Date: Tues 16th and Wed 17th November at Alexandra Palace
Next week, one of the world’s most revered Hindu saints, a Keralan woman known as Amma - the Divine Mother – comes to the UK. Often known as ‘the hugging mother’ she gives her darshan, or spiritual embrace, in the form of a close hug. Many speak of a strange transmission or energy felt during this process, while others simply find themselves overwhelmed by an unconditional love. To see her in London and share her energy is a rare experience, as well as as close as you’ll come to experience an Indian ashram scene outside Indian itself. Amma loves music and her singing, accompanied by talented bhakti singers from Kerala, is itself a profound experience.
When asked, in 2002, to what extent does she think her embraces help the ills of the world? Amma replied, “I don’t say I can do it 100 percent. Attempting to change the world [completely] is like trying to straighten the curly tail of a dog. But society takes birth from people. So by affecting individuals, you can make changes in the society and, through it, in the world. You cannot change it, but you can make changes. The fight in individual minds is responsible for the wars. So if you can touch people, you can touch the world.”
Amma’s darshan is the centerpiece of her life, as she has received people nearly every day since the late 1970s. With the size of the crowds coming to seek Amma’s blessings increasing, there are times when she gives darshan continuously for more than 20 hours. In a conversation recorded in the 2004 book From Amma’s Heart, Amma says: “As long as these hands can move a little bit and reach out to those who come to her, and as long as there is a little strength and energy to place her hands on a crying person’s shoulder and caress and wipe their tears, Amma will continue giving darshan. To lovingly caress people, console and wipe their tears, until the end of this mortal frame is Amma’s wish.”
Tuesday 16 November
10am to 2.30 pm (Tokens at 9 am or one hour before start of program)
7.30 pm (Tokens at 6.30pm)
Wednesday 17 November
10am to 2pm (Tokens at 9am)
7pm Spiritual talk, Puja, meditation and Devi Bhava darshan until early morning (Tokens at 5pm)
Amma meets each person; embracing, comforting, consoling and uplifting thousands of people day after day. Amma’s love is unconditional, regardless of belief, or reason for coming. Many come to hear her speak, hear her unique devotional singing or simply be in her presence.
There is no charge for darshan
Collect a numbered token per darshan. Priority is given to people who have never met Amma before. The queue that forms before each programme is for newcomers. To join the queue please prepare to come to the programme 30 minutes/1 hour before it begins and to stay for several hours. The doors will open approximately an hour before the start of the programme. All others can receive their token after the programme starts.
Directions to Alexandra Palace can be found here