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The Path of the Mother [Kindle Edition]

Savitri L. Bess
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $5.16 (30%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

"What are the greatest qualities of a Mother?
Love, forgiveness, and patience."

Much has been written about the feminine faces of God. Now The Path of the Mother introduces us to a divinity more whole than any we have yet encountered--her arms open to men and women of any persuasion or practice. She is at once masculine and feminine, creator and transformer, joy and anguish, the all-loving Mother and the true, realized human Self. Drawing on her most vibrant expression, this inspiring book traces her myriad faces--compassionate, fierce, enchanting, challenging, passionate--in male and female deities of many religions.

"As far as Mother is concerned, everyone is her child. . . . Children, did not Mother come when you called? Thus did she not obey you?"

The Path of the Mother is a six-stage journey to union with the Great Mother, framed by Savitri Bess's own years of devotion to one of her most famous incarnations--the Hindu mystic Ammachi. Interweaving Hindu myths with her own quest and those of others, Bess reveals this journey as an exodus from aloneness to the wondrous integration of love, worship, and service into life's daily tasks.

Practical exercises, meditations, yoga, and prayers will help both novice and veteran seekers to rediscover their innocence, balance their inner masculine and feminine energies, resolve their buried wounds, desires, and talents, and open their hearts to the nurturing guidance of the Mother-God within us all.

"Love is Amma's nature. She cannot be otherwise. . . . Amma cannot return our anger, hatred, or abuse. Amma can only bestow boundless compassion and love."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This disjointed book aims to illuminate the "path of the Mother," a journey to the divine feminine that is based largely in Hindu traditions with a smattering of Goddess threads from other religions. Bess, a therapist and artist who began practicing yoga nearly three decades ago, deepened her understanding of Eastern spirituality when she discovered Ammachi, an Indian guru (b. 1953) who is regarded as an incarnation of the divine Mother by thousands of followers in India and America. Bess describes Ammachi's preternatural spiritual gifts (she walked and talked at six months and composed devotional songs and prayers as a toddler) with the adoration of a disciple, so readers desiring more balanced biographical information are left hanging. The narrative then becomes confusing, as Bess introduces other 20th-century women gurus (one, nicknamed Amma, has a life story confoundingly similar to Ammachi's). Bess discusses the many contradictory goddess-incarnations of the Mother, who appears as a sexual seductress in Kundalini Shakti, a destructive force in Kali and a source of wealth and beauty in Lakshmi. The diffuse book is rescued somewhat by its practical focus on meditation, chanting, prayer, altar-building and other activities of bhakti yoga, guiding Western readers through the basics of daily Hindu spirituality. While the book fills a void in providing insight into Hindu goddess traditions and contemporary Indian women saints, such rich material deserves more careful study. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Compelling . . . Makes the Divine Mother come alive for us!"
   Author of The Mother of All

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 525 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 034542347X
  • Publisher: Wellspring/Ballantine; 1 edition (April 25, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0027MJTJW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #407,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diving for Pearls December 12, 2000
My husband and I both loved this book. After eleven years with Ammachi, we recognized our path to the Mother in these pages. Ammachi is like a vast ocean holding many treasures and Savitri Bess has surfaced with pearls. Bess brings many years of spiritual practice, psychological understanding, knowledge of the goddess tradition and her own travels in India to nuance her subject. She also offers other examples of Divine Motherhood to enlarge our understanding of who Ammachi can be for us in our time. Charming stories, well-written. EXCELLENT choice of quotations from Ammachi herself. Two thumbs up!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read many spiritual books from varying perspectives, but find that I resonate most with those coming from Eastern traditions. This book was my official introduction to Amma, and what impressed me the most is that the author, Savitri Bess, did NOT shy away from the fact that the spiritual path is a painful one, as it necessarily deals with the Shadows in one's psyche which are home to the personal demons.

Spirituality necessitates that one confront the unpleasant parts of the self, and this experiences is often more frightening and disturbing than most would like to think. However, the healing that occurs as a result of these encounters that are triggered by earnest spiritual practice, far outweighs the discomfort of the trial itself. However this process is either only hinted at, or glossed over completely in most texts written for Westerners.

This book not only includes some great exercises that anyone of any level of spiritual experience and practice can incorporate into their lives, but talks frankly about the shadows that the increasing Light exposes. Of course throughout the entire book there are amazingly inspiring stories about Amma that will captivate any reader. And the meditations, instructions for beginning (or expanding) a devotional spiritual practice, and practical exercises for exploring one's psyche are easy to understand and implement, yet powerful and effective.

I highly recommend this book for those who want an uplifting and truely honest look at spiritual practice and progress.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mostly theory June 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interesting discussion on the spiritual path, but not the sort of book you want if you want to find out more about Amma and her teachings.

Bess peppers her book with fantasies about Amma being responsible for this or that miracle, for events happening in her life, and for simple feelings of love and devotion. By doing this, Bess is propagating the Amma-as-omnsicient-Saviour line so many have fallen for.

The book is mostly theory - a bit of Jung, a summary of the Bhagivad Gita, notes on the shadow self and Hinduism. Bess' "personal" accounts of Amma are all of things Amma said to her during mass hug sessions. All of them are inscribed with projection on Bess' behalf. Amma made her feel better, Amma peered into her soul, Amma told her to write this book, so she did.

On such a sprititual path, Bess' projections are actually quite dangerous. Bess frames them in the language of devotion and submission to the guru, but such devotion - to the extent that Bess keeps an Amma doll next to her bed - can be completely disempowering. Amma is not a guru from a spiritual lineage. Amma's followers claim she is an avatar - an incarnation of Krishna and/or Kali, but of course no one has proof of this.

Bess' reads as a cultish love-letter to Amma. While it has some interesting insights about the spiritual path, these are mainly garnered from other sources. Bess' book lacks discrimination - there is no evidence of any critical thought given to Amma and the following that has built up around her. On a spiritual path, this is essential. A guru needs testing too. On its own, devotion to a Keralan woman does not bring salvation. As Jesus said, salvation comes from within. "Salvation" requires work and effort - just as Bess asserts.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The author has done a great job in tracking the path to the Mother aspect of God- The Divine Mother . She has used as her fundamental example her own experiences with Ammachi, the Great Saint from South India who is widely revered as a modern day Embodiment of the Divine Mother. Very nicely written book, full of love and very nice pictures of Ammachi.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars diving for pearls December 12, 2000
My husband and I both loved this book. After eleven years with Ammachi, we recognized our own path in these pages. Ammachi is like a vast ocean full of treasures, and Savitri Bess has surfaced with many pearls to offer her readers. Bess brings years of spiritual and psychological experience to nuance her subject, and also much awareness of the goddess tradition and her own travels in India as well. She also brings in other examples of Divine Motherhood to enlarge our picture of who Ammachi can be for us in our time. Charming stories, well-written. EXCELLENT choice of quotations from Ammachi. Two thumbs up!
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