Amma the Hugging Saint


I am curious about all things spiritual. I always have been. It all started when I was 9 and my mother took me to meet Mother Teresa. I remember holding this amazing saint’s hand and realizing,

I’m almost the same height as her.

Something clicked in me that day and I was transformed. I kept asking my mom, “How can one person change the world? How is that possible?” Mom answered, “Because they’re walking with God.” Whoa! I was going to need about 20 years to think about that statement.

Thus started my fascination with all things other-worldly, especially my interest in any person who seems to be filled with “the juice” (i.e., my term for “spiritual power”).

So, who better to connect with than Amma, the "Hugging Saint," who is said to embody the spirit of the Divine Mother?

As of this blog-post, she has hugged more than 33 million people. 33 MILLION! Can you even imagine that?

I have hugged Amma twice, but the first time was the most interesting. I went with two of my friends to one of her centers in Illinois. We got there early in the morning to get a place at the front of the line. By the time we were ready to start filing into the building, there were at least 2,000 people waiting to receive darshan¹ from Amma.

¹ Darshan (“auspicious sight” translated from Sanskrit), as it is used here, refers to the “sacred or divine radiance” seen or experienced by a student, disciple or devotee, when benevolently given as a gift by an enlightened saint or yogic master.

Prasad from the last time I met Amma
Prasad from the last time I met Amma

As soon as I walked into the facility, I could feel the shift in energy. Her devotees were running around, setting up food stations and filling tables with Amma-related “goods” for sale-jewelry, books, holy water, framed photos of Amma and about 10,000 other items.

There were huge video-screens set up showing the wide variety of work Amma does all over the world. From feeding starving children to cleaning up after disasters to building homes to, yes, hugging millions of people and blessing them with her boundless love and darshan.

Rising in Love: My Wild and Crazy Ride to Here and Now, with Amma, the Hugging Saint

-- By Ram Das Batchelder “When I was twenty-one, I met an angel. Not a sweet young lady, not a Hell’s Angel. A heavenly angel, one of the celestial servants of God.”

My mind was exploding, as I watched the images pass by my eyes on the wide-screen monitor. How can this woman do what she does year-round? I’ve read that when she’s in India, she’ll hug people for 15 hours, then go out into the streets of Calcutta or Bombay and shovel garbage all night. Jeez, I’m exhausted after working on my blog for an afternoon!

Saint Amma street art
Saint Amma street art

Then my mom’s words hit my like a hurricane: “She is walking with God.” Tears started streaming down my face. I was blown away by this angel in human form, the same way I’d been blown away by Mother Teresa 25 years earlier.

Luck would have it I was chosen to be the first person in line to hug her. Again, the question came to my mind, What is going on?How did I end up being the first person out of thousands to meet Amma?

I took my shoes off and was ushered up in front of her. She looked at me briefly and, without question, immediately knew my soul. Amma pulled me to her chest, turned my head and started “speaking” in my ear. “Maaaaaaaaaaa…” The sound echoed through my entire being. It was so loud, I thought there was an earthquake happening. I tried to pull away, but she held my head down. It felt like this roaring sound went on forever: “Maaaaaaaaaaa.” I noticed there was energy leaving my body, as though something was being taken from me. When she was done, I was asked to kneel next to her for about 30 minutes. One by one, I saw her hug different people, then I watched them walk off the stage.

As I was on my knees watching all of this, I was a combo platter of dizzy, confused, scared and exhilarated.

How could being hugged by someone cause such emotion in me?

I proceeded to go home that afternoon  . . . and slept for two days! Literally! It took me months to realize what had happened to me. She’d removed something from my soul that was standing in the way of my spiritual growth. This is why she is considered to be one of a small handful of people at the top of the world’s spiritual pyramid. Amma simply has these super powers. I mean, how else can such things be explained?

“If we keep holding on to God, there is nothing to fear.” ~Amma"

If you ever get the chance to hug this amazing human, go for it! Fill your gas tank and drive to wherever she is in your area, get in line, and patiently wait for your turn. I promise it will be a game-changer for you . . . or at least an experience you will never forget.

After I’d hugged her (or should I say, “she hugged me”) a second time, it became very clear to me, quite simply, all things are possible when you’re walking with God. ‘Nuff said.

P.S.: So tell me, have you had any cosmic experiences with a guru, spiritual teacher or saint?

How did it affect or change you? I want to know… EVERYTHING!