Sri Karunamayi Amma Visits Houston for the 22nd Year


By Mika Rao Kalapatapu

HOUSTON: For the 22nd year, world-renowned spiritual leader Sri Karunamayi graced the Houston area with her presence. Sri Karunamayi is called “Amma” (the word for mother in many South Indian regions) and visits the United States every year to share her message of divine love and selfless service. While in the United States, Amma visits 17 other cities from coast to coast, including San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. A major highlight of her visit is a 10-day ceremony for peace to be held from May 4-14 in Atlanta, GA. To learn more, please visit


On Thursday, April 6, Amma commenced her Houston visit by offering an evening discourse at the Unity Church near Hillcroft. Upon Amma’s arrival, she was welcomed ceremoniously by a priest and seven children. Amma’s discourse touched on the principles of spirituality and encouraged the nearly 200 audience members towards spiritual growth as a means for expansion. “Just as the waves of the ocean will not stop, neither will your problems cease – so you cannot wait for this in order to begin a path of spirituality,” she urged. She encouraged all those present to remain faithful, even during challenging trials. “Who would go to school without exams?” she asked. “Similarly, our path to spirituality will have tests. These exams are every second of our lives. We must succeed on these exams to have peace. Face these exams with courage, strength and truth.”


On Friday, Unity Church’s pyramid hall was home to Individual Blessings where Amma met one on one with devotees. With hundreds of people from all backgrounds arriving all day to meet with Amma, the program went on through the evening. The next day, over 30 people arrived to participate in a silent meditation retreat. Attendees learned the ancient practice of yoga and meditation along with techniques to help steady their mind and improve their focus. Amma led this meditation retreat, offering all those in attendance a unique opportunity to be in her presence and learn from her insights.


On the culminating day of Amma’s Houston program, over 200 gathered at Shirdi Sai Jalaram Mandir where Amma presided over a sacred fire ceremony, or homa. Homas, or Vedic fire ceremonies, are performed annually during Amma’s visit for the material and spiritual well-being of al those who attend, as well as the entire world.

It is considered a blessing to perform or sponsor this noble activity. After the peaceful ceremonies concluded, attendees received blessings from Amma and enjoyed lunch in the temple.

Throughout Amma’s visit, attendees learned of her selfless service and philanthropic projects. Healthcare, and women and childrens’ issues are topics of great importance to Amma who champions and runs a number of charitable projects to uplift underserved populations through the SMVA Trust, a non-profit organization. These include a free hospital (established in 2002) located in Andhra Pradesh, two schools (established in 1994) that provide education to hundreds of children; a water sanitation program that, to date, has opened 32 water treatment plants providing thousands of people access to clean drinking water.

In addition, under Amma’s direction, the SMVA Trust has sponsored efforts such as mobility aids to allow disabled individuals a chance at independence and projects like building safe, enclosed housing and bathrooms for women and girls.

To learn more, or to make a donation, visit For more information about Amma and her future visits, please contact