“Hugging Saint” Mata Amritanandamayi Meets New Yorkers At Convention Center

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 10: Mata Amritanandamayi, also known as “The Hugging Saint” embraces a follower on July 10, 2012 in New York City. The Hindu spiritual leader and guru is on a 10-city U.S. tour, where she is expected to bless thousands of people individually at free public “darshan” gatherings. Amritanandamayi, 58, from India’s southern state of Kerala, is considered a living saint by her followers, who refer to her as “Amma” or mother. She has been giving the public “darshan” gatherings for 35 years, with the aim of bringing good fortune, well-being and grace to her followers through her embrace. Participants are encouraged to donate to her global charitable organizations, known collectively as “Embracing the World.” (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)