Mata Amritananda mayi was born on sep 27, in the year 1953 at Parayakadavu village in Kollam district. Amritananda mayi father was Sri. Sugunandan and mother Smt.Damayanthi Sugunandan. The couple had nine children of which two died young. Of the rest four were girls and three boys. Her child hood name was Sudhamony. Mata was a very reserved and introvert girl. Sudhamony had to stop her formal education at primary level itself due to the financial problems of her family.
Mata Amritananda mayi has gained disciples throughout the world. The cultural, educational and spiritual contributions, she has brought to Kerala is unparalleled. This article is an attempt to unravel the enigma that is Amritananda mayi. Sudhamony did not get enough love from her parents and she had a very unhappy child hood. The little girl even had to play the role of domestic servant in her relative’s houses. From the very childhood when haunted by the stresses and strains of day to day life, Sudhamony depended heavily on her trust in god. Her favorite deity was Lord Sri. Krishna.
Many of the devotees strongly vouch either about many miracles she has committed or the miracles occurred in answer to their prayers towards her. People even from out side the state started to pour in. Devotees from Tamilnadu out of their extreme devotion found the deity of Mathura Meenakshi Temple in her and insisted her to wear a crown that was offered. She had to oblige as the devotees stayed in pleading her even discarding food and water. There after she started to wear the crown during her spiritual sessions at the ashram.
The ashram of Amritananda mayi is in Vallikkavu about six kilometers south west of Oachira temple. Oachira comes at the southern tip of Alappuzha district. Visitors can alight at Vallikkavu bus stop and proceed to the ashram by foot. The distance is just one kilometer. There is the Kayamkulam Lake that has to be crossed; boats are available in plenty for transporting devotees.By crossing the lake visitors reach the Parayakadavu village which is rectangle shaped island sandwiched between sea and lake, where poor fisher folks live a contended life in humble surroundings.
The present ashram is a well built one and it excels in aesthetics. Management of the ashram is efficient and atmosphere is conductive to fill any body’s mind with devotion. There are no servants in the Ashram, sanyasis known as brahmacharis those who practice celibacy of different nationalities, who perform all sorts of services. There are very learned and persons among persons among them, who occupied high positions out side the boundaries of the Ashram.
The registration of the Ashram Mata Amritanandamayi Math was done on 6th May 1981.It was then former Sudhamony accepted the name “Amritanandamayi” as per the wish of her disciples. It was Sri Unnikrishnan a brahmachari who coined the name. In the beginning there was not even a cent of land to set the Ashram. Money was also scarce. The mother and disciples had toiled a lot to get it established. Between 1975 to 1985 the fame of the Ashram spread far and wide and the number of disciples.
Publication by name Amritavahini was started in 1984. This was edited and published by Sri. N.M.Chandrasekhara Varier, later the publication was renamed as “Mathruvani”. Now Mathruvani is doing the job of spreading mother’s messages to people through out the world. mritanandamayi better known as the mother of vallikkavu, or Amma in Malayalam has strong ideas about the mission of her life. Sanyas as per her is not an excuse to lead and idle life. Even though a loving mother to the disciples she is a tough task master also.
The Amrita institute of Medical Science at Ernakulam is a towering testimony to the fact that how much determination and devotion of even a poor village girl can achieve. AIMS Amrita Institute of Medical Science Is one of the leading institute of medical science in India, which is a deemed university and is engaged in serious research and affordable treatment to people all over India and abroad.
Amrita Institute of Engineering Technology, Ayurveda College, etc. are just a few among them. These institutions are not just commercial establishments; they are engaged in education that is in tune with the high standards set by the ancient “gurukula” traditions of India. Most of the faculties of the Institutions and the expert doctors of Amrita hospitals are pure volunteers. They serve the patients or teach the students only as a service to the humanity and not for remuneration.