A man tried to attack Mata Amritanandamayi, one of India's best-known spiritual figures, on Sunday evening, but was overpowered by her disciples.
The incident occurred during a prayer and bhajan event at the Mata's Vallikkav Ashram in Kerala's Kollam district.
Police officers have taken custody of the attacker and say Amritanandamayi is unhurt and safe.
The police said the attacker, whose name is reported to be Pavithran, has been staying at the Ashram for some days.
Hailing from Idukki district in Kerala, the attacker sat among the followers praying and singing in front of Amritanadamayi who was seated on the dais.
Suddenly, he jumped up and rushed to Amritanandamayi with a knife. But before he could reach her, a group of disciples around Amritanandamayi overpowered him.
"The attack on our Amma has been foiled. Amma is safe and sound. And she has forgiven the man who tried to attack her," Amritaswarupananda, an associate of Amritanandamayi, told rediff.com
He said Amritanandanmayi had a very busy day on Sunday. In the morning she distributed 300 sewing machines to women from villages affected by the tsunami. Kerala Speaker Therambil Ramakrishnan was the main guest during the event.
Amritaswarupananda said the Math also gave clothes to 5,000 children from Alappuzha district who had participated in the Yoga-English-Sanskrit class conducted in May.
He felt the person who tried to attack Amritanandamayi was of "unstable mind."
Math officials said they would impose strict security measures for visitors to the Ashram who want to meet and hug Amritanandamayi,
Amritanandamayi is wellknown for spending up to 18 hours a day hugging her followers.
At last count, more than 30 million people had been given her blessings through her hugs.
Amritanandamayi, 51, was born in a poor fishing village in the remote coastal village of Parayakadavu, which was affected by the December 26, 2004 tsunami. As a child, she refused to go to school and spent nearly all her time chanting prayers to Lord Krishna. She went to the seashore to meditate and nearly every night.
Soon, she began to attract devotees.
Originally named Sudhamani, she adopted her current name, which means full of immortal bliss' in 1981.
Since then, Amritanandamayi has addressed international interfaith meetings and set up branches of her ashram in India and abroad. She now has centres in Canada, England, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Argentina, Brazil, Reunion Island, Japan and Singapore.
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