On Tour with Sri Sri
“Unless every member of our global family is peaceful, our peace is incomplete.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on International Peace Day, September 21, 2008
Building peace among nations and individuals for 29 years, Sri Sri is committed to his vision of stress-free minds and a violence-free society. Armed with the tools of Gandhian philosophy, Sri Sri has gone to the flavellas of Brazil, red zones in Iraq, LTTE headquarters in Sri Lanka and trauma-hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir. His message is peace and non-violence. By facilitating dialogue between opposing factions and urging people towards reconciliation, Sri Sri continues to bridge religious and communal divides. In 2004 alone, he traveled to 175 cities as part of his ‘Love Moves the World’ Tour. His travels open up doors to three levels of peace: at the individual level, communal and global.
Many of his tours have translated into significant peace-building developments. His travel to Iraq in 2007 as a peace ambassador brought to focus the possibilities of combating violence in non-violent ways, even in a war-torn country. As a result, the Iraqi government sent 55 men and women to be trained as peace angels. Sri Sri played a major role in finding an amicable solution to the Amarnath land row that had engulfed the entire state in a vortex of violence.
Sri Sri travels to strife-torn places not only to heal the wounds of victims and clam the aggressors, but also to galvanize the local population to work towards peaceful co-existence. Following his visit to Israel in 2003, peacemaking initiatives were started in places along the wall that separates Israel from Palestine.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has devoted himself to promoting composite dialogue between conflicting parties across the world.
Over the past three decades, he has opened up channels of communications and facilitated meaningful dialogue.
Sri Sri has always been regarded as an impartial mediator, who is able to engage all the stakeholders in a climate of trust and reconciliation.
Sri Sri’s involvement has defused the tension in several instances.
On Tour with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
25th Nov 2013
17th Dec 2013
24th Dec 2013
29th Dec 2013
North Carolina, United States
Sri Sri launches Volunteer for a better India in Maharashtra
23rd Feb 2013, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
A wave of patriotic exuberance swept across the venue as Sri Sri addressed a huge gathering of nearly 1,00,000 people to garner support for Volunteer for a Better India (VBI), his latest social initiative. In a passionate address, Sri Sri said, “A revolution in India is in the offing. Whether you participate or not, India will still progress and prosper to its best. But when you become an instrument for change, it leaves you with a deeper sense of fulfilment. To experience this unique joy, you must become a volunteer for a better India.”
Sri Sri reflected on the times during India’s freedom struggle that claimed millions of human lives and spoke about sacrifices that people made at the time. “Today, I am not asking you to sacrifice your life or belongings. I just want you to give one hour to the nation every day,” he added.
The launch of VBI was attended by several dignitaries who offered to support VBI. However it was the presence of youths that was more palpable, especially when they sung patriotic songs and cheered for the nation. Sri Sri urged them to come together on a common platform and fight injustice. “Don’t lose heart. Empower yourself and use your skill in the best possible way to tackle corruption.”
The event culminated in a pledge taken by lakhs of people:
to remove ignorance and bring literacy,
to not take or accept bribes,
honor women and not allow female foeticide,
wipe away addictions to alcohol and drugs,
care for the environment,
vote without fail.
work together in harmony towards building a stress-free, violent-free India by giving one hour everyday to the nation.
The knowledge session was packed with light banter answered the volley of questions with witty one-liners.
Sri Sri emphasised on how important it is to enhance our receptivity, to be able to receive knowledge. “The grace of the Divine is unlimited. Prayer and sadhana(spiritual practices) will help you open up to higher knowledge.”
After a meditation began an intensive question and answer session. In between Sri Sri highlighted the need to promote organic farming and also do away with white sugar.
He also encouraged the youth to keep up the enthusiasm. “Sky is the limit for you. Life is a combination of the nutan and puratan. Take the essence of both and move towards your goal.”
Interaction with the media
22nd Feb 2013, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Interaction with the media
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed the media at a special event organized by the Maharashtra PatrakarSangh for editors and senior journalists.
Speaking on the occasion, he emphasized the importance of fair and free media. He said, “The media and the spiritual Guru share the same responsibility. Their job is to remain unbiased, uphold the truth and bring hope to society. They cannot be aligned with political parties or ideologies. Moreover, it is necessary for the media to give a positive direction to people. Highlighting only incidences of crime and other ills in society can give rise to negativity and cynicism and lead people into depression. It is required to combine with information that will give people a reason to smile.”
Sri Sri elaborated on his recent meeting with 3000 sarpanch leaders and gram sevaks from Maharashtra to combat the challenge of water scarcity across the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra. He further stated that the media, the government and other social organizations in the country need to come together to bring about an effective change in society
The Maharashtra Rajya Marathi PatrakarSangh (MRMPS) honored Sri Sri with aMaanpatra (Letter of Honor) for awakening human values in society and spreading the message of brotherhood and peace. Well-known and senior media persons attended this event organized by the MRMPS.
Complimenting the media for unearthing big scams in a short period of time, Sri Sri said, “I am proud of the press in the country, especially the journalists of vernacular newspapers, who do not stop at anything to bring the truth to light. When you look beyond sensationalism and adhere to the noble values of journalism, you not only uplift society but also inspire people to fight injustice and corruption.”
Spreading social awareness, Mumbai
It was an evening of music, meditationand knowledge. Sri Sri inspired people to awaken their inner strength and confidence and come together in a spirit of love to uplift the nation.
Citing an example from history, he explained how once the Maratha ruler, ChhatrapatiShivaji was going through moments of despair. He had absolutely lost faith in himself and had no hopes of fighting or winning a war. When he met his Guru, Samarth Ramdas and expressed his desire to renounce his responsibilities, Ramdas consoled him, “I will do all the work for you. Just become my sevak and serve humanity.” It is said that the master’s words had great impact on Shivaji and he resumed his work with renewed vigor.
While underlining the significance of seva, Sri Sri further reiterated, “Service rewards you with tremendous strength and empowerment; you do not have to bank on black money to accomplish your goals. Today, political operatives are using alcohol and money to lure people to the polls, simply because they do not know any other way to strike a chord with the masses. They are not into meaningful service. It’s high time we start educating people on these malpractices, encourage them to develop a sense of responsibility for their nation and more importantly, involve them in social service. Give one hour to your nation everyday.”
Sri Sri also voiced his concern about the rising incidences of female foticide and opined that the government must take the initiative of banning sex determination tests. He added that women have always enjoyed a position of respect and stature in Vedic India. Like men, they have equal right to do Gayatrijapa and even perform kanyadaan and pitripaksh rituals. “Nowhere is it mentioned in the shastras, that women cannot do such rituals. We need to raise the awareness level in society.”
The session ended with an engaging Q&A.
Sri Sri prays for world peace at Kumbh Mela
13th Feb 2013, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Honoring the tradition as thousands attend the Rudra Puja.
Sri Sri inaugurates CCS conference
8th Feb 2013, Bangalore, India
The ‘Corporate Culture and Spirituality’ (CCS) Conference was inaugurated by a distinguished panel of dignitaries including The Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “Ethics is the foundation of any business” was the sentiment echoed by eminent business leaders.
Sri Sri at Ramlila Maidan
3rd Feb 2013, Delhi, India
Sri Sri addressing the Citizens at Ramlila Maidan, during the launch of Volunteer for a Better India
Sri Sri in Google Hangout
26th Jan 2013, Art of Living International Center, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Interacting with countries across the world in an epic Google+ Hangout. 109 countries participated in this online interaction.
Sri Sri receives honorary doctorate
19th Jan 2013, Gujarat, India
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar received an honorary doctorate from the Gujarat Technological University in Ahmedabad, India on January 19, 2013. Dr. Kamla Beniwal, Her Excellency, Governor of Gujarat, presented the degree. This marks Sri Sri's 13th doctorate.
Sri Sri at the International Scientific Symposium
12th Jan 2013, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
I congratulate all scientists who have assembled here, to see beyond traditional methods for more scope for research.
Blogging for social good
6th Jan 2013, Karnataka, India
It was blogger's day out at The 1st International Bloggers' Conference where 837 youth delegates and enthusiastic bloggers came together to deliberate on the power of ‘Social Media for Social Good’. The conference, titled “Make a Global Connection - Just Connect”, also saw the launch of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's blog (www.srisrispeaks.org). Addressing youth delegates, Sri Sri said, “We are in a new era where we don’t depend on a group of people, journalists or newspapers. Everyone is playing the role of an informer and everyone has the right to express their vision to the whole world. This is such a great opportunity but it should not be misused. Blogs can really bring conflict between communities, friends, nations and families, while on the other hand, they can also unite them. We should work with the intention of bridging the gap and inculcating human values.” The conference boasted of an interesting line-up of themes. Many bloggers came together to form communities for writing on varied subjects impacting social transformation, such as arts for a cause, everyday spirituality, sports, travel, and vegetarian food.
A new beginning with yoga, meditation and practical wisdom
1st Jan 2013, Berlin, Germany
"A journey to the beauty of the Self" was the motto of big course events that took place in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from 1 – 5 January, 2013. The New Year started with a serene boat trip on River Spree for the course attendees in the morning, continuing with a public talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the evening and cumulating into various Art of Living courses. Sri Sri inspired several attendees to work towards a stress-free and violence-free society and to share the inner peace found in the courses. The public talk on the evening of January 1 was completely sold out to more than 500 participants, with people standing and queuing up to listen to Sri Sri's words.
Sri Sri Tour Schedule
25th Nov 2013 - 17th Dec 2013Bangalore, Karnataka,
24th Dec 2013 - 29th Dec 2013North Carolina, United States
Voices of World Leaders
"We need more than ever the contribution of men and women of faith who defend and promote the human values that bind us together.The values you (His Holiness) champion,including non-violence,compassion and the sanctity of all life,go to the heart of what the United Nations stands for."
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon
"Through its manifold activities, The Art of Living Foundation has made important contributions to transmit Human Values across the globe."
Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon. Prime Minister of India
"There are big powers who have big might, but they are not able unite the hearts and minds of people. This work can be done only by a spiritual leader."
Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al Maliki
"The Art of Living Foundation is one of India's stars. It has an incredible -- actually incredible -- following that cuts through all religions, cultures and backgrounds, a very, very difficult thing to do in today's world."
Vice-President, United States of America,Joe Biden
"The teachings of His Holiness provide the world with a road-map for love, justice and harmony. His spiritual and humanitarian actions are worthy of praise since it is rare to find people so dedicated to the human cause. His knowledge, service and unwavering commitment to peace, drive thousands of volunteers towards community service."
President, Mauritius,His Excellency Sir Anerood Jugnauth
"His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is seen as an international figure who has been spreading the message of peace and harmony throughout the world."
Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe
"We welcome the delegation with open arms and hearts. We welcome you as our brother and we are ready to work hand in hand with you."
Shia leader of Iraq, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Yaqubi
"Where ever The Art of Living Foundation builds- builds the world. With that simple message, if that’s something we can replicate in every community, in every country across the globe, this will be a peaceful and non-violent world to live in, for the benefit of all the future generations."
PA, United States, Congressman Jim Gerlac
"The Art of Living leads with an open mind to education, and that education leads to choice. It opened my eyes to how development could or would occur in the future."
Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, Dr. Myron S. Scholes
"My NGO, Transparency International, is fighting corruption all over the world, and it has been energized, inspired, and strengthened by H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar."
Founder & Chairman of Advisory Board, Transparency International, Germany, Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen
"It is indeed imperative to initiate programs for re-establishing human values in society and enhancing ideas for global harmony. I extend my deep admiration and appreciation for your work."
Former Prime Minister of Norway, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland
"I commend Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's emphasis on the inculcation of human values in all walks of life. Mere material progress, in the absence of concomitant development of the basic life-sustaining cultural and spiritual ideals, will not help our society in the long-run. The Art of Living Foundation is both an easy-to-understand philosophy and an easy-to-practice activity.
Leader of Opposition & former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
" I have met many NGOs - representatives of indigenous people - and they have made it clear that economic development alone does not suffice. The common future of our one world family is rooted in the awareness that we have only borrowed mother earth from the generations to come. The Art of Living is not the end, but it is the beginning for everybody and everything. It is the way to harmony."
~ Hon. Ruud Lubbers, Former Prime Minister, The Netherlands
" I am proud to be a part of that group that is helping to create important bonds, and look forward to working with the man of peace, man of vision, man of compassion and a man of action. We certainly need that in the world today.
Congresswoman, United States, Jan Schowski (IL)
"His Holiness’ initiatives consider human beings in their entirety, and heal the body, mind and spirit. The Art of Living is one of the rare NGOs which works at the grass root level, close to the population and goes to the core of the problem"
Djedje Dano Sebastien, Minister of National Reconciliation, Ivory Coast.
" H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’ projects that are being implemented in prisons in a far away country – my country – Croatia, are making life a little easier for our people there. You have made a mark, made a difference, and that is the greatest thing a human being can contribute in his lifetime"
Her Excellency Dr. Vesna Pusic, Vice-President, Republic of Croatia
"I share this award with all those people who stand for a violence-free and stress-free society. This award is not for a person or personality, but for a principle that stands for the ideal of a 'one world family' and cultural plurality."
Sri Sri on receiving the 2009 Culture in Balance Award
"Sri Sri's mission of uniting the world into a violence-free global family has inspired millions the world over."
Chancellor of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, (India), Dr Mrunalini Devi Puar when conferring Sri Sri with the Doctorate
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Days
October 29, 2008 was declared Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day in Texas, United States of America.