Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Vasant Kunj

Posted on March 24, 2012

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I happened to come across this ashram during a morning walk. I am not an “Amma” (as Mata Amritanandamayi is popularly known) devotee though. I just visit the Math because there’s a Ganapathy temple there, part of the “Brahmasthanam” structure that Amma gets built at all her Ashrams. I don’t think Amma (or her devotees) would mind the reason why I visit the Brahmasthanam. Ideally, they should not.

Out of curiosity, I started to search on the Internet for more information on Amma, and happened to come across her Wikipedia page. Noticed a section titled “Criticism” there, under which I found some controversial details related to the ashram at Vasant Kunj. Here’s an excerpt:

Workers of Amritanandamayi’s ashram in New Delhi were also involved in a brazen act of violence against the residents of “Green Avenue”, a neighborhood just outside New Delhi. The conflict arose when some residents complained to the continued presence of a billboard featuring her advertisement. It was reported that around 50 men armed with sticks and iron rods, arrived at the spot and ruthlessly beat up a couple of residents, while a woman devotee accompanying the men also threatened to press charges of rape against a resident after appearing to have ripped off her clothes, on her own account to drive home the point. It was alleged that the police did not arrive at the spot despite repeated calls and refused also to register an FIR afterwards due to fears of retaliation by Amritanandamayi’s considerably influential organization. The incident received coverage by prominent magazines like Society (issue June 2007) and Vanity fair. She is criticized for remaining silent even after the residents wrote her several letters pleading with her to take cognizance of the incident and take corrective action.

I am trying to understand if it’s okay for me to continue visiting this ashram. What do you think?

(End of Day 109)

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