Amritanandamayi, whose full name means "Mother of Absolute Bliss”, is known by her followers as 'Amma', 'Ammachi' or 'Mother'. Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. Amma has blessed and consoled more than 21 million people throughout the world. She is widely respected as a loving humanitarian and revered by some as a mahatma (great soul) and a living saint. Amma's humanitarian activities have grown into a wide-ranging network of service providers branching out into the social, medical, educational, environmental and spiritual dimensions.