Life of the master
The founder of Art of Living foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born in May 13th 1956, in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu.
He was born into a brahmin family with the name Ravi Shankar. At the age of four, he was able to memorise verses of the Bhagavad Gita and would be found sitting in meditation often.
He studied Vedic literature with his first teacher, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who had had a long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi and simultaneously went to school at MES in Bangalore.
By 1973, he had graduated with degrees from Physics and Vedic Literature. After graduation he met Mahesh Yogi in 1975 in Bangalore and travelled with him as part of the Transcendental meditation movement.
According to some of TM’s ex students, Ravi Shankar was Mahesh’s favorite. In 1982, he withdrew for 10 days in silence, and that is when he received the Sudarshan Kriya technique (which has today become the signature technique of Art of living). He says the technique came to him “like a poem, like an inspiration” while he was in silence along the banks of Bhadra river in Shimoga, Karnataka.
In the same year he separated from Mahesh Yogi and found the Art of living foundation. Since then he was been busy with his programs and initiatives, bringing the light of spiritual process into millions of lives.
He was awarded the Padma Bibhusan by the Indian govt in 2016.
The Art of living foundation was found by Sri Sri in 1982. Currently it has more than 10,000 centers worldwide in 156 countries. More than 450 million followers have been benefitted by the foundation so far. Besides teaching spiritual process, it is involved in multiple humanitarian activities, disaster relief efforts and rural development.
Teachings of Sri sri are based on Advaita Vedanta.
Their many courses on yoga and different kriyas, the introductory being Sudarshan kriya. Besides that, there are other courses like Happiness program, Youth leadership program, Sahaj samadhi, Sri sri yoga, Shakti kriya etc.
The organization has a strong social media presence, and many of Sri sri’s works are available for free in the Art of living app.