Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On Ammachi

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet

Amma is a symbol of the Shakti, but she herself is nothing more than a woman who seemingly cares about others and found a way to do that. The idea that she has special powers is what draws the most people to her; their faith is based on the belief that being in her presence is being in God's presence, and that their problems might be solved as a result. It's on her website. You could call it a crass manipulation, but even if she honestly cares about these people, their folk ideas of enlightenment—endorsed and enjoyed by Amma—translate into occluding notions that kill understanding rather than promote it.

The fact that she hugs so much is no proof of her divinity. There are folks who can run a hundred miles in a day. Amma's talents as a hugger are comparable to those of any leading athlete. We may treat them as gods, but nobody in sports is actually thought of as God. Is a simple white dress, good endurance, and a smile for most all it takes for a talented human being to be seen as God? It actually takes much less … just look at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. ;)

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