05/31/2014 11:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Amma and Her 32 Million Hugs

Amma is a spiritual leader who says her religion is love.

She is well known for her embraces and apparently tracks them, with 32 million embraces and running.

She actually has a counter to keep track of them.

She began this hugging marathon as a young girl in India but was told it wasn't proper. She did it anyway because she felt a calling to comfort others. I admire people like her who do things anyway, even when it's not considered proper.

At any rate, I have a friend who was determined to get one of those hugs so I went along for the ride curious to meet this robust hugger. Anyone who can embrace people for 20 hours straight has my respect for sheer endurance alone.

When we went to collect that hug, we got a closer look at this spiritual leader's doings and how she has done so much for so many. Her work includes disaster relief, housing for the homeless and health care.
Once asked by the BBC "Why do you hug people?'" Amma replied: "That's like asking a river 'why do you flow?' It simply flows because that's its nature ..."

If you ever doubt that one person can make a difference in this world, just think of Amma and all of her charitable work. And if that's not enough to convince you, toss in her 32 million hugs.

Check out our inspiring video at