Saturday, October 20, 2012

Founder: His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values, has inspired a global phenomenon of caring, sharing and service, which has spread to over 140 countries across the globe. His programs and service activities have benefited over 300 million people.

H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s life and work have been dedicated to reviving human values and bringing about world peace and spiritual development by inspiring individual commitment to self-awareness, well-being and selfless service. He presents the
wisdom of ancient India--bringing together the knowledge of the breath, meditation, and the importance of service--and offers them as tools to humanity to recover joyous, peaceful living. Born in 1956 in India, Sri Sri studied with many renowned spiritual masters and became a scholar of Vedic Literature. By the age of seventeen, he had obtained an Advanced Degree in Modern Physics.

In 1982, Sri Sri founded the Art of Living Foundation (AOLF), an international nonprofit educational, charitable, and humanitarian organization which operates in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. AOLF’s unique educational and self-development programs offer techniques to alleviate the effects of stress, improve health, expand awareness, foster a sense of belongingness, and restore human values; these techniques bring people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultural traditions together in celebration and service. 

In 1997, Sri Sri founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), an international humanitarian, non-governmental organization (NGO), which works for the propagation of human values in political, economic, industrial and social spheres.

Through the IAHV, large volunteer relief efforts have been carried out all over the world--in Afghanistan, Bosnia, India, New York and Washington D.C. for persons traumatized by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and in Asia in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster. IAHV volunteers continue to provide ongoing trauma relief and stress management in Iraq, Louisiana, Israel and Lebanon.

Sri Sri has addressed various international institutions over the years, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the European Parliament. He has also been invited to speak at leading academic and research institutions in the United States, such as the National Institutes of Health, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Yale University (where he was inducted as an honorary board member of the Yale Divinity School), Stanford University, UCLA, University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University and Florida International University. 

Sri Sri travels to over 40 countries in a typical year to share his message that all religions and great spiritual traditions share common goals and values. His simple teaching of love, practical wisdom and service promotes harmony among people, and encourages individuals to follow their chosen religion or spiritual path while honoring the path of others. 

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