Amma by Judith Cornell – Book Review

Amma was born into poverty and into a life of abuse and pain, a beautiful young girl would come to be known as krishna in the flesh.

By channeling this force, with the physical touch through her hugs, Amma has changed the lives of millions of people around the world.

Before she was born her mother had a dream, a vision of divinity and when Amma was born she was blue skinned and seated in prayer position, her legs locked. The village doctors could not see a medical cause, and told them to wrap her up and not to bath her for six weeks. Her birth and life was not celebrated as it was surrounded by oddities. She was born into a culture and time that did not hold a high regard for women, so when a girl was born to a family it was considered an impairment, someone they would have to marry off or support as they aged.

In the years that flowed Amma exhibited what was seen as odd behavior by her family and her community, she began having visions and becoming engrossed in Krishna and prayer at a very young age, where she would pray for hours on end and go into trance like states. These moments were interpreted as mental illness and her parents many times would try to physically abuse this ‘sickness’ out of Amma, to which they did not succeed.

She was always drawn to relieve the suffering of others. The extended family she lived with, after finding food to the poor, continued to cycle of abuse by beating her and marginalizing her making her a further outcast.

Even when faced with great opposition, Amma’s devotion to Krishna grew to a very deep intensity. She began spending her entire days in prayer, and sometimes into the night. She would tell stories of Krishna to village children and seeing Krishna in their reflection she would hug them and that is how she began her campaign of hugging to save and heal.

Such a simple concept, but people who have experienced her embrace tell stories of being forever changed.

One man, a violent alcoholic was pushed into seeing Amma by his wife, when she came to town, reluctantly he approached her and she hugged him deeply until he began to cry.

At this moment, he says, his life made sense. His goals became clear, and the error of his ways were right before his eyes.

He came home and never again did he smoke, drink, or use violence as a way to attempt to manage his emotions, he claims the urge simply left his body after her embrace.

Amma has hugged millions of people across the world. She says that she absorbs their suffering in the embrace and sometimes after a day of hugging, her face will be physically bruised from taking on the pain of others. To her, it is not at all an obligation or a difficult position to take. She has known from the earliest she can remember that she would embody the lord Krishna and devote her life to helping ease human suffering.

It is not explainable through the terms of science, but whatever it is that Amma embodies, be it Krishna himself, or absolute loving kinds the way, that she has impacted millions of lives today is a miracle.

Image from Amma’s website: Copyright

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