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Amidst family struggles and societal disparities, Amritanandamayi, affectionately referred to as Amma, found her life’s mission—to alleviate suffering wherever she encountered it. A simple act of consoling the distressed with an embrace became her hallmark. This gesture, although unconventional in her village, soon resonated globally. The embrace symbolized hope, leading her to be known as the ‘Hugging Saint.’ As people from all walks of life flocked to her, she established the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in 1981. Amma’s compassion grew beyond borders and knew no boundaries. From climate change to cultural tensions, she addressed global issues, urging humanity towards unity and compassion.
“I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation.” – Amma
She has embraced over 40 million individuals worldwide, often dedicating more than 22 hours without a break to this soulful connection. Her influence reached monumental platforms like the United Nations, where she has delivered a keynote address and emphasized blending science with compassion for global betterment. At her 70th birthday, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, along with global figures like Lady Gaga and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, shared special messages for her, showcasing her wide-reaching impact.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 3, 2023
Amma served as Chair of the Civil 20 India 2023, an official Engagement Group of the G20. This platform serves Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) worldwide, enabling them to present the aspirations of the global populace to the leaders of the G20 nations. This year they promised a collaborative and transformative approach to global challenges ranging from wellness and service to cyberspace and social justice, exemplifying the motto “You Are the Light”. Tuan Nguyen, CEO of the Boston Global Forum, was one of the keynote speakers and was so deeply moved by Amma’s contributions and spirit that he nominated her for the 2023 World Leader for Peace and Security Award.
“In honoring Amma, we celebrate the profound impact of her life and work, and we pledge to carry forward her message of love, compassion, and global unity in our shared quest for a brighter and more harmonious world.” – Tuan Nguyen, CEO of the Boston Global Forum
The Boston Global Forum and the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation are esteemed institutions known for recognizing global peace and security leaders. Their decision to confer the 2023 World Leader for Peace and Security Award upon Amma further emphasizes the universal resonance of her message. Past luminaries who have received this award include global leaders like former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, indicating the stature of this recognition. This award does more than just honor Amma—it acknowledges the need for a more compassionate and unified world, a vision Amma has worked towards her entire life.
“We are profoundly honored to recognize Amma as a World Leader for Peace and Security. Her tireless efforts to promote love, compassion, and global unity are truly exemplary. Amma’s legacy will continue to inspire our collective journey towards a more harmonious world.” – Michael Dukakis, Chair of the Boston Global Forum
As a tribute to Amma, a Global Enlightenment Concert and a Distinguished Global Enlightenment Lecture at Harvard University’s Loeb House are scheduled for November 2.
Special birthday wishes for Amma from the Boston Global Forum: