A simple yet profound beginning
December 10, 2018 – Amritapuri, Kerala, India
This animation tells the story of how Amma decided to take on a life of complete love and service to the world, regardless of the fact that it was far from easy and she had to confront much opposition and even torment.
Amma was born in a remote coastal village in Kerala, South India in 1953. Her father was a fisherman, along with many of the others there. When she was nine years old, her mother became ill, so she was withdrawn from school in order to help with household tasks and the care of her seven siblings.
As Amma went door-to-door gathering food scraps from neighbors for her family’s cows, she was confronted with the intense poverty and suffering that existed in her community, and in the world beyond it.
Where Amma encountered people in need, she brought them food and clothing from her own home. She was undeterred by the scolding and punishment she received from her family for doing so. She also began to spontaneously embrace people to comfort them in their sorrow. Responding to her affectionate care, the villagers began to call her Amma, which means mother.
Amma was deeply affected by the profound suffering she witnessed. In fact, it was this experience that led her to the conviction that it is the duty of all of us to help ease the pain of those who are truly in need.
Having followed her heart, Amma later explained, “A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.”