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 the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living
Born in 1956 in the state of Tamil Nadu 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. At an early age his father, R S V Ratnam delegated him to the care of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a renowned spiritual master. After attaining his degree in science, Ravi joined Maharishi's entourage, taught the Vedic pundits at Maharishi's charities, and soon became the Maharishi’s favourite disciple.
In 1982, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar went into ten days of silence and emerged as an enlightened master. It is believed that during this time he cognized the famous Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique. In order to spread the kriya and other related knowledge, Sri Sri subsequently set up the Art of Living (AOL) Organization in 1982. Today the Art of Living Foundation is the world’s largest volunteer based Non-Governmental Organization, active in over 140 countries. Its service projects, programs on yoga, meditation and stress elimination have benefited over 20 million people representing all walks of life, religions, cultures and traditions with its 5Hs program in the areas of Health, Homes, Hygiene, Human Values and Harmony in Diversity.
As an ambassador of peace, Sri Sri plays a key role in conflict resolution and spreads 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. Sri Sri believes that all religions and traditions have a common value system, and these shared values have to reach every corner of the world in order to make it a better place for all..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”; that inner and outer peace are possible; and that a stress-free, violence-free society can be created through service and the reawakening of human values.