Amma’s Cosmic Hug

A few of the folks from Yoga Illumined and I are going to see Amma in Dallas this June.  And I am more than grateful for two days of darshan with Amma – which is so difficult to even explain, this word, Darshan.  It seems that Google and Wikipedia can’t quite explain it.  The link from the word “Darshan” I am giving you is from Swami Jnaneshvara, with whom I have studied at Ananda Ashram.  Darshan has its root in the Sanskrit word “drsh” – which gives us the word “Drishti” – which means “to see.”

The first time I saw Amma was in New York City a few years ago now.  Many moons ago now.  I took approximately 3 hours off work go to see her on 34th Street.  Not enough time, apparently.

I went to see the great “Hugging Saint” as she is called.  I wasn’t going to get a hug, per se.

Living in crazy, chaotic New York City gave me the sense that millions of people needed hugs more than I did (or so I thought).  I was going out of curiosity.

Back then, they used to give you numbers to get your hug.  And I got some giant number – 1649 – or something.  I decided that I didn’t have enough time to wait in line, with my 3 hours off work, to get my hug, so I watched her hug person after person instead.  I can’t really begin to explain what happened to me, but it was something like an outpouring of gratitude, immense awe and I began to cry.  There was something about watching this very human person hug one person after another, from homeless men and women to business people to children to families, tirelessly, endlessly and with such joy that just made me feel so extraordinarily humble and grateful.

Amma, Mother, Yogafly















I went downstairs to have some food and sat next to a man from India and we chatted a bit about Amma and I told him that I wouldn’t have enough time to get my hug, my “darshan”, as I was number 1649 and they were only on 300 or something like this.  He laughed and said, oh in India you would be number 50 thousand something.  Perspective.  Really.

So the next year, I went back and took the entire day to get my hug.  And the first time I got it, you know that Monkees song that goes “And then I saw her face?  Now I’m a believer!”  Well that was me.  I got the hug.  And then I tried to stand up and I fell over instead.  And her army of white clad folks helped me to sit.  And I was one of those dumbstruck people for a while – just staring off into space – gone.  But immensely happy.  And eventually this subsided so I could stand, walk around, be normal.

And I have many other stories of cosmic hugs from Amma.  Both in New York City and in Dallas.  But it’s not necessarily the hug that counts – it lasts something like 15-20 seconds, perhaps 30 seconds at most.

It’s the Shakti- the energy that is there and stays within that is just indelible.

Amma’s hug seems to heal all relationships to the mother archetype.  We forgive all of our human frailties and the fact that no matter how old or wise or young or successful we all are, we all need hugs.

We all need human affection.  And when it’s wrapped in divine form – with no attachment, like it is from Amma, some other door opens inside the Heart.  And it’s the Heart that opens and says – “Because I love you, I will not allow you to treat me poorly.  Because I love you, I will only allow you to treat me and all beings with great love, presence and respect.”

And when that door opens, angels become visible.  Magic happens.  And everything is possible.

Om shantih om!


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