In union there is strength

We believe that Indian guru Mata Amritanandamayi known as the “Hugging Saint” is Embezzling The World. Help us to spread the truth about her.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Amrita Enterprises Private Limited

"Many people think that spirituality is against making money. This is why many label spirituality as retrogressive. Spirituality is not against wealth or fame". This quote is from Amma herself.
In order to celebrate her 60th birthday Amma has launched a range of gadgets & facilities aimed at social progress. As usefull as they may be, who can afford for such hi-tech gadgets? Surely not the poor. Besides her charities, Amritanandamayi also provides expensive goods and services for the rich. What is the actual structure of her organization? It seems like the lucrative activities are run under the umbrella of Amrita Enterprises Private Limited, a corporation created in 2003.

Also known as Amrita Enterprises Pvt Ltd or AEPL, this corporation mainly runs Amrita TV. The TV channel was launched in 2005 with an investment of $8,000,000. According to a former joint secretary, the channel's funding came from the pharmacy at AIMS.
This entertainment media was originally managed by young CEO Sudhakar Jayaram. Surprisingly, the same man has also "been given the responsibility to manage the Amritanandamayi Super Specialty Hospital at Kochi". Indeed Amrita TV and AIMS are strongly connected.
In India Amrita TV is openly advertised as an entertainment channel, whereas its goal is to spread the "joy of awareness" in the USA.

AEPL has an independant division named Amrita Technologies which goal is to sell "high-powered research capabilities and technology innovation to help the businesses move forward". Some of AmritaTech realizations are listed on its facebook page.

It looks like Embracing The World takes care of the spiritual and charitable aspects, while AEPL deals with business. If it is the case then what is the purpose of Amrita Books? The spiritual items are supposed to help in financing the charitable projects. What about the benefits of Amma's autobiography sold by AEPL? Charity? Business? Both?

A shop selling ayurvedic healthcare online is currently under construction. Its name is Amrita Life. Its logo clearly indicates that it is managed by AEPL and yet the About Us page explains that the manufacture unit that it depends on, has been inaugurated by Swami AmritaswarupanandaPuri on May 19th 2008. Is it also related to the Mysorean ayurvedic clinic or is it again a different firm? Generally the "Amrita" branded products are supposed to finance charitable projects, just like the books. What about the income of the ayurvedic healthcare sold by AEPL?

It is rather difficult to map Amritanandamayi's organization, this slideshow confirms the confusion regarding its overall structure. At least she seems to really stick to the quote she made. She seems to apply the same rule to her ahsram. In 2009, the fee to become a renunciate was $9000. Knowing that there is an average number of 3000 residents in Amritapuri, knowing that some of them change their mind, while others come to take their place, gives an idea of the ashram's revenue. The ashram also includes a bank, a cellphone antenna, canteens, various shops... For Amma, spirituality is definitely not against making money.

What do her thousands of devotees think about this? The renunciates who live in Amritapuri cannot work outside of the ashram in order to earn money. They spend all their time doing "seva", which means doing voluntary work for free. Why aren't the renunciates also allowed to build corporations and make a lot of money? Aren't they supposed to follow the steps of their spiritual guide? Don't they leave the world to be closer to their master and learn from her living example?