His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a renowned spiritual leader and multi-faceted humanitarian whose mission of uniting the world into a violence-free family has inspired millions of people worldwide. The icon of non-violence and universal human values, Sri Sri seeks global peace through service and dialog. Born in 1956 in southern India, Sri Sri's appeal transcends class, race, religion and nationality. Millions of people revere him as their spiritual leader, and look up to him for inner peace and promoting ecumenical values. In 1981, Sri Sri started the Art of Living Foundation, an international nonprofit educational and humanitarian organization. The Foundation, now active in more than 140 countries, offers educational and self-development programs designed to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being. In Europe and the United States, the Foundation's programs are helping inner city youth turn away from gang violence, drugs and alcohol. Sri Sri's Prison Programs have helped transform the lives of an estimated 150,000 inmates around the world. In 1997, Sri Sri founded the International Association for Human Values, a humanitarian nonprofit organization that advances human values in political, economic, industrial, and social spheres. In South Asia, South Africa, and Latin America, the Association's sustainable development programs have reached more than 30,000 rural communities. While his self development programs have popularized traditionally exclusive ancient techniques, Sri Sri's social initiatives address an array of issues such as conflict resolution, disaster and trauma relief, prisoner rehabilitation, youth leadership, women's empowerment, female foeticide, child labor, and access to education. In Kashmir and Sri Lanka, Sri Sri is working to further dialogue between opposing parties to resolve the conflicts peacefully. Sri Sri travels to more than 40 countries a year to share his message of social responsibility, and that all great spiritual traditions share common goals and values. His teachings of love, practical wisdom, and service promote harmony among people, and encourage individuals to follow their chosen spiritual path, while honoring other paths.
1956, May 13: Born in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu, India
1960, age 4: Recites Bhagavad Gita, which he has never heard before 1962, age 6: Begins study of Vedas under his first teacher, Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi's 1966, age 10: Declares to friends and family, "All over the world people are waiting for me. One day, I will visit them." 1973, age 17: Completes his traditional studies in Vedic literature and a degree in modern science 1977 - 1982: Gives discourses, travels widely and also interacted closely with renowned spiritual teachers such as Anandamayi Maa, Tiruchi Swami, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 1981, age 24: Starts the first rural school on the outskirts of Bangalore, India 1982, age 25: Cognizes Sudarshan Kriya during a period of silence, formulates Art of Living course, establishes the Art of Living Foundation in Bangalore, India 1986, age 29: President of India awards the title of 'Yoga Shiromani' (Supreme Jewel of Yoga) 1995: Launches the Prison Stress Management and Rehabilitative Training program in India and the United States 1995: Launches ART EXCEL (All Round Training in Excellence ) program for children between ages of 8 and 13 1997, age 41: Establishes the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) in Geneva, Switzerland. Initiates the 5H program for rural development 1998, age 42: Launches Youth Empowerment Seminar, a program for youth between ages of 13 and 18 1999, age 43: Establishes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir (http://ssrvm.org) 2000, age 44: Launches the Youth Leadership Training program to train rural and urban youth to become leaders of social and economic change 2001, age 45: Establishes Sri Sri Centre for Media Studies to promote...