Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has fostered peace by way of dialogue and strategic initiatives that engage multiple levels of government, business and humanitarian organizations. The Art of Living has initiated conflict resolution and trauma-relief programs in many countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United States of America.


A multi-pronged strategy is followed in such programs, typically including a combination of these components:

Necessities: Immediate help is made available based on the needs, for example, food, shelter, and medicines.
Inner peace: Powerful trauma-relieving interventions to bring peace to disturbed minds and elevate the energy for positive action.
Multi-group dialogue: All factions are brought to the table for constructive conversations with The Art of Living playing a facilitative role.
Community building: Local leaders and change agents are inspired and developed to help people support each other in the process of healing.
Creation of platforms: Conferences, large think-tanks, and external support is garnered through creating awareness of the situation.


A few service project highlights:

Colombia: The long wait for peace

Colombia was in the grip of a civil war for over five decades that killed over 220,000 people and displaced 7 million. Gurudev invited top rebel leaders from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for discussions in neighbouring Cuba. After three days of talks, the FARC leadership issued a statement that they would take Gurudev’s advice to adopt the Gandhian means of non-violence in their pursuit of social justice. In a couple of weeks, they announced a unilateral ceasefire and the government responded in a similar vein. On August 24th, 2016, the Government of Colombia and FARC signed a peace treaty ending the decades-old conflict.

Colombia bestowed its highest declaration award ‘Orden de la Democracia Simon Boliviar en el grado de cruz Caballero’ on Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on June 24th,2015.

In a written letter, the Honorable President of the Congress of the Republic of Colombia, Fabio Raul Amin Saleme, lauded the important work done by the humanitarian leader on peace issues, conflict resolution, and rehabilitation work in war-ridden areas and invited him to help, “in the construction of a more inclusive and less violent society, where we can accept one another.”

“Thank you for everything you have done for the peace process. You have been a great support and friend of this process. All your help is very useful and spiritual guidance is so important and I’ll be grateful forever.”

–  Juan Manuel Santos, President, Colombia, expressed his gratitude to Gurudev


The Art of Living has reached out to more than 50,000 war-affected people. The Art of Living trained Iraqi community leaders and inspired them to initiate campaigns and programs that protect people. The Art of Living’s Women Empowerment Program in Iraq addresses women’s emotional and psychological needs and gives them the skills they need to achieve economic stability for themselves and their families. The women undergo trauma relief workshops to release the build-up of stress and tension accumulated daily from fear of attack, lack of security, trauma from the loss of friends and family members and the responsibility of often being the sole breadwinner and caregiver to their families. Once a sense of stability and inner peace is established, the women are able to implement the skills learnt in the training programs. These programs have also included Yazidis, Shias and Christians.

“We knew only death and despair. Now we can smile. This is the greatest gift that the Art of Living has given us.”

– Shafiqur Rehman, a trauma-relief program participant. ​​

Lebanon & Jordan

The Art of Living has been conducting trainings for refugee youth from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Most of the youth are educated, have been in Lebanon or Jordan for several years, have lost family members and homes, but are either unemployed or underemployed. These youngsters, who are at risk or who have actively been fighting, either in Syria or in Tripoli, are being given integrated peacebuilding training to work as future peace and social workers.

“I have gone through a series of difficult circumstances. Through this workshop, I was able to release the emotional and physical stresses. Now I feel like I have given myself what I need, and am now ready to give those around me.”

– A Syrian mother who underwent ‘Trauma Relief and Resilience Workshop’ in Zaatari, the world’s largest refugee camp in the region.

USA: Project Welcome Home Troops

Project Welcome Home Troops (PWHT) began in 2006 to provide relief to war veterans returning home from the war-riddled Middle East. The intense distress on being exposed to traumatic events and life-threatening situations made many veterans feel isolated from life back home.

PWHT is a mind-body resilience-building program which offers practical breath-based tools that decrease stress, anxiety and sleep-related problems that many veterans experienced.

Research studies at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress indicated that war veterans with post-traumatic stress experienced a 40– 50% reduction of their symptoms as a result of the Project Welcome Home Troops. The most common feedback received from veteran graduates is, “I got my life back.”

After getting out of the Army I did not adjust well to civilian life. I was short-tempered toward everyone. After learning the breathing techniques, most of my anger dropped away. Now I approach life with a calmness I never had before. On the rare occasions when I do get angry, I have easy-to-use techniques to relax and get rid of the stress. I have a new-found confidence to meet any challenge that arises.

-Ron Bayes
U.S Army, Desert Storm


In India, The Art of Living has organized and conducted several peace-building workshops for hundreds of agents of terror from Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East of India.

  • Manipur

Despite reluctance and cynicism from many corners, The Art of Living’s sustained efforts paid off when 68 militants laid down arms and ammunition and surrendered at a ceremony in Imphal, Manipur, a day before India’s 71st Independence Day

The Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, promised that the new government will protect and provide necessary assistance to those who have joined the mainstream.

Thanks @SriSri Ravi Shankar ji, today Manipur restoring peace under your tireless efforts and blessings; 68 militants back to mainstream.”

Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh expressed his gratitude to The Art of Living and Gurudev.

  • Jammu & Kashmir: Paigam-e-Mohabbat

In a first-of-its-kind initiative to bridge mistrust and heal hearts and bring about reconciliation among people who have directly suffered in the long-drawn conflict in Jammu & Kashmir, The Art of Living hosted a historic event on November 10th, 2017 in Bengaluru.

Paigam-e-Mohabbat (Message of Love) brought together family members of slain militants, of victims of cross-firing from all parts of Kashmir and of defence and security personnel from across the country who have been
martyred in the valley.

“I was a district commander of a military outfit. I used to carry a gun with me all the time. Sleep would come hard, I was so engulfed with worries and guilt. I had to resort to taking sleeping pills. After I underwent The Art of Living program, I realized the futility of what I was doing and gave up the path of violence. My life has changed.”

~ Mansoor Ahmed, former militant

Gurudev’s initiatives helped end Colombia’s 53-year old violent conflict that had claimed 200,000 lives

Over 50,000 Iraqi citizens benefitted through various initiatives 

More than 20,000 war-affected Syrians are being provided trauma-relief and resilience workshops

“Peace is not just an absence of conflict; it is a positive phenomenon inside of us. When our mind is quiet, our intellect becomes sharper, our emotions become positive and lighter, and our behavior becomes much more palatable. These are the effects of finding inner peace, and inner peace is the key to world peace.”

– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar