Taking The Mystery Out of Yoga

By Gretchen Karros

TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Ashrams (Spiritual Centers)and is a continuation of last month’s topic about Amaji at her Ashram in Kerala, India.

Before going into this month’s article, it seems that now is a time for an explanation of the true meaning of what an “Ashram” is.  This is a quote from a book about Ammaji.   “An ashram is usually the home of a spiritual master who guides sincere seekers in leading a spiritual life by engaging them in spiritual practices and study of sacred scriptures.  It is common practice for spiritual seekers living in an ashram to perform some kind of altruistic service while studying with a master.”

As noted in the previous article, Amman had a very hard childhood, full of hard work and little appreciation.   Finally, she started healing the few people in the village and word started getting around about this.  There are many stories of her early life where she not only helped the sick but she also cured the dying. She even had an attempt on her own life. too.  The villagers  hired a “black magician” who tried to poison her!  She just drank the poison without any consequences whatsoever.  Little by little, people began to see her God given gifts and they started traveling to Kerala to see her. Over the years, she drew more and more seekers until finally, by 1979 the tide turned.

About that time, a leper from the village came to see Amma.  His skin was covered with oozing blisters, his hair had fallen out and nobody would come near him, for fear they would catch this dreaded disease.  When he came to a see Ammaji, he was a beggar because nobody would hire him. He said, “Then I heard about Amma. I went to see her one-day but people told me to leave because I smelled so bad.  But the Holy Mother, called me to come to her. She consoled me and treated me like her own child.”  She actually treated the sores and after several visits, she had completely cured him.

Since this humble beginning she is called “The Hugging Saint” and spiritual seekers from around the world can get a hug, a kiss and even an answer to a burning question about their life.  She has traveled around the world healing people wherever she went.  In India, she has built many schools, colleges and universities; also hospitals, nursing homes and hospices.  Her contribution to the health of not only India but also many parts of the West will be remembered for many, many years.

As mentioned in last months Yoga article, the Ashram is off a bayou in southern India and is rather difficult to find, especially for Western spiritual seekers. And, if you don’t even desire to see India, she has an Ashram in San Raphael, California.  When she comes to the States, she spends time there, as well as going to several areas of the states, (including Chicago and Iowa).  If you are interested in reading about her, there are several books on “Amazon” written about her.  One such book is “Amma, Healing the Heart of the World” by Judith Cornell (from where the above quotes in this article come.)

Every day we have about 50,000 thoughts

coming into our minds.

Ever considered meditation?