Belfast Telegraph

Brand: I want sainthood

Russell Brand has spoken about his divine experience visiting the ashram of Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī, ‘The Hugging Saint’.

The Paradise star is known for his love of yoga and other Eastern philosophy.

He recently visited Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī, aka ‘Amma’ or ‘The Hugging Saint’, at her ashram in India and the experience inspired Russell to consider what he really wants in life.

“When I first heard of ‘The hugging saint’ I thought how can you get to be a saint just by hugging? My understanding is that you have to do at least three miracles that are then verified by the Vatican. I suppose my fervently competitive nature is incensed by the notion of another’s canonisation – ‘That’s not fair, I want to be a saint’ I think,” Russell mused in a blog post published on his website Thursday. “Plus if epic physical interaction is now a milieu that’s acknowledged in the mystical realm I’d like to trade my ‘Shagger Of The Year’ awards for something more spiritually substantial. Like sainthood.”

Russell left Amma’s ashram with an entirely fresh perception of her global charity work with Embracing the World.

The 39-year-old British comedian is in awe over how many people The Hugging Saint has helped.

“What Amma has intuited, or was born knowing, is that everyone wants to be loved and that everyone is worthy of love. Like a Mother she loves unconditionally and serves expediently.

“What she demonstrates, we in our loveless social structures are scrabbling to discard. In Amma we have an example of what can be achieved if we build upon the principle of love,” Russell said. “Throughout our crumbling culture there is fear, desire and anger and more and more, we all need a hug, the solution to our spiritual sickness might be simple, we can start to change the world by loving each other.”

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