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 meditation. His first teacher was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who had a long association with Mahatma Gandhi. He holds degrees in both, Vedic literature and physics.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar entered a ten-day period of silence in Shimoga located in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful breathing technique, was born and is the center-piece of the Art of Living courses.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 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.
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. In India, Africa and South America, the two sister organizations’ volunteers are spearheading sustainable growth in rural communities,and have already reached out to 40,212 villages.
A noted humanitarian leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s programs have provided assistance to people from different 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 globally.
As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditation ,offering them in a form that is relevant to the 21st century. Beyond reviving ancient wisdom, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has created new techniques for personal and social transformation. These include the Sudarshan Kriya® which has relieved millions of people from stress and discover inner reservoirs of energy and peace in daily life. In a mere span of 31 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in 152 countries.
As an ambassador of peace, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar plays a key role in conflict resolution and spreads his vision of non-violence at public forums and gatherings world-wide, with the sole agenda of peace, solacing people in conflict. He has received particular credit for bringing opposing parties to the negotiating table in Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Kashmir and Bihar. He was appointed the Chairman of Reception Committee for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Coronation of Krishnadevaraya (by Government of Karnataka, India). He is also a member of the Amarnath Shrine Board (appointed by Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India).
Through his initiatives and addresses, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has the need for reinforcing human values and recognizing humanity as our highest identity. Fostering interfaith harmony and calling for multi-cultural education as the remedy for fanaticism are significant parts of his efforts to spread 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; and that a stress-free, violence-free society can be created through service and the reawakening of human values.