Biography of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Spiritual Leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Biography

    • Famous as : Spiritual & Humanitarian Leader
  • Born on : 13 May 1956
  • Born in : Papanasam, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Nationality : India
  • Works & Achievements : Started Art of Living Foundation ( AOLF ) and International Association for Human Values ( IAHV ).

Honored with the double – honorific “Sri Sri”, along with Guruji or Gurudeva, Ravi Shankar has become one of the greatest spiritual & humanitarian leaders of the present times. Sri Ravi Shankar had a spiritual inclination right from his childhood and has worked since then to make the world a better place to live in. Founder of the international Art of Living Foundation ( AOLF ) and International Association for Human Values ( IAHV ), Sri Ravi Shankar aims to relieve stress at an individual level and also alleviate disease and violence at the societal level.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar started his journey with a handful of people only, but today, Sri Ravi Shankar has managed to spread his teaching on a global scale. Sri Ravi Shankar deals with various issues ailing people and the society at large, such as conflict resolution, disaster and trauma relief, prisoner rehabilitation, youth leadership, women’s empowerment, female foeticide, child labor and access to education.

The AOLF organization, which Sri Ravi Shankar had started as a small NGO ( Non – Government Organization ) in India, has today expanded to 140 countries across the globe.

Sri Ravi Shankar Childhood

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born on May 13, 1956 in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu, to Sri Venkat Ratnam and Smt Vishalakshi. Since his birthday was on the same date as that of 8th century CE Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, Sri Ravi Shankar was christened Shankar. Right from the tender age of 4, Shankar recited verses from the Holy Bhagwad Gita.

Seeing his interest in Hindu scriptures and the Vedas, his father appointed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as his son’s spiritual master. His teacher called him Ravi, and thus the name Ravi Shankar. It was under the guidance and inspiration of his teacher that Shankar received his degree in the field of Science.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Early Life

On completing his education, Ravi joined Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as his follower. His career as a spiritual leader began when Sri Ravi Shankar started teaching Vedic Pundits, at Maharishi’s charity in Delhi, and organizing Yagyas. Maharishi became very fond of Ravi, leading people to believe that the latter was his favorite disciple.

Maharishi also took Ravi, along with him, on a trip to Switzerland. It was in 1982 that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar observed 10 days of silence, on the banks of Bhadra River in Shimoga ( Karnataka ). It was thence that he discovered Sudarshan Kriya, a breathing technique, thus marking his journey towards global acknowledgement and the setting up of his ‘Art of Living’ Foundation ( AOLF ). With time, Sri Ravi Shankar came to known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Sri Ravi Shankar Art of Living Foundation

A non – government organization, Art of Living Foundation ( AOLF ) was established by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the year 1982. Though teaching people the art of Sudarshan Kriya served as the main focus of this organization, with time, Ravi also taught the science of yoga, meditation as well as breathing techniques to people.
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Today, AOLF is one of the largest volunteer – based organizations in the world, with presence in over 140 countries. It works for the educational and humanitarian development of the world at large.

International Association for Human Values

It was in 1997 that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded the International Association for Human Values ( IAHV ), along with Dalai Lama and other people. The main aim of the organization is to enhance the quality of life of people, by creating an awareness of inner silence and wellbeing.

Apart from teaching the world the value of equality, IAHV also educates them about the value of respect, consideration, non violence, social service ethic and being an environmentalist.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Philosophy & Teachings

The vision of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is to create a stress-free and peaceful world, through the acquisition of wisdom. Sri Ravi Shankar states that his programs aim to provide people with practical tools to attain wisdom. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar emphasizes on creating a link between body and mind, through breathing. Sri Ravi Shankar says that breathing is the only tool that can relax the soul, mind and body of a person. Apart from this, he also stresses on meditation and service to others.

Sri Sri believes that while science deepens the mystery of creation, spirituality intensifies the mystery of self. Right from the victims of 9/11 attack & war – ravaged Iraqi people to tsunami sufferers & hurricane Katrina victims, his teachings have proved beneficial in reducing the stress and mental tension of all.

Sri Ravi Shankar Institutes & Organizations
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  • Art of Living Foundation.
  • International Association for Human Values.
  • Ved Vignan Mahavidyapeeth.
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir.
  • Sri Sri Center for Media Studies.
  • Sri Sri College for Ayurvedic Science and Research.
  • Sri Sri Ayurveda.
  • Sri Sri Mobile Agricultural Initiatives.
  • Sri Sri Pre – University College.
  • The Sri Sri Institute of Management Studies.
  • The Sri Sri School for Performing Arts and Fine Arts.
  • Sri Sri Rural Development Trust.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Honors and Awards

  1. 1986 : Title of Yoga Shiromani ( Supreme Jewel of Yoga ).
  2. 1997 : Guru Mahatmya Award.
  3. 2002 : Phoenix Award, Atlanta, USA.
  4. 2004 : Bharat Shiromani Award ( New Delhi India ), The Illustrious Visitors Award ( Buenos Aires, Argentina ), Honorary Doctorate of Literature ( Kuvempu University, Karnataka, India ).
  5. 2005 : Dara Shikoh National Award for Harmony ( New Delhi ), Mahavir – Mahatma Award for Contribution to Peace ( Times Foundation, India ), Global Humanitarian Award ( Illinois, USA ), Membership of Martin Luther Collegium of Scholars.
  6. 2006 : Sant Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize, Order of the Pole Star ( highest state honor by the President of Mongolia ), Fervent Global Love of Life ( Cultural and Education Foundation of Human Life, Taiwan ), Mongolian Prime Minister’s Award, Peter the Great – First Grade Award ( Russian Federation ), Doctor of Philosophy – Holistic Medicine ( Open International University for Complementary Medicine, Sri Lanka ).
  7. 2007 : Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa ( Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India ), National Veterans Foundation Award (USA), Honorary Doctorate of Science ( Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, India ), Varshada Kannadiga ( Kannadiga of the Year ) (ETV), Leadership Award for Extraordinary Promotion for World Peace and Harmony ( Amity University ).
  8. 2008 : Doctor of Srini Memorial Award ( Srini International Organization, Nellore, India ).

Sri Ravi Shankar Timeline

  • 1956 – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born.
  • 1982 – Taught the first Art of Living course, to a small gathering of 15 people.
  • 1983 – Held first Art of Living course outside India, in Montreux, Switzerland.
  • 1986 – Taught first Art of Living courses in North America, in Apple Valley, California and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • 1989 – Established the Art of Living Foundation ( AOLF ) in the United States.
  • 1992 – Launched women’s empowerment programs in India.
  • 1993 – Held first Art of Living Course for cancer patients in the United States.
  • 1994 – Launched the first Prison SMART program in India, helping prison inmates rehabilitate and re – enter the society, Art of Living Foundation certified as an official United Nations NGO.
  • 1997 – Launched 5H Program, an initiative promoting sustainable rural development in the form of health, hygiene, homes, human values and ‘harmony in diversity’, in India.
  • 1999 – Created International Association for Human Values ( IAHV ) – the sister organization of Art of Living Foundation, Launched the Youth Leadership Training Program – to empower the young people of rural villages to improve the quality of life in their communities, Opened the first Tribal School.
  • 2000 – Gave keynote address at the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, in New York City.
  • 2001 – AOLF offered free programs throughout New York City, to help the people heal from the trauma of 9 / 11 attacks.
  • 2003 – Addressed NASA in Washington D.C., Trauma relief programs conducted in Iraq – by the volunteers from Art of Living Foundation.
  • 2004 – Became the first spiritual leader from India to visit Pakistan on a four – day peace mission.
  • 2005 – AOLF Volunteers initiated trauma relief programs for Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans, AOLF volunteers became the first to provide relief for survivors of India – Pakistan Earthquake.
  • 2006 – AOLF celebrated its 25th Year of Service, with a Silver Jubilee Celebration and Global Peace Conference in Bangalore India.