give her lots of money because they believe she will give them more wealth in return. Whenever I have seen her she always seemed very sad and garish with all the makeup she wears. It's a dispicable scene close up.

 
At 6/09/2007 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the early days, when she was just starting to "tour", I saw her loose her cool in Cambridge, MA..not a pretty scene. The problem? not enough "publicity" had been generated so the worshipping throngs of people were not quite large enough for her taste. You could hear her screeching in the back room. She eliminated Boston from her tours after this incident...lol!
If she's the re-incarnation of Saraswati, then I'm the re-incarnation of Matangi...much more fun!

Varahi Devi

 
At 6/09/2007 3:16 PM, Blogger semblance s and orchestra said...

Guys ! you better name the 'she'
you talkin about. We are a little mixed up between ammas...

 
At 6/10/2007 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Karunamayi a lot and go and see her as often as I could. I like that the satsangs arent as crowded as Ammas. And if you stick around late enough, she usually does a smaller satsang for the devotees who stick around after the program is over. She is a Divine Mother and just as Holy as Amma. She just doesnt get as much publicity. But she has just as much love and compassion for her children. I love her and I feel love in her presence.

 
At 6/10/2007 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who wrote:

"She's an orthodox Hindu and makes sure everyone's Sanskrit pronunciation is perfect"

Actually, she makes sure their pronouncation is perfect according to Telegu speakers of Sanskrit. If one is from another Indian state, the pronounciation is totally wrong. In Telegu there is only room for 2 types of "S" pronouncication, whereas in Sanskrit there are 3 types of "S"s: one that is simple S like in "Simple" another that is an SH sound as in "Sherry" (soft sh), and yet a third, which is like the "SH" in "Push" perhaps, with the sh being pronounced with a palatal emphasis. Fine points, yes, but crucial in sanskrit. In Telegu, and in K Mayi's group, you will find people chanting "Siva Siva Siva" not "Shiva Shiva Shiva", etc. There are many other words that fall into this due to the limitation on their local language. This happens all over India, actually, with people from Tamil Nadu adding "am" to so many words it becomes funny. And in North India, the "a" gets dropped from so many words that becomes funny ('veda' becomes 'ved' for many North Indians, due to Hindi rules of pronounciation). So actually each region is teaching their own "perfect" pronouncation according to local language, not sanskrit rules.

Aside from all that nonsense above (who really cares, dude?) I have to report something that actually happened to me regarding the Little K-Ma:

I once had a dream in which a woman appeared before me and gave me a particular mantra. She gave it twice and I awoke with a totally energized feeling, (no, not like I had slept well). I wondered who she was and her image was burned into my mind. I didn't practice the mantra, but remembered what it was, and it was long and something I didn't know about. I thought I'd had some generic dream of "Divine Mother" (which I know Jody and others here think is bunk, but whatever, the dream happened to me without my wishing it). When I was passing through Bangalore, a friend took me to K-Ma's place and I was bored, thinking I didn't want to meet some supposed saint at that momemnt. We were in some book shop part of her little ashram building there in the city, and I saw a book with the face of the woman from my dream. I was really shocked. Everything was quite exact, down to the expression, skin tone, shape of every feature, etc. We did meet her, and it was really confusing for me, since I don't believe in these things. Anyway, it happened. I don't follow her as a result, and the same mantra (which she does not publically give, it turns out) was given to me without my asking by two other gurus, and I still didn't practice it.

So that's what happened with me and K-Ma.

I can't explain it, and hope Jody et al don't try to, because there is no explanation for it. It's totally weird.

 
At 6/10/2007 8:45 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

semblance s and orchestra said...
We are a little mixed up between ammas...

...................

Semblance, you must be one toke over the line if you can't tell the difference between Amma and Amma. Let's see, Big Momma is, well, kinda big, swole up like my own momma and like my own self. But Little Momma is also kinda swole up. You could be right! Let's call em Big Shorty and Short Biggy, with Karunamayi bein Short Biggy.

As said before, I saw Big Shorty in Taos, New Mexico in 1987. She had only a small entourage of 10 or so then and went way out in the boonies to bless a statue of Mother Mary with full Vedic rites. In fact old Chuck was called into Amma's car for a final head in lap hug as she drove away. Even though she has become a Walmart Corp of spiritual trinkets, I still remember her fondly.

Short Biggy, Karunamayi, has never impressed me much. She wears so much make up she looks like my notorious highschool librarian. She does have a small group of servers around her who I have met and find to be good hearted and decent. But she uses them up and like someone said, chin chucks them, while lounging around with rich Indians. It's kind of disgustipating!

Ammachi is a country girl who has made it in the big city, like Chaka Khan. Karunamayi is like a city slick gal tryin to look countryfied, like Shirley Jones of the Partridge Family singin a Hank William’s song.

 
At 6/10/2007 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further on Anonymous who wrote:

"Actually, she makes sure their pronouncation is perfect according to Telegu speakers of Sanskrit. If one is from another Indian state, the pronounciation is totally wrong."

I have listened to some recordings of Karunamyi reciting Sanskrit mantras. and I find her pronounciation and rendition to be quite jarring to the ear.

And I dont find the thoughtful explanation given above by Anonymous to be very compelling. Of course many indian languages have common words derived from Sanskrit, which may be pronounced differently, e.g., you may hear "Siva" or "Shiva" depending on whether the speaker is speaking natively in Tamil or in Hindi.

However, when these same words are used in an original sanskrit setting, such as in a vedic mantra, then there is a standard pronounciation which should be easily achievable by any indian who has been exposed to basic sanskrit, even to just the alphabet sounds in the devanagari script. In fact, native telugu speakers should encounter even less difficulty in this regard since that language is already highly sanskritized.

I realize that the readers of this blog are more concerned about the scene around these gurus. However, where the fine points of mantra recitation are concerned, caveat emptor should definitely be the operative watchword :)

 
At 6/11/2007 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, it's true. Anyone exposed to basic sanskrit should know the differences. But it is a fact that pronounciation changes radically, even amoung priests, who have been trained for only that work. Although Telegu is highly sanskritized, it does have the lacking "3rd S" sound that I mentioned. That is why the pronounciation is different -- she is reading from Telegu, not from Sanskrit. That's the point I was making. And I also find her pronounciation quite jarring.

There are lots of points on the subject I could go into, but it's irrelevant to most of this thread.

I was not defending her at all. On the contrary, I was pointing out that she doesn't know Sanskrit very well, yet insists that a person's pronounciation should be "perfect". That's my point.

But the experience of her that I had did happen, and I have no explanation of it whatsoever, and neither does anyone else (unless they are God).

 
At 6/11/2007 3:18 PM, Blogger Mike said...

After reading the hatchet job you've been doing with Ammachi over the years, I was wondering when Guruphiliac would finally get around to slagging Karunamayi! A guru hasn't really made it big, particularly among western Hind-jew devotees, until he or she gets trashed in this blog.

 
At 6/11/2007 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike wrote: >>After reading the hatchet job you've been doing with Ammachi over the years, I was wondering when Guruphiliac would finally get around to slagging Karunamayi! A guru hasn't really made it big, particularly among western Hind-jew devotees, until he or she gets trashed in this blog.<<

It's not the first time. Look at Jody's August 11 2006 post. As for the "Hind-jews," (I resemble that remark), I don't think we are disproportionately represented in goorooland, nor here.

 
At 6/14/2007 1:20 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

Amazing how little interest can be stirred up about Karunamayi. She really just isn't very interesting herself, unless like Chuck, you just enjoy a gal in heavy makeup.

 
At 9/28/2008 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Karunamayi's makeup. (I know this is over a year after the other comments were posted) We asked her about it. It isn't makeup. It is an ayurvedic medicine for the eyes. In the region of India where she has her mountain/jungle ashram there are a lot of eye diseases and blind people. She wears the medicine so the local people will wear it too. The idea is to set an example for the people there. When she wears it in the west, it is to draw attention to ayurveda and to the eye clinic she supports in India. I like Karunamayi. When we were touring India in 2006 we went to see if she really had a school, medical van, etc. She does and they do serve the locals for free. The people of the Nelore district (the district her mountain/jungle ashram is in)really appreciate what she does for them. Just a thought.

 
At 11/21/2008 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This information about facial makeup being ayurvedic medicine for the eyes is very educative. Most people would think she was attempting to look photogenic.

 
At 4/05/2010 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Christ because he encouraged the sick, the wounded and the disaffected to come to him for succor. I saw Kmayi. She judges you as bad if you are ill. If your astrologic aspects are bad she tells you that so I doubt you get much of a blessing. With the hindu saints if your astrology is good, they see you and bless you and if your astrology is bad, they seem to avoid you or make it so unpleasant that you want to avoid them.

 
At 4/05/2010 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whameemayi
Halloo World. I am writing to you on behalf of Whameemayi. She was born on a Wednesday. As you know, Wednesday's child is full of woe. This mayi is afflicted. I.e. her aspects are not good. There have been many obstacles in her life. She knows how hard and bitter your lives are because she's just like you, her life is hard and bitter too. Miracles have been known to occur away from her, just not right near or around her. Ask any question and she will answer you, just don't expect it to make any sense, that will cost extra. You came come for healings ,and we will pray to God for you for a little donation. For a big donation we give holy water and a Hail Mary. Subscribe, for a small fee, to Whameemayi's healing site and if we heal anyone, we will let you know. We serve Catholics, protestants, jews, muslims, agnostics, athiests and all you other people. Whameemayi is not bigoted nor is she partial to any denomination. She accepts all denominations especially the denomination of the US dollar bill. Knowing that like her, most of you too are afflicted and therefore as she can appreciate the difficulties of your lives, you can appreciate how difficult is the life of an afflicted mayi, twice as miserable as yours because mayis are supposed to be blessed. Imagine how hard it is to be afflicted when you are supposed to be blessed. To alleviate suffering in the world, we are most humbly accepting donations allowing those of you afflicted ones to improve your karma by supporting Whameemayi. Send all your money to www:\\whameemayi.org. Don't bother, we can't afford a web site.
Expectations: As little as possible. She might be able to meet them.
Thought of the Day: No matter how bad it is for you, someone else is worse off. Give, give, give, Give to Whameemayi!
Homa: There will be a sacrificial homa where everyone can improve their own karma by sponsoring Whameemayi. Donations accepted 50, 100, 1000, 10,000 and 100,000 dollars. Those giving 100K will receive an autographed picture of the mayi for good luck or not.
Mantra: Repeat after me a million times: Giv a Whameemayi. Giv a Whameemayi.
Vibhooti: All out of it at present. Check back in another millenium.
Whameemayi World Tour: Currently she can't afford it. Just click your heels together 3 x and ask to visit Whameemayi. That ought to do it.
Meditation Retreat:
When: Anytime
Where: Your Own Home
Cost: 2 days, $ 5000 US. Bring your own food, bedding, and shelter while we shall pray together for blessings for us all.
Where to send donation: To Whameemayi of course . All donations are tax deductable.
Blessings: God bless us all everyone and Have a nice day!
Links to: None, she can't afford them.

 
At 1/15/2011 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is after several years, but to anyone who may read this, Telugu does indeed have 3 "S" sounds, as any native speaker can easily tell you.

 
At 2/06/2011 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just my two cents....

i met kmayi in 08 i went to see her thinking she was ammachi when i arrived i got to the program late and did not really think anything special of her after her discourse about saving the earth and treasuring her for as a beautiful blue jewel she was giving tilak as a blessing to everyone before they left as i approached i folded my hands in prayer pose out of respect. again not thinking anything in particular about her or her powers with every step closer to her tears began to fill my eyes and my body began to shake when she touched my forehead i experienced my first wave of shakti that i remember in my life rush over my body i became overwhelmed with bliss made my way to a chair and sat there till a girl came over gave me a hug and as soon as she did she sat there much the same way i was with waves and ripples of shakti moving through her body. i want to restate i was not a devotee of hers or know anything about her or have any expectations when it came to meeting her. i have met her several times including india and have had many wonderful things manifest in my life while i was around her. in india. i would write to her about things on my mind or questions i had not showing anyone i put them in my pocket as i went to the temple for her darshan. she would give a talk and answer everything in the letter in the course of her talk.

like i said just my two cents

some people connect with guru type figures others dont not everyone has a guru on the physical level but everyone has one at some level

om shanti om


also to the person that received the same mantra from kmayi and other gurus why not practice it it seems to me it might be of some use to you

 
At 2/19/2011 6:23 PM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Our tendencies to self-mainfest the symptoms of spirituality in the presence of "gurus" are well-known. I doubt it had anything to do with Karunamayi other than the fact she had her "guru" hat on.

 
At 4/14/2011 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the person who started the post with the words "just my two cents..."

I just wanted to add my two cents as well. My experience was EXACTLY the same. When I first went to see Ammma with some friends in Dallas, Tx I was 18 years old thinking no one could possibly be an incarnation of anything. When we first arrived we were pretty far away from her and there was quite a big crowd there to see her. She allowed everyone in the crowd to come close to her and she would touch us on our foreheads. Being in her presence was a stillness I had never felt prior. It was very surreal. Then she touched me and I immediately was shaking in my body. All of my friends were experiencing the same thing. I have not been the same since it was an eternal blessing I feel. My friends and I are still practicing and remember the day more vivid then any other. One of my most memorable moments. I just want to let you know my personal experiences because Amma is nothing negative. I would hate that someone who wants to be close to her is held up from reading one of the posts about how unreal or fake she is. It's just simply not true and I would hope they are able to see for themselves.

 
At 6/13/2011 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hilarious to read the two opinions which start off quite modestly with "just my two cents ..." but then effortlessly switch to high-voltage descriptions of some out-of-body Karunamayi experiences replete with waves of bliss, surreal stillness, and shivers of shakti.

Really? Perhaps these could be induced by psychological projection.

But it is more likely these inauthentic-sounding experiences have been written by some shill for the Karunamayi business organization.

 
At 8/02/2012 4:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand this negative hype against both Amma's Sri Karunamayi or Ammachi why judge them because of some mean spirited disciples , they are both pristine compassionate Teachers they personally do not live lavish life and they do not have personal belongings , everything
Amma does its for other people nothing for Herself and that is true ! These negative comments are nonsense

 
At 4/09/2013 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad that you would criticize love in any form it is offered. This woman takes no money for herself, but has inspired the building of schools, free hospitals, immunizations, restored villages, etc. in her homeland. Quite possibly she has done more charitable works in one lifetime than most of us put together. If she insists on impeccability around her then perhaps there is reason.

When you dedicate your life to service, give up all personal desires, agree never to touch money, and have to stay in one seat all day while traveling all over the world offering love to the masses, then perhaps you have earned a right to criticize.

 
At 4/10/2013 12:20 AM, Blogger jody radzik said...

Amma's love is a business. She is a business woman who has trained long and hard in her art, which is to sell herself as a living deity. The love doesn't come from her, it comes from the people who love her. But her service as an Ishta Devata comes at a steep cost, because folks develop wrong ideas about enlightenment based entirely on what they believe she can accomplish as a magic space mommy. Amma's image prevents realization, which fortunately for her and other "divine" gurus, keeps them in business.

 
At 6/24/2013 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After over 45 years of meeting Gurus etc, I find that most of them simply spew out the words of the others. None are truly based on the Vedas which they claim to tout. If you read the Veda (main four Rig, sama, yajur artha) you find very little of what these so called teachers espouse in the actual Veda and Upanishads. It is made up stuff because they do not understand the Veda. It's a money making scam. wake up people!

 
At 6/24/2013 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it that people still follow people like guru maiya and others whose predecessors are known to be sex offenders and money hogs? I just don't get it.

 
At 7/05/2013 4:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main purpose of the Guru is to shake you out of the clutches of the mind. They can only do this by doing the opposite of what YOU expect them to do. I have experienced this several times with both the Ammas. When you expect their omniscience, you see a very normal mistake-prone human being, making you question and doubt. When you least expect anything and think of them as merely human beings, the most amazing experiences happen. But a word of caution - if you go to these Gurus expecting all your problems to go away and get realization, you are in for a big disappointment. If you go to them essentially because your schedule is free and you have nothing better to do, then you may see something. What you need to get rid of is inside you - the mind. If the Guru behaves as you expect, it reinforces the mind. If you are happy with the mind, don't go to the Guru. If you truly know that the mind is a problem and you don't know how to get rid of it, then you are ready to go to the Guru. There is nothing called instant liberation or realization.

 
At 1/27/2014 1:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What impressions a Saint makes on a person is highly subjective. Some people sense that Karunamayi and Ammachi are great Saints - very holy beings - and that is enough for their followers.

Just knowing that such Divine Saints exist and are real - and not mythological figures - is inspiring.

Imagine yourself hugging thousands of strangers 2 days a week and not tiring of hugging people you don't even know. Imagine doing this joyfully for decades. Imagine consoling sick people and lepers and giving spiritual discourses day after day, year after year.

Karunamayi and Ammachi also have hospitals built and food distributed to poor and needy people.

By contrast, the average person is interested in their own selfish desires 24/7. They are too busy thinking about their own lust and greed and desire for revenge. Think about this contrast!

 
At 1/27/2014 3:04 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

gailtredwell.com

 
At 3/14/2014 8:09 PM, Blogger Diane Bingham said...


When I saw K.mayi I was pregnant with my son. She placed her hands on my belly, at my silent request, and a strong shakti energy shot quickly from my hip area to my feet and back again to my belly, it travelled up my spine..I knew she had blessed him, and I hoping someday we both can see her..I will see her again this year after 11 yrs.Do not know what she has but she is blessed, and so blesses others.

 
At 3/14/2014 8:23 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

What she has is your belief that she possesses or can wield some kind of magical power. You expected an experience and so you subconsciously generated one to meet that expectation.

 
At 10/13/2014 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You expected an experience and so you subconsciously generated one to meet that expectation."

That's not entirely true. I have read reports of people not expecting (or not caring) and having unforgettable experiences.

Two questions do come to mind though. 1. Are you afraid that such people exists? 2. Were you involved with a guru in the past which left you hurt or violated ?

 
At 10/13/2014 2:55 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

You bring me a magic guru, and I'll show you an everyday human being who has benefitted greatly from coincidence. I'll meet any guru who cares to at Peet's coffee in Berkeley.

 
At 10/15/2014 11:58 AM, Anonymous earthspirit said...

Jody..please understand that the mind can be a trap..it can rationalize anything...the heart is where true knowledge resides, and the guru can usher us there although they do not do the work, they facilitate it, and take on some of our karma (not all) they lighten our burden. No, I was not expecting anything from K.Ma...I found her to be very kind, but ordinary, no special messages, or appearance, so my experience was a realization that more is at work in these beings than meets the 5 senses....
to Anonymous, above..thanks for sharing your observations !

 
At 10/15/2014 12:04 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

ES, please understand that I understand the issues, which are that expectation and suggestion form the preponderance of causality around any events which seem supernatural. Your stance is exactly that of a cult inductee, that reason isn't to be trusted and that you have to take on faith what the spiritual authorities offer as truth.

 
At 10/15/2014 12:20 PM, Anonymous earthspirit said...

Jody..to each his own...you prefer the analytical mind and world...I am not a member of any guru organization, and I have seen what fraudulence is in this field...I can tell by looking at guru's picture before meeting or knowing more...I have been correct in all cases, so far....some go by intuition..others by analysis,and are highly pragmatic about these matters, seeking for proof thru the 5 senses. If this is your path, than live it...but do not knock others for having a different approach.

 
At 10/15/2014 12:22 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

You're a dreamer. Perfect fodder for the fraudulent.

 
At 10/15/2014 12:32 PM, Blogger Diane Bingham said...

I am a discerning dreamer...and am happy with that...
your hobby is picking at other's beliefs and experiences...so I will end it now...unsubsribing permanently...dont have time for mental masturbation...try lookin' outside your own head, you may find something's out there. No Being is perfect who is incarnated in the flesh...lookin for faults you will most certainly find them..some Beings are just more advanced and can lead the way..in any field of endeavor..art,science music, religion..doesn't matter..

 
At 10/15/2014 12:43 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

You are not getting what I'm doing, you are only seeing through your own projection. Such is the mechanism of avidya which is supported by the notion that nondual realization makes you special. Gurus bank on this myth to keep them in business, and they get to keep banking because the idea extends, rather than remedies, ignorance.

 
At 6/26/2015 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Jody, thinking she has it all figured-out and yet is totally stuck in her small ego ignorance. A true non Guru guru :))) You will let go some day too, you haven't seen or experienced everything:)))

 
At 6/26/2015 9:54 PM, Blogger Jody Radzik said...

Speculation about what I know, noted.

 
At 3/26/2016 6:43 PM, Blogger Veena Prabhu said...

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