Spirituality is that which deals with compassion, love, caring, and seeing life from a bigger context. Only spirituality can nourish human values. Spirituality without dogma, and with an understanding which is all-encompassing, is the need of the 21st century.
-- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Born in Bangalore, India, it was apparent from the beginning that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was destined for a spiritual life - even as a young child, he was often found in peaceful meditation. At the age of four, his parents discovered him reciting verses from the Bhagavad Gita - an ancient sacred text that illumines the meaning and purpose of life.
Throughout his teens, he studied with many renowned spiritual masters and became a scholar of Vedic literature. During this time, he dedicated himself to a life of service. He also completed his traditional education and obtained an advanced degree in modern science by age seventeen.
In 1982, "Sri Sri" (pronounced, "Shree Shree") presented the world with a new gift for humanity -- the Sudarshan Kriya technique. In more recent times, he served on the advisory board of Yale University's School of Divinity and chaired the International Conference of Religions at Kyoto, Japan. In 1995, Sri Sri spoke at the United Nations' 50th Anniversary celebration.
1998 and 1999, his Sudarshan Kriya technique gained even greater recognition
when additional medical studies confirming its benefits were published, and in
August 2000, he addressed the gathering at the United Nations Millenium World
Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has inspired numerous educational and charitable organizations around the globe. He established the Art of Living Foundation in 1982 to promote self development and health-related educational programs, many of which feature the Sudarshan Kriya technique. To date, his programs have been enjoyed by more than a million people in more than 100 countries. A few of his many service projects/organizations are:
"Art of Living Foundation" - a nonprofit educational and humanitarian organization
"The Barefoot Project" - a program for women in developing countries that gives job training and education for their economic advancement
"Dollar-A-Day" - a service program that provides children and communities with food, medical services, clean water, clothing, and education
"ART Excel" - a personal development and empowerment course for children and teens
"5-H Program" - takes a holistic approach to social service, focusing on Health, Homes, Hygiene, Human Values, and Harmony in Diversity, and trains at-risk youth to help implement these programs in their communities
Today, Sri Sri teaches internationally, reminding us that the great spiritual traditions have common goals and values. His simple message of love, practical wisdom, and compassion continues to inspire people from all walks of life, and he encourages everyone to follow their chosen religious or spiritual path while honoring the path of others. "The only true security that can be found in this world," says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, "is in the very process of giving love ."