Amma, the Hugging Saint, comes to Washington, D.C.

This summer will be Amma’s 21st visit to the D.C. area. Her programs are free and will be held July 8th and 9th.

Mata Amritanandamayi. Photo credit:
Mata Amritanandamayi. Photo credit:

By Ken Steben*

She is called Sri Mata Amritanandamayi, Mother of Immortal Bliss, or many people just know her as Amma, or Mother.  Although she was born and raised in India, Amma doesn’t subscribe to any particular religion.  She says that her religion is Love.  This summer will be Amma’s 21st visit to the Washington D.C. area.  Her programs are free and will be held July 8th and 9th.

She dedicates every moment of her life to serving others with a pure selfless attitude.  Amma works tirelessly to nourish and comfort people with her many humanitarian activities, including hospitals, orphanages, disaster relief, food for the poor and needy, schools, pensions for the elderly and disadvantaged, housing for the homeless and much more.

Thousands of people attend Amma’s programs around the world to receive her blessings and imbibe her words of wisdom as she shares her divine inspiration.  Referred to as the hugging saint, Amma spends hours on end giving darshan (spiritual blessings) in the form of a hug.  Over the past 40 years, Amma has embraced millions of people worldwide.  As renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall said in presenting Amma with the Ghandi-King award for non- violence at the United Nations in 2002, “I believe (Amma) stands here before us, God’s love in a human body.”

The programs will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, VA.   Both days there is a morning program beginning at 10 am and an evening program starting at 7 pm.  On July 9th, the evening program is a special prayer for world peace called Devi Bhava.

For more information, visit

 *Ken Steben is the President and CEO of Steben & Company, a specialized alternative investment firm he founded in 1989. He also volunteers his time for Amma, serving as a Director and Vice President for Amma’s US non- profit, MA Center.

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