Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, also known as Sri Sri or Gurudev or Guruji, is a universally revered spiritual and humanitarian leader. His vision of a violence-free, stress-free society through the reawakening of human values has inspired millions to broaden their spheres of responsibility and work towards the betterment of the world.

In January 2016, he was awarded the “Padma Vibhushan“, the second highest civilian award in the country by the Government of India.For his service, he has received some of the highest awards of several countries including India, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, etc. He has also been conferred with 15 honorary doctorates from around the world.

The Beginning

Ravi Shankar was born in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu to Visalakshi Ratnam and R. S. Venkat Ratnam. He was named “Ravi” (a common Indian name meaning “sun”) because his birth was on a Sunday, and “Shankar” after the eighth-century Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, because it was also Shankara’s birthday. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Bangalore University(St. Joseph’s College). After graduation, he travelled with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi giving talks and arranging conferences on Vedic science, and setting up meditation and Ayurveda centres.

In the 1980s, Shankar initiated a series of practical and experiential courses in spirituality around the globe. He says that his rhythmic breathing practice, Sudarshan Kriya®, came to him in 1982, “like a poem, an inspiration,” after a ten-day period of silence on the banks of the Bhadra River in Shimoga, in the state of Karnataka.

Founding The Art of Living and The IAHV

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded The Art of Living as an international, non-profit, educational, and humanitarian organization. The educational and self-development programs of the Art of Living provide powerful tools to eliminate stress and improve well-being. These programs include breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, and practical wisdom for daily living which have helped millions around the world to transform their lives.

In 1997, he also founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) to coordinate sustainable development projects, nurture human values and coordinate conflict resolution in association with The Art of Living.

Inspiring Service and Globalizing Wisdom

Gurudev is a noted humanitarian leader who has developed and led programs that provide assistance to people from a wide range of backgrounds-victims of natural disasters, survivors of terror attacks and war, children from marginalized populations, communities in conflict, among others. The power of his message has inspired a wave of service based on spirituality through a huge body of volunteers who drive these projects forward in critical areas around the globe.

Gurudev is a spiritual teacher. He has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditation and has offered them in a form that works in the 21st century. By reviving ancient wisdom, he has created new techniques for personal and social transformation. These include a powerful technique called Sudarshan Kriya® which has helped millions of people to find
relief from stress and discover inner reservoirs of energy and peace in daily life. In only three decades, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in 155 countries.

A Figure of Peace

Gurudev is an ambassador of peace. He plays a key role in conflict resolution, spreading his vision of non-violence at public forums and gatherings worldwide. He is regarded as a neutral figure with peace as his sole agenda, representing hope to people in conflict. He is credited with bringing hostile parties to the negotiating table in Iraq, the Ivory Coast,
Kashmir, and Bihar.

Through his initiatives and addresses, Gurudev has consistently emphasized the need to reinforce human values and recognize humanity as our highest identity. He has fostered interfaith harmony and called for multi-cultural education as the remedy for fanaticism and to achieve sustainable peace on our planet.

His work has touched the lives of millions of people around the world, going beyond the barriers of race, nationality, and religion with the message of a “one-world family.” He has shown that inner and outer peace are possible and that a stress-free, violence-free society can be created through service and by reawakening human values.

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