Mata Amritanandamayi's spiritual conglomerate and hugging tricks
People are comfortable in their own shells of beliefs, instead of confronting the truth or finding it out for themselves. So some followers still follow on. Some followers immediately leave.
These various reports about Mata, shows how filthy is her spiritual business.
Have a look
There are some pretty long and detailed answers here. few points. There are two sides
1) Amma is potrayed as the 'Hugging Saint' who is fake, decieves people and misguides followers about spirituality. For more read Holy Hell by Gail Tredwell.
2) Amritapuri, and her organizations do charity work by building infrastructure and treating poor people for free in the multispecialty hospitals her trust owns.
So it is difficult to answer who she is or is she doing great work.
Her individual worth is very low, but the net woth of her chartiable trusts and organizations like hospitals, colleges and TV channels sum up to a few hundred crores
If we look into the multifaceted empire of this hugging saint, one thing is very much clear that she is just making fun out people in the name of this spiritual drama and making money by that.
NYT reports in their article about this fake saint? that,
Amma’s transformation from an eccentric girl into the mother guru started in the late 1970s. Word of her hugging spread, and she received a steady stream of visitors, many of them Americans like Neal Rosner, a Chicago native, who would take up residence. Mr. Rosner, who moved to India after graduating from high school and still lives at Amritapuri, told me he was one of the first to donate a significant amount — $10,000 from selling a rare coin collection — to improve the ashram. Before long, it had a dormitory, a free medical clinic and a vocational job-training center.
Rollingstone magazine made a neat report on Gail Tredwell, a former devotee's accusations against Amritha
Its goes like,
Tredwell was 21, an impressionable young woman who had become enamored with the idea of finding a guru while backpacking through India, when she first journeyed to see Amma. That was 1980, and at the time Amma's followers consisted of a handful of Indians from nearby villages. Tredwell ended up staying for 19 years, becoming Amma's first Western devotee, learning to speak fluent Malayalam, Amma's native tongue, and witnessing Amma's steady evolution into the phenomenon she is today. Referred to by some devotees as "Amma's shadow," Tredwell had taken the Indian name of Gayatri, and was later renamed Swamini Amritaprana, signifying that she was officially recognized as a member of Amma's inner circle.
Tredwell left the organization in late 1999, but didn't reveal her reasons for doing so until her Internet post in January. Tredwell's background made it hard to discredit what she had to say. The post began with her personal reasons for defecting ("loss of faith," "not happy for years") before going on to paint, in brushstrokes both vague and disquieting, a portrait of life with Amma that gives one pause. Tredwell wrote of "backstabbing, cruelty, hatred, power struggles." She wrote of "secret things going on," and of "too much scheming, plotting, planning and suspicion." Most distressingly, she wrote of "terrorism – in a subtle sense, not with guns or anything" and of "violence (mental, emotional, psychological and physical)."
Today, Tredwell lives in Hawaii, working a variety of jobs while writing a book about her time with Amma (currently titled For the Love of God: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness). She is polite and direct, sounding not so much bitter about her experience as disappointed. "It was in San Ramon where I finally left Amma," she says. "It was all very top-secret. I told only two other people, and I did not tell them where I was going, since I knew they'd be interrogated. I waited for a moment when I knew the residence where we stayed would be empty, and then I was driven out, hiding under a blanket on the floor of the back seat. That was 12 years ago, and it took me years to get over the whole experience."
Mainstream media's in the country not willing to touch Amritha because they are also getting money from the empire. So this business will go on with all political support and business collaborations.
Social media trying to make their impact in this issue by frequent interaction and making influence on the issue.
Some online forums keen into discuss the issue and they are very active in that.
Have a look at this one