He is the most multi-faceted activist unarguably in the world today. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's range of social work encompasses conflict resolution, disaster relief, women empowerment, prison reform, campaign against female infanticide and eradication of child labour. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is engaged in peace talks and counselling in conflicts zones around the world. His expertise in bringing people to the negotiating table in Sri Lanka, Kashmir and other places is widely acknowledged.
Early Life of Sri Ravi Shankar
The self-chosen double-honorific "Sri Sri" or Guruji was born on 13th May 1956 to a scholar of language father Venkat Ratnam and mother Vishalakshi. He was named 'Shankar' after that of the ninth century Hindu Saint Adi Shankaracharya as his birthday matches with him. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar could recite the verses of 'Bhagavad Gita' at the age of four and he was said to be often found in deep meditation at a very young age. By the age of 17, he had obtained advanced degree in Modern Physics and later received an Honorary Doctorate from Kuvempu University, India. He also received Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa), Amity University, Bengaluru - 2006 and Doctor of philosophy (Holistic Medicine), Open International University for Complementary Medicine in Sri Lanka - 2006.
Works of Sri Ravi Shankar
Shankar initiated a series of practical and experiential courses in spirituality around the globe during 1980's. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peethin 1981. It is an educational and charitable trust. He opened a school for local rural children in Bengaluru providing free education for 2,000 children. Sri Sri has established around 50 primary, secondary and high schools in the tribal, rural belts and semi urban belts of India where child labor and poverty are widespread.
Sudarshan Kriya by Sri Ravi Shankar
In the year 1982 he introduced the Sudarshan Kriya and founded the Art of Living Foundation to spread this breathing technique. Sri Ravi Shankar assumed his first Art of Living course in Europe in Switzerland in 1983. In 1986 he went to Apple Valley, California in the USA to carry out the first course to be held in North America. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also designed a special program for jail inmates. The program enables prisoners to release stress and anger, breaking the cycle of violence and helping them to re-enter into society as productive individuals. The Sudarshan Kriya is the core component of the Art of Living Course. The Sudarshan Kriya is claimed to inculcate the body with energy and harmonize the natural rhythms of the body, mind and emotions. He also came to believe that regulating breath could help people with their suffering. Many programs centered on Sudarshan Kriya, meditation and group-dynamics has been offered by Shankar's Art of Living Foundation.
Sri Ravi Shankar and Dalai Lama
In 1997, Sri Ravi Shankar along with Dalai Lama and several others founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) to "foster a deeper understanding of the values that unite a human community on a global scale". The organization is the sister organization of the Art of Living Foundation to internationally co-ordinate the social development activities and disaster management including emergency and trauma relief work. IAHV's work today ranges from comprehensive rural development, education and tribal welfare, organic farming, micro financing, vocational training, disaster relief and rehabilitation and programs for prisoners.
Sri Ravi Shankar in Television Arena
Ravi Shankar appeared on MTV's "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory" in 2010 helping Rob find true happiness in life.
Awards and Recognitions of Sri Ravi Shankar