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.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The other books

Since November 2014 devotees and ex-devotees of Amritanandamayi focus on Holy Hell. It is important to read the testimonial of the one who has been the closest assistant of the guru for 20 years to make up one's mind, but we can also consider the other publications to gain a wider view over the issue.

Sreenie Pattathanam

The name of Sreenie Pattathanam is closely related to the one of Amritanandamayi. This Indian rationalist wrote a book in the 80's. Its title is Matha Amritanandamayi: Divya Kathakalum Yatharthyavum (Matha Amritanandamayi: Sacred Stories and Realities. It is banned following legal actions against the author and his publishing house. Will we ever have a glimpse of its content? At least we can rely on this interview of the writer to have a brief overview of the forbidden book. Does the following extract confirm Gail's allegations when she says that Amritanandamayi's teachings have been picked by Swami Amritaswarupananda in Osho's books?
she would for a second mumble something to her saffron-clad male assistant in his ears. This completely inaudible exercise would be followed by a lengthy talk by this assistant who would inform the assembled devotees that they were the words of the revered Amma imparted to him only a second before! In what compressed format did she deliver her message to her assistant?
She was not as famous as she is nowadays, yet the marketing of her image was already a major activity :
On the veranda, photographs depicting her in various poses were displayed prominently for sale. I found it laughable to see a photograph in which she was shown wearing a harmless python around her neck and a crown on her head.
Still today, we can find pictures of her in various divine staging, like wearing a bun at the top of her head and meditating on a river bank like Shiva, having a peacock feather in her hair and a smile like Krishna, holding a sword with her hear down like Kali...

Let's hope that this book will be available one day or the other because it contains something exceptional, a real uncensored unedited raw interview of Amritanandamayi herself.

Meera Nanda

Another Indian rationalist has written a more general book entitled The God Market: How Globalization is Making India More Hindu. It deals with religious marketing and tries to show how the current way of life develops a modern form of Hinduism in India.

The book's cover is a perfect sum up of her point of view. A few paragraphs are related to Amritanandamayi because she is just an instance among the many godmen and godwomen who have lately raised to fame and power with the help of globalization.

Dr Maya Warrier

She is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. She has spent a lot of time on various studies of the connections between Hinduism and modernity, a lot of them are dedicated to the Amritanandamayi phenomenon.

Dr Warrier's work is mainly based on the testimonials of faithful devotees, therefore it gives a sharp view on of their intimate state of mind and feelings. It can provide clues about the reasons underlying their choices and beliefs.

It also unveils some of the discrepancies which allow Amritanandamayi's organization to grow over time. Indeed, the way that the devotees personally implement their individual faith is sometimes paradoxical and often irrelevant when compared to the principles promoted in Amritanandamayi's (supposedly) books and talks. Indeed what she preaches is theoretical, in fact anyone can join in to do whatever they wish, either follow the edicted rules or make their own ones.

Sanal Edamaruku

Indian rationalist Sanal Edamaruku has published a Malayalam book about Mata Amritanandamayi, a few months before Holy Hell was released. He describes it as  :
"an anthology of writeups that unravels the secrets behind the transformation of an ordinary girl named Sudhamani into the "Hugging Saint Amma""
His fight against superstition has forced him into exile in Finland.

Professor Tamsin Bradley

Professor Tamsin Bradley from the University of Portsmouth England is an applied anthropologist who focuses on the relations between religion and gender in developing countries. She deals with violence related to dowry, rape and genital mutilation. She has published various contributions, some of which talk about Mata Amritanandamayi.

In Religion and Gender in the Developing World: Faith-based Organizations and Feminism in India she explains among other things, that despite the loving and compassionat speeches, Amma actually helps to reinforce patriarchal concepts.