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In 2009, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was announced the 5th most powerful leader in India by the Forbes Magazine.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a globally revered spiritual and humanitarian leader. He has spearheaded an unprecedented worldwide movement for a stress-free, violence-free society. Through a myriad of programs and teachings, a network of organizations including the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values, and a rapidly growing presence across 156 countries, Sri Sri has reached an estimated 450 million people.

Born into a religious and spiritual family in Tamil Nadu on 13th May 1956, Ravi Shankar was named ‘Ravi’ because his birth was on a Sunday, and ‘Shankar’ after the eighth-century Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, born on the same day.

According to his sister, during his childhood, he was a little bit naughty and humorous. On the day: after returning from school, she and Ravi emptied the suitcase of their father and filled it with toys that made everyone surprise in his office.

 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 had a long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi. He holds degrees in, both, Vedic literature and physics.

 Ravi Shankar’s sister, Bhanumati Narsimhan, who has been an integral part of the Art of Living describes him as a ‘gifted child’.
 “Just the thought that my Master shared the same womb fills me with gratitude. Often people ask me when I realized he was my guru. The truth is I have always followed him. Guruji was a leader at school as well. Sometimes even our teachers would speak to him for solace,” writes Bhanumati.

Ravi Shankar’s first teacher was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, an Indian Vedic Scholar and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. By the time he was 17 or 18, completing his Bachelor of Science degree from St Joseph’s College in Bengaluru, Ravi Shankar was already meditating and conducting Satsangs.

In the year 1981, 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.

Sudarshan Kriya (Sanskrit: सुदर्शन क्रिया sudarśana-kriyā) is a breathing-based technique that is a core component of the Art of Living courses and "the cornerstone of . . . Art of Living Foundation's trauma relief programs". It involves Ujjayi breathing and bhastrika in vajrasana followed by rhythmic breathing in sukhasana.

A number of medical studies on its preparatory practices have been published in international peer-reviewed journals. A range of mental and physical benefits are reported in these studies, including reduced levels of stress (reduced cortisol—the "stress" hormone), improved immune system, relief from anxiety and depression (mild, moderate, and severe), increased antioxidant protection, and enhanced brain function (increased mental focus, calmness and recovery from stressful stimuli), among other findings.

Sri Sri 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, but these practices have also proven effective globally and at all levels of society.

In 1997, he co-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.

In a world torn apart by religious, social, national and cultural divides, Sri Sri’s overarching message is that the world is one family, and that diverse religions, cultures, and traditions are rooted in the same human values of love, compassion, peace, and non-violence. Mirroring this vision, Sri Sri convened the historic World Culture Festival 2016. The Festival brought together over 3.75 million people from 155 countries with spectacular performances on a breathtaking 7-acre stage by 36,602 dancers and musicians from around the globe, celebrating the diversity of all faiths and cultures.


  • Padma Vibhushan, India's Second Highest Civilian Award, January 2016

  • Dr. Nagendra Singh International Peace Award, India, November 2016

  • Peru's Highest Award, "Medalla de la Integracion en el Grado de Gran Oficial (Grand Officer)"

  • Colombia's highest civilian award, "Orden de la Democracia Simon Bolivar"

  • Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize

  • Highest civilian award 'National Order of Merito de Comuneros, Paraguay, 13 September 2012

  • Illustrious citizen by the Paraguayan Municipality, 12 September 2012

  • Illustrious guest of the city of Asuncion, Paraguay, 12 September 2012

  • Tiradentes Medal, the highest honour from Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, 3 September 2012

  • The Sivananda World Peace award, Sivananda Foundation, South Africa, 26 August 2012

  • Crans Montana Forum Award, Brussels, 24 June 2011

  • Culture in Balance Award, World Culture Forum, Dresden Germany, 10 October 2009

  • Phoenix Award, Atlanta, USA, 2008

  • Honorary Citizenship and Goodwill Ambassador, Houston, USA, 2008

  • Proclamation of Commendation, New Jersey, USA 2008

  • Sant Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize, Pune, India, 11 January 2007

  • Order of the Pole Star, Mongolia, 2006

  • Bharat Shiromani Award, New Delhi, India, 2005

  • Doctorate – Universidad Autónoma de Asunción of Paraguay, Buenos Aires University, Argentina; Siglo XXI University Campus, Cordoba, Argentina; Nyenrode University, Netherlands; Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur; Kuvempu University, India

"Love is not an emotion. It is your very existence. ..."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

"Human evolution has two steps - from being somebody to being nobody; and from being nobody to being everybody. This knowledge can bring sharing and caring throughout the world...."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

"Faith is realizing that you always get what you need...."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

"I tell you, deep inside you is a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy. Deep inside your center core is truth, light, love, there is no guilt there, there is no fear there. Psychologists have never looked deep enough..."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

"Today is a gift from God - that is why it is called the present..."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

"When you share your misery, it will not diminish. When you fail to share your joy, it diminishes. Share your problems only with the Divine, not with anyone else, as that will only increase the problems. Share your joy with everyone. Listen to others; yet do not listen. If your mind gets stuck in their problems, not only are they miserable, but you also become miserable..."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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