The Woman who has Embraced 25 Million Around the World Comes to Cuddle Britain

October 11, 2006

Author: Arifa Akbar

Source: The Independent

Her devotees include film stars, US senators and world leaders who come from far and wide to be hugged by the smiling Indian lady known simply as Amma.

Yesterday, the spiritual leader who has spent three decades embracing her followers, swapped A-listers for the ordinary British public at the less than glittering venue of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

Many of the strangers who fell into the welcoming arms of the high priestess of hugs, whose mission is to offer her "unconditional love" to the world, were moved to tears or laughter during her three-day mission.

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, - better known as Mother or Amma - has embraced the likes of Sting and Enya, as well as the actors John Cusack, Lisa Kudrow, Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, and Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King. She can also add an Irish minister, the former prime minister of India and the President of Sri Lanka to the list of high-profile clinches. And as hugs go, few can deny Amma knows how to deliver.