Sri Karunamayi



Sri Karunamayi is revered in India as an embodiment of Divine Motherly Love, due to the love and affection that she showers liberally on all people, animals, and even plants, the spiritual knowledge and guidance that she gives freely to all of humanity, and the humanitarian works that she has undertaken. “Amma” as she is affectionately called by her followers, is simply the Telugu word for “mother”- Telugu being Amma’s native language. Although it is not possible to convey the experience of being in Amma’s vibrant presence, we humbly attempt to provide a brief glimpse into her nature, through a brief biographical sketch and a description of Amma’s mission.


Spiritual Childhood

Born in 1958 in South India, Sri Karunamayi spent a childhood immersed in an atmosphere of prayer and worship created by her deeply spiritual parents. Both of her parents had received visions indicating that Sri Karunamayi was not an ordinary child, and her astrological chart indicated that she would dedicate her life to serving humanity.

Naturally inclined towards charity as a child, Sri Karunamayi, or “Amma,” would often give away food and clothes to whomever needed them. When a family servant contracted cholera, a deadly contagious disease, Amma tended closely to the servant without concern for her own safety. To the delight and amazement of Amma’s family, the servant survived the illness and recovered quickly, despite the doctor’s dire prognosis.

One time, during a religious festival, Amma came to know that some poor people who had come had not eaten in several days. Amma immediately brought and served them some food that had been prepared by her grandmother specifically to be offered to God during a special ceremony. When her grandmother saw what she had done, Amma told her, “Ammamma, today you have done a very good thing. This is how the food so nicely prepared by you has been accepted by the Lord in the form of these people.” Amma’s grandmother was moved by her granddaughter’s universal outlook, and quickly brought out the remainder of the food for the distribution to all who wanted it.


As a child, Amma enjoyed helping her mother by making flower garlands by hand for her mother’s daily practice of worship to Lord Rama. She also delighted in hearing Sanskrit prayers and verses sung by her father. Though she had never studied Sanskrit, she would often surprise her father with spontaneous insights into the inner spiritual meaning of the verses. When Amma’s parents invited learned scholars to their home to give teachings, these scholars were often shocked and amazed to hear the original thoughts that flowed spontaneously from Amma’s mouth. They had never heard of such a young girl discussing the spiritual essence of the Sanskrit prayers with such expertise.

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