Driving a corruption-free India, Kolhapur, India
20th Feb 2011, Kolhapur, , India
The city’s Sivaji University ground was full of youth who had gathered to participate in the ‘Abhanganaad’ event. 2,500 warkaris and 1,356 traditional drummers from the Dhangar community performed the region’s cultural arts.
Praising the art of abhang or devotional songs, Sri Sri encouraged the youth to preserve India’s rich cultural heritage.
He also asked the audience to shun corruption, female feoticide and addiction to drugs. “We want a spiritual India, not a country of slums and scams,” he added.
Showing how to lead a stress-free life, Nagpur, India
18th Feb 2011 - 19th Feb 2011, Nagpur, , India
Spreading the message of corporate culture and spirituality, Sri Sri encouraged bureaucrats, corporates and decision makers to inculcate spirituality and human values in their working lives. The program titled, ‘Manthan’ emphasized the importance of the daily practice of stress-relieving techniques.
Thousands attended ‘Gyandhara’, an evening of wisdom with Sri Sri. With a vision to preserve cultural heritage, over 3,000 artistes came together to perform a traditional dance form at the ‘Layatarang’ program.
Awakening human values, Kerala
11th Feb 2011 - 15th Feb 2011, Kerala, India
Urging the public to stand united against corruption and violence, Sri Sri toured Trivandrum, Trichur, Calicut and Kannur in Kerala.
Addressing a large gathering in Thrissur, Sri Sri said: "Our great country is in between scams and slums now. Corruption begins when we are losing the sense of belongingness. We must stand united to fight against these social evils."
Pointing out to the widespread corruption in the country, Sri Sri asked government officials to put a board on their table, saying they won't take bribes.
"We must strike a balance between our needs and responsibilities and lead a life high in responsibility and less in needs. Spirituality plays an important role in achieving this state of mind. The world is a mirror which reflects your inner self," Sri Sri said.
Later that evening, the Thekkinkadu Maidan was packed with followers who came to seek Sri Sri’s blessings. Sri Sri’s last visit to Thrissur was in 1993 when he held an advance course for just 20 people in a small room. Today, after almost 18 years, there are several Art of Living branches all over the district and thousands of practitioners of the Sudarshan Kriya.
At the event, 150 Kathakali dancers explained the phenomenon of meditation using the nuances of the ancient Indian dance form.
Sri Sri later honored eminent Kathakali artistes Padmashri Madavoor Vasudevan Nair, Kalamandalam Gangadharan, Kalamandalam Raman Nampoothiri and Kalamandalam Narayanan Nair.
Sri Sri also visited Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidyamandir (SSRSV) at Pullazhi where he laid the foundation stone for a new school building. He also inaugurated the new Art of Living building, Temple of Knowledge, at Poothole. This will serve as a community center for yoga, meditation and service initiatives.
On February 14th, Sri Sri led thousands in meditation at the Sri Vadakkunathan temple.
Uplifting society through music and wisdom, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
21st Jan 2011, Batticaloa, , Sri Lanka
21,000 singers sung the ‘Thevaram’, (considered to be the richest Tamil devotional poetry sung over centuries) in the presence of Sri Sri, who was on a three-day tour of the country. Speaking on the relation between music and spirituality, Sri Sri said, “Spirituality and music together can uplift people, get them out of depression and help them start a new life with enthusiasm. For a stress-free life, you have to embrace both these facets.”
Sri Sri emphasized the need to apply the human virtue of forgiveness in our daily life. He also called upon the people to unite in a spirit of unity and respect for all religions.
Also present on the occasion was Chandrakanthan Sivanesathurai, the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. He thanked Sri Sri and the Art of Living for their wholehearted support in providing relief and assistance in the recent floods that had impaired life in several areas of Batticaloa.
The event was organized by Art of Living’s several hundred youth volunteers in Sri Lanka.
Launches ‘Clean Mangalore’ Drive, Mangalore, India
15th Jan 2011, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Sri Sri launched 'Swatcha Mangalore' – a campaign aimed to keep Mangalore city clean, green, plastic-free and eco-friendly.
At the function, ‘Mangala Sandhya’ organized at Mangala Stadium in Mangalore, the Spiritual Guru called on the audience of thousands to make the country free of slums and corruption. Sudarshan Kriya was held for those gathered and Sri Sri later graced the Mahasatsang. A large number of devotees from various places in and around Mangalore were present. The students of Alva's Education Foundation, Moodbidri performed Yakshagana (a musical dance drama from the coastal regions of Karnataka).
Sri Sri gives a body and mind workout to Mumbai’s citizens, Kandivili, Mumbai, India
14th Jan 2011, Mumbai, , India
In between a session of warm up exercises, Sri Sri fed the crowd doses of knowledge and wit to lighten things up. Following the clockwise foot rotation, Sri Sri’s order to rotate anticlockwise was accompanied with the statement: “Whatever we do, we have to undo.” The whole audience burst into laughter. The program concluded with an intense question–answer session. Yoga and meditation courses are held all over the world to pave a path towards a healthier society.
Encouraging youth to take responsibility, Pune, India
13th Jan 2011, Pune, , India
"Don't wait to witness a situation go bad, instead take the ownership and responsibility immediately to make a better India,” Sri Sri urged young leaders at the 1st Parliament of Student Council Leaders at the MIT School of Government, Pune.
Sri Sri was the keynote speaker for the ‘India versus Bharat: Urban rural divide and its spiritual contribution’ session. The former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was also present at the event.
Sri Sri asked the students to imbibe the best qualities from across the globe: teamwork from Japan; precision and perfection from Germany; etiquettes and decency from Britain; marketing skills from the US; and spirituality from India. “Don't give up on your smile. Do everything happily as anger causes destruction," he advised.
Sri Sri celebrates the spirit of Mumbai, India
11th Jan 2011 - 14th Jan 2011, Mumbai, , India
In Mumbai after three years, Sri Sri launched the ‘Muskurae Mumbai’ campaign aimed at destressing Mumbaikars.
While addressing the media at the Press Club on January 12, Sri Sri lauded the media for exposing corruption in the government. “We need to spread a sense of belonging through satsangs as Mahatma Gandhi did. What is needed is a Gross Domestic Happiness Index!”
He urged the media to highlight stories that show human values in society.
Sri Sri shared that his dream of a ‘Serene India’ lay in empowering the youth, wiping out corruption, increasing self-reliance of the rural masses and increasing the sense of belonging amongst people.
“We want vibrant youth to lead our country,” Sri Sri said at the HDIL Youth Concert, later that evening. “Vision and far-sightedness will come only when we meditate, go inward and become more intuitive.”
A day later, Sri Sri led thousands of people in a meditation for world peace and harmony. The gathering pledged to contribute towards a more peaceful society.
Thousand people attended a satsang at Thane’s Dadoji Kandeo Stadium where Sri Sri emphasized the role of sadhana (spiritual practices) in destressing the mind.
Teaching stress-free living to lawyers
8th Nov 2010, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Sri Sri interacted with lawyers from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He advised lawyers to practice meditation which is the best medicine for better and stress-free living. He also urged lawyers to take up three cases in a year free of cost. The Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and members of the executive committee were present.
Sri Sri tours Gujarat
1st Nov 2010 - 5th Nov 2010, Gujarat, India
A spread of 5,000 vegetarian dishes met the eye on November 2 at Annam Brahm in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The event demonstrated a complete journey of food: the effects of food on the mind, the right eating practices as well as guidelines towards maintaining good health. All the dishes were made with organic ingredients and prepared using ayurvedic principles of cooking. People of all religions participated with the aim to showcase the unique cuisines from different communities. The food was then distributed as Bal Bhoj among 35,000 underprivileged children from eight slums at Vejalpur and Satellite of Ahmedabad.
Earlier that day, Sri Sri was a special speaker at the Earth Charter Program in Ahmedabad where he urged farmers to avoid excess use of pesticides.
Later in Baroda, Sri Sri met with 300 graduates of the Yes!+ program. “I want them to be well equipped to take the stress that comes along. I want nothing to break them," he said.
"Over 3,500 people attended the advanced meditation course that was held during the Diwali and Gujarati New Year celebrations. For the occasion of the New Year, Sri Sri also visited a 300-year-old temple in a village Jhanjharka near Ahmedabad. Addressing a 30,000 strong crowd of Dalits (lower caste Hindus), Sri Sri said: Don't think of yourself as exploited or downtrodden. We are not high or low. Let us forget the past and work together for a bright future. “
Sri Sri in Russia
4th Sep 2010 - 10th Sep 2010, Adygeya, Russia
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar embarked on a 10-day tour of Russia beginning Sept 5, 2010.
He inaugurated the second International Art and Music Festival ‘Kremlin live’ on Sept 11 in Kazan. The aim of this festival was to develop culture and popularize the arts. Sri Sri was also the guest of honor and delivered the keynote address. The Minister of Culture, Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan, Mrs. Valeyava Z.R, welcomed the gathering.
During his tour, Sri Sri visited several cities including St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Irkutsk. He interacted with members of the government, businessmen, students and the public. In St. Petersburg (Sept. 5–6), Sri Sri addressed a gathering of over 25,000 people on ‘Yoga for Health and Happiness’ and held a meeting with the city administration. In Moscow (September 7 and Septembr 12), Sri Sri met government officials and addressed students at the International University of Skolkova and Moscow State University. He also addressed a business seminar titled ‘Business Ethics and Fighting Corruption’.
The event was attended by some 400 guests, among whom were prominent business figures, celebrities and representatives of the secular media. Sri Sri shared his views on the further development of relations in the modern business world. Identified the most pressing problems, gave advice on conflict resolution, and pointed to examples of the importance of social responsibility of business in modern conditions.
In Kazan, Sri Sri addressed a gathering of 7,000 people where 300 accordionists performed together and entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
Sri Sri’s last stop was at Irkutsk (September 13–14) where he gave a public talk on ‘Life Secrets’ and conducted a workshop on ‘Yoga for Health and Happiness’.