An Introduction to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and 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.
Numerous honors have been bestowed upon Sri Sri, including the highest civilian awards of Colombia, Mongolia and Paraguay. Sri Sri has also been conferred with 15 honorary doctorates from around the world.
Sri Sri is the Chancellor of Sri Sri University. He is the Chairman of the Quality Control of India Yoga Certification Committee.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also a member of the Amarnath Shrine Board (appointed by Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India). He was the Chairman of Reception Committee for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Coronation of Krishnadevaraya (by Government of Karnataka, India).
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.
Founding The Art of Living and the IAHV
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. With time, the Sudarshan Kriya became 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. Appealing not only to a specific population, these practices have proven effective globally and at all levels of society.
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.
Inspiring Service and Globalizing Wisdom
A noted humanitarian leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s programs have provided assistance to people from a wide range of 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 around the globe.
As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditationand offered 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 helped millions of people to find relief from stress and discover inner reservoirs of energy and peace in daily life. In a mere 31 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in 154 countries.
A Figure of Peace
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. Regarded as a neutral figure with a sole agenda of peace, he represents hope to people in conflict. He has received particular credit for bringing opposing parties to the negotiating table in Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Kashmir and Bihar.
Through his initiatives and addresses, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has consistently emphasized 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 achieve sustainable 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”; 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.
Published By:AOL Team Buxar
“In the history of the universe, there has been nobody like you and to the infinity of time to come, there will be no one like you. You are original. You are rare. You are unique. Celebrate your uniqueness.”
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Re – discover Your Fascinating Presence
Have you observed when a child enters a room everyone in the room just gets attracted by the child’s mere presence? The child doesn’t have to make any effort. It all happens naturally. We communicate more by our presence than by our words. But, as we grow up, somehow we miss taking care of this sublime aspect of our lives. Our presence weakens as innumerable impressions of our past experiences accumulate and clog our mind.
How do we restore that child-like freshness, friendliness and naturalness in our lives? This is possible through simple yet powerful breathing techniques like Sudarshan Kriya. The techniques help cleanse different layers of our existence, right from our body to the subtle layers of our self from stress and past experiences restoring our charm and presence.
How Soon Do You Want Success?
Everyone wants to be successful in life. But, is success just having a big bank balance and a luxurious living? One may have a big bank balance; but, if the body gets sick, one cannot enjoy what one has. Many times, people spend half their health to gain wealth and spend half their wealth to gain back the health. Is this really success?
Imagine a state when your problems stop being problems, you get the strength to willingly face them with a smile and turn them into opportunities. Don’t you think this is a sign of a successful person? This is what the Art of Living techniques can get you to.
The earlier you explore yourself with yoga, pranayam and meditation, the faster you get to accelerate success in all aspects of your life.
Get An Unshakable Personality From Within
Knowledge & self-help books are easily available everywhere — but what books cannot transmit is the personal charisma, the presence, the friendly and warm atmosphere a person carries along with him/her. The ancient practices of pranayam and meditation taught in the Art of Living programs enhance this charisma by uplifting the spirit, intuition, creativity, enthusiasm, intelligence and strengthens your personality.
You get the confidence and the ability to achieve whatever you want in life with an unshakable smile. This also makes an impact on people around you to look up to you as an inspiration.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Do you know how many chromosomes there are in your body in total? Have you ever wondered how one cell develops into this very complex body? It is because it is programmed to do so, but it is just one cell.
If you go to a pastry shop, how many types of pastries are available there? Many, or is there just one pastry? Why? It is because the nature of the spirit is to love diversity. If God wanted you to have only one kind of fruit, he would have made only bananas and asked everyone to eat and go bananas! But no, the Divine loves diversity. Consciousness loves diversity.
With the same wheat, we make so many types of pastries. Similarly, there are so many types of pizzas and pastas. With rice, we make rice cakes, dim sums, pulao, and so many things. Why? Because nature loves diversity!
Do you think God, who loves diversity, will come in just one form every day? That God would also love to express himself or herself in diverse ways. This is what the ancient people in the Vedic times, the Hindus, thought. God loves diversity, so he can express himself in as many forms as he could, so 108 names and 108 forms or 1008 names and 1008 forms were expressed, but there is only one material – Divinity.
So, just like that, is the sun’s rays one or many? There is only one sun, but when its rays passes through the prism, it splits into seven colors – VIBGYOR. Similarly, they say, there is one Param Atma, or Para Brahman, one divinity, but it expresses itself in many different ways.
If you go to a Catholic church, there is an altar for mercy, and an altar for healing, isn’t it? It is the same Mother Mary and the same Jesus Christ, but are there not many altars? This is present in old churches. Why have they kept so many. For different purposes!
Similarly, in this room, the chairs, tables, doors, and podium are all made of wood. But you cannot use the podium as the floor and nor can you use the door as a chair. So, for functional usage, they are different. In the same way, in Hindu tradition, it is said, ‘Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti’ – there is only one God, but it is perceived in many forms for different purposes. So, if you find obstacles, you go to Ganesha, the elephant God. You know, elephants never change their route if there are any obstacles. It never deviates from its path – never walks like a chicken. It walks with strength, so if you have obstacles, you go to Ganesha because that energy will help you in the difficulty you are currently having.
You know, one single human DNA strand contains the genetic code of all the other animals on the planet. With one human DNA strand, you can create any animal on the planet, but not vice-versa (laughter). That means, inside you, all these vibes are already present.
So, our ancients, I tell you, were tremendously intelligent. I have made a small booklet on the symbolism of all these Gods and Goddesses. Just read it. It is mind-boggling and fascinating. How could they put such a big elephant on a small rat? (Lord Ganeshaand his vahana – the mouse) Any child would ask this question. And what does a rat symbolize? It symbolizes logic. The job of a rat is to cut the net – this is logic. On logic rides the power of knowledge, which is the elephant.
Similarly, Mother Divine is riding on the tiger. The tiger is the most brutal animal, so its cruelty on one hand, and the softness of the Mother on the other hand that are seen together for us to appreciate how opposite values complement each other. When compassion reigns over cruelty—when compassion is in control of the beast tendency—what reigns is motherhood. You can conquer cruelty not with another cruelty but with motherhood, with patience, with love. That’s the symbolism of Mother Divine riding on the tiger or lion.
Lion is the most powerful. Whenever society seems powerful and cruel, remember there is a compassionate element that is much more powerful and which rides on top of it. This is what the goddess being carried by a lion or tiger signifies.
So, if you go to the depth of it, you find each of the symbolisms startling and greatly beneficial.
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