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yoga meditation tm

1. Introduction

Ravi Shankar (born 13 May 1956) is an Indian yoga guru,[1] a spiritual leader. He is frequently referred to as "Sri Sri" (honorific), Guru ji, or Gurudev.[2] From around the mid 1970s, he worked as an apprentice under Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation. In 1981, he split from the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and founded the Art of Living Foundation.[3]

2. Life

Ravi Shankar was born in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu, to Vishalakshi and R.S.Venkat Ratnam. He is the brother of Bhanumathi Narasimhan.[4] He was named "Ravi" (a common Indian name which means "sun") because his birth was on a Sunday, and "Shankar" after the eighth-century Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, whose birthday was the same day as Ravi Shankar.[5] Ravi Shankar's first teacher was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, an Indian Vedic Scholar and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi.[6][7] He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the St. Joseph's College of Bangalore University.[8][9] After graduation, Shankar travelled with his second teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,[10] giving talks and arranging conferences on Vedic science, and setting up Transcendental Meditation and Ayurveda centres.[11][12]

In the 1980s, Shankar initiated a series of practical and experiential courses in spirituality around the globe. He says that his rhythmic breathing practice, Sudarshan Kriya, came to him in 1982, "like a poem, an inspiration," after a ten-day period of silence on the banks of the Bhadra River in Shimoga, in the state of Karnataka, adding, "I learned it and started teaching it".[13]

In 1983, Shankar held the first Art of Living course in Switzerland . In 1986, he travelled to Apple Valley, California in the US to conduct the first course to be held in North America.[14]

3. Philosophy and Teachings

3.1. Spirituality

Shankar believes spirituality is that which enhances human values such as love, compassion and enthusiasm. It is not limited to any one religion or culture. Hence it is open to all people. He feels the spiritual bond we share as part of the human family is more prominent than nationality, gender, religion, profession, or other identities that separate us.[15]

According to him, science and spirituality are linked and compatible, both springing from the urge to know. The question, "Who am I?" leads to spirituality; the question, "What is this?" leads to science. Emphasizing that joy is only available in the present moment, his stated vision is to create a world free of stress and violence. His programs are said to offer practical tools to help accomplish this. He sees breath as the link between body and mind, and a tool to relax the mind, emphasising the importance of both meditation/spiritual practice and service to others. In his view, "Truth is spherical rather than linear; so it has to be contradictory."[16]

4. Peace and Humanitarian Work

4.1. Pakistan

He visited Pakistan in 2004 on a goodwill mission[17] and again in 2012 when he inaugurated Art of Living centers in Islamabad and Karachi.[18] The Islamabad centre was burned down by armed men in March 2014.[19][20]

4.2. Iraq

During his visits to Iraq, at the invitation of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, in 2007[21] and again in 2008,[22] he met with political and religious leaders to promote global peace. In November 2014, Ravi Shankar visited the relief camps in Erbil, Iraq. He also hosted a conference to address the dire condition of Yazidis and other non-Muslims in the region.[23][24]

4.3. Colombia and FARC

Ravi Shankar played a major role in the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the guerrilla movement FARC during his visit to Cuba in June 2015. FARC leaders agreed to follow the Gandhian principle of non-violence to attain their political objectives and social justice.[25][26] For his efforts for a peaceful resolution of the Colombian conflict, he was awarded Colombia's highest civilian award.[27]

4.4. Venezuela

In 2019, Ravi Shankar met with Venezuelan leaders from both sides to encourage dialogue, end the political conflict and restore peace and stability in the country.[28][29][30]

4.5. Kashmir, India

The South Asian Forum for Peace was launched in November 2016 at a conference titled "Kashmir Back to Paradise" in Jammu. According to Ravi Shankar, 90% of people in Kashmir want peace but are neglected. He added, "The solution to the Kashmir problem can only come from the Kashmiris". This forum is intended to bring together eight South Asian countries to cooperate in areas such as entrepreneurship, skill development, cultural exchange, educational partnerships and women's empowerment.[31][32][33][34]

4.6. Northeast India

68 militants from 11 militant outfits surrendered to the government in Manipur on the eve of India's 71st Independence Day in August 2017. The Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, lauded Ravi Shankar for his efforts in making this happen and "bringing peace in troubled areas". Ravi Shankar's organization has been working in Manipur for the last 15 years.[35][36]

In September 2017, at the "Strength in Diversity - North East Indigenous People's Conference", Ravi Shankar claimed that another 500 militants were waiting to "lay down weapons and join the peace process". The conference was attended by representatives from 67 rebel outfits from the Northeast. Expressing his willingness to facilitate the peaceful transition of any rebel group wanting to join the mainstream, Ravi Shankar claimed that his organization has been working for this for the last 10–12 years and "will continue to work until the last gun is laid down".[37] Former ULFA General Secretary, Anup Chetia, who was also the convenor of the conference, appreciated Ravi Shankar's interest and efforts for peace in the region.[38][39]

4.7. Ayodhya Ram Temple Dispute, India

Ravi Shankar's efforts at mediation in the Ayodhya dispute in 2017 received a mixed response from both Hindu and Muslim leaders. Based on Supreme Court of India's suggestion for an out-of-court settlement,[40] he proposed a mutual compromise where both communities "gift" neighbouring pieces of land to each other. This proposal was met with a lot of skepticism and resistance.[41][42][43][44][45]

In March 2019, he was appointed by the Supreme Court of India to a 3-member mediation committee tasked with finding a resolution for the case in 8 weeks.[46][47][48]

4.8. Interfaith Dialogue

Ravi Shankar is involved in interfaith dialogue and currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute.[49] Through interfaith summits in 2008 and 2010, he has been engaging faith-based leaders for collective action against HIV.[50] In July 2013 at a meeting in UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva, issues including HIV prevention, gender based violence, stigma and discrimination were discussed.[51]

4.9. Prison Program

In 1992, he started a prison programme[52] to rehabilitate prison inmates and help them reintegrate into society.[53]

5. Awards and Recognition

  • Padma Vibhushan, India's Second Highest Civilian Award, January 2016[54]
  • Dr Nagendra Singh International Peace Award, India, November 2016[55]
  • Peru's Highest Award, "Medalla de la Integración en el Grado de Gran Oficial" (Grand Officer)[56]
  • Colombia's highest civilian award, "Orden de la Democracia Simón Bolívar"[57][58]
  • Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize[59]
  • Highest civilian award "National Order of Mérito de Comuneros", Paraguay, 13 September 2012[60][61]
  • Illustrious citizen by the Paraguayan Municipality, 12 September 2012[62]
  • Illustrious guest of the city of Asunción, Paraguay, 12 September 2012[62]
  • Tiradentes Medal, the highest honour from Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, 3 September 2012[63]
  • The Sivananda World Peace award, Sivananda Foundation, South Africa, 26 August 2012[64]
  • Crans Montana Forum Award, Brussels, 24 June 2011[65][66]
  • Culture in Balance Award, World Culture Forum, Dresden Germany, 10 October 2009[67]
  • Phoenix Award, Atlanta, USA, 2008[68]
  • Honorary Citizenship and Goodwill Ambassador, Houston, USA, 2008[68]
  • Proclamation of Commendation, New Jersey, USA 2008[69]
  • Sant Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize, Pune, India, 11 January 2007[70]
  • Order of the Pole Star, Mongolia, 2006[71]
  • Bharat Shiromani Award, New Delhi, India, 2005[72]
  • Honorary Doctorates from – Universidad Autónoma de Asunción of Paraguay,[60] Buenos Aires University, Argentina; Siglo XXI University Campus, Cordoba, Argentina; Nyenrode Business University, Netherlands;[73] Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur;[74] Kuvempu University, India.

In 2009, Shankar was named by Forbes magazine as the fifth most powerful leader in India.[75]

6. Criticism

In 2012, Ravi Shankar, while attending a function in Jaipur, claimed that some Indian government schools are breeding grounds for Naxalism, a movement of militant communist groups in India declared to be terrorist organisations. "All government schools and colleges should be privatised. The government should not run any school. It's often found that children from government schools get into Naxalism and violence. Children from private schools don't get into this," he was quoted as saying by media reports. Later, Shankar issued a clarification that he didn't mean that all government schools breed Naxalism. More clarification followed on his Twitter account: "I specifically referred to sick government schools in Naxal affected areas. Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools. I did not say all Govt schools (where lakhs study) breed Naxalism. Great talents have emerged from these schools & I would never generalize."[76][77] In March 2018, he faced criticism from political leaders for his commentary, where he said, India will turn into Syria if the Ram temple issue is not resolved soon.[78]

7. Books

  • An Intimate Note to the Sincere Seeker; Vol. 1: ISBN:1-885289-29-4, Vol. 2: ISBN:1-885289-30-8, Vol. 3: ISBN:1-885289-33-2, Vol. 4: ISBN:1-885289-36-7, Vol. 5: ISBN:1-885289-38-3, Vol. 6: ISBN:1-885289-40-5, Vol. 7: ISBN:1-885289-41-3
  • Buddha: manifestation of silence, ISBN:81-89291-91-2
  • 1999 – Be A Witness: The Wisdom of the Upanishads, 106 pp. ISBN:81-7621-063-3
  • 2000 – God Loves Fun, 138 pp. ISBN:1-885289-05-7
  • 2001 – Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995–2000, 206 pp. ISBN:1-885289-39-1
  • Celebrating Love ISBN:1-885289-42-1
  • 2005 – Narada Bhakti Sutra, 129 pp. ISBN:81-7811-029-6
  • Hinduism & Islam, the common thread, 34 pp, 2002
  • Secrets of Relationships, Arktos, 2014
  • Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Arktos, 2014
  • Ashtavakra Gita, 2010, ISBN:9380592833[79]
  • Management Mantras, Arktos, 2014
  • Know Your Child: The Art of Raising Children, Arktos, 2014
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. Suar, Swati Snigdha (18 June 2015). "Meet India's 10 most renowned yoga gurus". 
  2. Salkin, Allen (28 August 2007). "Emperor of Air". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 14 May 2018. 
  3. Jacobs, Stephen (2015). The Art of Living Foundation. USA: Ashgate. pp. 68. ISBN 9781472412683. 
  4. Madhukar, Jayanthi (17 May 2004). "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I can't afford to be apolitical". IndiaTimes. 
  5. Kilgannon, Corey (11 April 2011). "Seeking Bliss Among the Honks and Hisses". The New York Times. 
  6. Avdeeff, Alexis (2004). "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Spreading Awareness over the World". Journal of Dharma XXIX (3): 321–335. ISSN 0253-7222. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  7. "Pandit gifted wheelchair on birthday". The Times of India. 15 March 2011. 
  8. "Scan of Degree Certificate". 
  9. "Distinguished Alumni". 
  10. Mani, Rajiv (12 February 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi cremated in Allahabad". The Times of India. 
  11. Gautier (2008), p. 36.
  12. Fischman, Michael (2010). Stumbling into Infinity: An Ordinary Man in the Sphere of Enlightenment. Morgan James Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60037-648-1. 
  13. Mahadevan, Ashok (February 2007). "Face to Face: Stress Free with Sri Sri". Reader's Digest. Retrieved 5 June 2009. 
  14. Pandit, Srimoyee (29 June 2011). "Art of living founder Ravi Shankar - First Indian to receive the Crans Montana Forum Award". 
  15. Shankar, Sri Sri Ravi (1995). Bang on the Door. Santa Barbara, CA: Art of Living Foundation. ISBN 1-885289-31-6. 
  16. Copeland, Libby (5 July 2007). "Take a Deep Breath". The Washington Post. 
  17. "There's dignity of religion in Pakistan". The Times of India. 23 July 2004. 
  18. Shaukat, Aroosa (12 March 2012). "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar tells Lahore about his 'Art of Living'". The Express Tribune. 
  19. "Art of Living Center Torched in Islamabad". 10 March 2014. 
  20. "Did Pakistan TV Debate Prompt Burning of Yoga Center?". 10 March 2014. 
  21. "Art of Living guru in Iraq to talk peace". 24 May 2007. 
  22. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visits Iraq". 22 December 2008. 
  23. Blumberg, Antonia (19 November 2014). "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Spiritual Leader and Activist, Travels To Iraq To Promote Yazidi Rights". 
  24. "Indian spiritual leader steps up relief work for refugees in northern Iraq". South China Morning Post. 19 November 2014. 
  25. "Words from the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar". 
  26. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar helps to bring peace to Colombia". The Times of India. 10 July 2015. 
  27. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conferred with Colombia's highest civilian award". The Economic Times. 25 June 2015. 
  28. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Venezuela for peace talks". 
  29. "Venezuela receives visit from humanitarian leader and peace ambassador Sri Sri Ravi Shankar". Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores. 
  30. "President Maduro meets with Ambassador of Peace Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Miraflores". Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores. 
  31. Sagotra, Yogesh (24 November 2016). "Solution to Kashmir problem can only come from Kashmiris: Sri Sri". Greater Kashmir. 
  32. "Kashmir: 90 per cent of people want peace". The Indian Express. 24 November 2016. 
  33. Jameel, Yusuf (24 November 2016). "Kashmiri separatists, militants are 'cash cows'". Deccan Chronicle. 
  34. "AOL to launch regional peace platform for South Asia". 22 November 2016. 
  35. "CM Biren lauds Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for peace efforts in Manipur". The Statesman. 15 August 2017. 
  36. "Manipur: 68 members of 6 terror cadres, including 4 women cadres, surrender before CM Biren Singh". India Today. 14 August 2017. 
  37. Mazumdar, Prasanta (8 September 2017). "North East militants waiting to make peace". The New Indian Express. 
  38. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar expressed willingness to rehabilitate militants back into Mainstream". 7 September 2017. 
  39. "We Will Not Stop till the Last Gun is Laid Down: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar". 7 September 2017. 
  40. "SC calls for out-of-court settlement in Ayodhya case". The Hindu. 21 March 2017. 
  41. "Shia Waqf Board chief meets Sri Sri, favours Ram Temple at disputed site". Hindustan Times. 31 October 2017. 
  42. "In a bid to solve Ayodhya issue, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar meets Nirmohi Akhara and Muslim law board members". Hindustan Times. 27 October 2017. 
  43. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar meets expelled AIMPLB member Nadvi". The Tribune. 1 March 2018. 
  44. "Solution to Ayodhya dispute not possible in Supreme Court: Sri Sri Ravishankar". 28 February 2018. 
  45. "Ayodhya dispute: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gives fresh mediation push, meets UP CM Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur". The New Indian Express. 28 February 2018. 
  46. "Ayodhya dispute: Supreme Court appoints 3-member mediation team". 
  47. "Ayodhya land dispute case: SC-named panel to complete mediation in 8 weeks". 
  48. "Ayodhya land dispute: SC-appointed mediation panel holds first sitting in Faizabad". 
  49. "Leaders of Religions of India". 
  50. "Spiritual healing for HIV-infected in Bangalore". Daily News and Analysis. 28 September 2010. 
  51. "Science, spirituality and health in the AIDS response". 
  52. Walker, Andrew (24 December 2008). "South African prisoners embrace yoga". 
  53. "Pravin Mahajan 'n D's brother sing together". The Indian Express. 30 April 2007. 
  54. "Padma Vibhushan for Rajinikanth, Dhirubhai Ambani, Jagmohan". The Hindu. 26 January 2016. 
  55. "Sri Sri Ravishankar gets international peace prize". The Times of India. 20 November 2016. 
  56. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conferred with Peru's highest award 'Grand Officer'". Daily News and Analysis. 1 July 2015. 
  57. "Sri Sri Conferred With Colombia's Highest Civilian Award". Outlook. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  58. "Spiritual Leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Conferred With Colombia's Highest Civilian Award". Press Trust of India. 25 June 2015. 
  59. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to Speak at Morehouse's Martin Luther King International Chapel". Atlanta Daily World. 2 April 2013. 
  60. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gets Paraguay's highest civilian award". The Economic Times. 15 September 2012. 
  61. "Condecorarán al Dr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar" (in es). La Nación. 7 September 2012. 
  62. "Sri Sri gets Paraguays Highest Civilian Award". The Times of India. 15 September 2012.§id=edid=&edlabel=ETD&mydateHid=15-09-2012&pubname=Economic+Times+-+Delhi&edname=&articleid=Ar00501&publabel=ET. 
  63. "Concede Medalha Tiradentes e Respectivo Diploma ao Ilustre Sri Sri Ravi Shankar" (in es). 20 March 2012. 
  64. "Sivananda Peace Pillar presented to Ravi Shankar". 
  65. "Prix De La Fondation". 
  66. "Ravi Shankar 1st Indian to get Crans Montana award". The Indian Express. 28 June 2011. 
  67. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conferred award by German organisation". Deccan Herald. 11 October 2009. 
  68. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar honoured by three US cities". Daily News and Analysis. 1 November 2008. 
  69. "Sri Sri teaches Art of Living to New Jersey". 7 July 2008. 
  70. "Give me your worries". The Times of India. 11 January 2007. 
  71. "Mongolia's top civilian honour for Sri Sri Ravishankar". 24 August 2006. 
  72. "Of oneness, spirituality and unity". The Times of India. 21 April 2005. 
  73. "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar receives Honorary Doctorate from Nyenrode Business Universiteit". 4 June 2012. 
  74. "Gyan Vihar convocation". 
  75. "Editor's Picks: The Seven Most Powerful People in India – No. 5: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar". Forbes. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  76. "Protest against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for his remarks on government schools". The Times of India. 22 March 2012. 
  77. "Didn't say all govt schools breed Naxalism: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar". 21 March 2012. 
  78. Team, BS Web (2018-03-06). "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar likens India to Syria, gets trolled: Top 10 highlights". Business Standard India. 
  79. Ashtavakra Gita. Bangalore: Sri Sri Publications Trust. 2010. ISBN 9380592833. 
Name: Ravi Shankar
Born: May 1956
Papanasam, Madras State (now Tamil Nadu), India
Titles: Yoga guru Spiritual leader
Affiliation: Unknown
Honors: The founder of Transcendental Meditation The founder of Art of Living Foundation
Subjects: Others
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View Times: 1.4K
Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 30 Nov 2022
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