Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace.
His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people around the world through service projects and courses offered by the Art of Living Foundation.
Born in 1956 in Southern India, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was a gifted child. By the age of four, he was able to recite parts of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Sanskrit scripture and was often found in deep meditation. Sri Sri’s first teacher Sudhakar Chaturvedi, had a long association with Mahatma Gandhi. By the age of seventeen in 1973, Sri Sri had graduated with degrees in both Vedic literature and physics.
Founding The Art of Living and The International Association of Human Values
Sri Sri founded The Art of Living as an international, non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization. Its educational and self-development programs offer powerful tools to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being. Appealing not only to a specific population, these practices have proven effective globally and at all levels of society. The Art of Living courses are currently offered in over 156 countries. In 1997, Sri Sri co-founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) to, in association with The Art of Living, coordinate sustainable development projects, nurture human values and initiate conflict resolution.
Inspiring Service and Globalizing Wisdom
A noted humanitarian leader, Sri Sri’s programs have provided assistance to people from a wide range of backgrounds – victims of natural disasters, survivors of terror attacks and war, children from marginalized populations, and communities in conflict, among others. The strength of his message has inspired a wave of service based on spirituality through a huge body of volunteers, who are driving these projects forward in critical areas around the globe.
As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditation and offered them in a form that is relevant to the 21st century. Beyond reviving ancient wisdom, Sri Sri has created new techniques for personal and social transformation. These include Sudarshan Kriya® which has helped millions of people to find relief from stress and discover inner reservoirs of energy and inner silence in daily life.
A Figure of Peace
As an ambassador of peace, Sri Sri has played a key role in conflict resolution around the world as he shares his vision of non-violence at public forums and gatherings worldwide. Regarded as a neutral figure with a sole agenda of peace, he represents hope to people in conflict. He has received particular credit for bringing opposing parties to the negotiating table in Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Kashmir and Bihar. Through his initiatives and speeches, Sri Sri has consistently emphasized the need for reinforcing human values and recognizing that we belong to a one-world family. Fostering interfaith harmony and calling for multi-cultural education as the remedy for fanaticism are significant parts of his efforts to achieve sustainable peace on our planet.
A priceless moment captured on one of Sri Sri’s many visits to the Canada Retreat Centre.