Wednesday, June 29, 2011

70,000 people to gather in Germany to mark 30 years of Art of Living

The Art of Living is all set to host The World Culture Festival on July 2 and 3 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin to celebrate its 30 years of service.

The central theme of The World Culture Festival is celebrating diversity and enriching life. More than 70,000 people from 151 countries are expected to come together for a unique weekend.Read More

Thinking that you know the world is the biggest problem

There are two kinds of minds- an open mind and a closed mind. A closed mind is that which says, “This is how it is, I know it, that is it.” An open mind says, “Oh may be! Perhaps! I do not know!” Limited knowledge, and conformity about it, makes a mind very hard. Whenever you seem to understand a situation and label it,

“This is how it is’, that is the beginning of your problem. And all problems arise from “knowing”, not from “not knowing”. Whenever you think that injustice has been done to you; this falls in the category of - I know it, this is how things are. Suffering is a product of limited knowledge.

Whenever we attach a label ‘not good’, it comes from limited knowledge. But when there is amazement, patience, joy, then you are in a state of ‘ I don’t know, may be, something, Oh, what is it.” The whole life is a shift from the limited ‘I know’ to all possibilities’. Read More

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to feature on NewsX's 'Art Talk'

This week on ‘Art Talk’, NewsX will feature world famous spiritual leader and the founder of ‘Art Of Living’, Pt. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. In a candid discussion with host Jujhar Singh, Ravi Shankar Ji talks about the link between the arts and spirituality and explains how the goal of music is Silence. He also throws light on the effect of music on the chakras of human body, on unborn babies and on plants and animals. He further speaks about how the sound of the universe is AUM (OM) and dwells on ‘Art of Living's’ emphasis on music and dance.

‘ArtTalk’ is a weekly art show which features interviews of leading artists specializing in different forms of art including classical musicians, dancers, pop musicians, painters, photographers, writers and lots more - in a fun oriented and lively manner. The show gives a sneak peek into the work and lives of these treasured artists while they demonstrate their popular art forms on the show.

Watch out for this mesmerizing piece of interview, this weekend only on NewsX!

Telecast details: Saturday, 25th June, 2011 @ 4:30 pm & 10.30 PM

Repeat: Sunday, 26th June, 2011 @ 8:30 pm.

For further information, please contact:

Shivali Malhotra
Mobile: +919810330390

World Cultural Festival Art of Living 30 Years Celebration

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sri Sri becomes the first Indian to receive the Crans Montana Forum Award

The Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, will become the first Indian to receive the Crans Montana Forum Award in Belgium on June 24

Bengaluru, Karnataka, June 22, 2011 /India PRwire/ -- The Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, will become the first Indian to receive the Crans Montana Forum Award in Belgium on June 24. "You (Sri Sri) represent, today, hope to people in conflict," says Jean-Paul Carteron, Chairman and Founder, in a letter.Since 1989, the Crans Montana Forum has been awarding individuals who fight for peace, democracy and liberty.

Several Presidents and Prime Ministers have received this award. President of the United States of America, Barack Obama; Former Prime Minister of Portugal and current President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso; Current President of Finland, Tarja Halonen; Current President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka; Current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel are some of the previous recipients of this award.

Sri Sri has also been invited to share his vision of a stress-free, violence-free world at the Crans Montana Forum 21, on June 24, in a session entitled: 'Shaping a new world for tomorrow - The necessity of identifying & implementing common values.'Sri Sri's message of a one-world family and his three decade-body of work in reviving human values have transformed communities across 151 nations. Tribes in Africa, villages in rural India, troubled youth in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo have adopted Sri Sri's call to action: inner peace to outer peace.

The Art of Living celebrates 30 years of service to humanity on July 2 and 3 in Berlin through the World Culture Festival. The organization has been serving people through projects that empower the individual, provide freedom from trauma and stress in crisis areas, and rehabilitates victims of violence and prison inmates. It teaches yoga and meditation, emphasizing on using the breath to relax and manage stress. A key component is the Sudarshan Kriya, a health-promoting breathing technique. The organization also holds special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN), and he is active in numerous other international bodies and committees in the areas of health, education and sustainable development.Read More

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Art of Living to mark 30 years in Berlin

Bangalore, June 21 (IANS) The Art of Living will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Berlin with a 'World Culture Festival' July 2-3 where more than 70,000 people from 151 countries will congregate.

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in a statement that the festival would be "a celebration of achievements and a vision to do even more good".

The event will be held at Berlin's Olympic stadium. The reception committee is headed by Ruud Lubbers, former prime minister of the Netherlands.

The event will be attended by MPs and several former presidents and prime ministers, the statement said.

Representatives will come from the US, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Bangladesh and Lithuania.

From India, ministers Praful Patel and Subodh Kant Sahay, Karnataka Chief Minster B.S. Yedyurappa and Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari will attend. Read More

Friday, June 17, 2011

The World Culture Festival: A Major Peace Event with International Music, Dance, Meditation, Yoga, Wisdom, and Symposiums

Brought Together by the Art of Living Foundation, 70,000 People from Six Continents to Join at Berlin’s Historic Olympiastadion, July 2-3

WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In an era of widespread natural and manmade disaster and conflict, the world will have a chance to join in one of the largest peace festivals ever held — the World Culture Festival, July 2-3, 2011. U.S. Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL) join other members of the Festival’s reception committee, including former Netherlands Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, Nobel Prize winning Economist Myron Scholes, members of the European Parliament and other governments, and other leading figures from around the world in support of this historic event. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) are joining many more in support of this gathering that will share the world’s cultures, spirituality, and a message of harmony.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, is an internationally recognized humanitarian and spiritual leader, and the inspiration for this grand peace event. He said, “The Festival offers a platform for people to get to know different cultures and celebrate together in a joyful manner. Our goal is to support intercultural dialogue and peace in a non-bureaucratic way.”  Read More

What is God Work ? - By Acharya Ratnanadaji

Once a proud but benevolent king sent for his prime minister and said, "All of us have some definite work or assignment to perform. A king rules, a soldier fights, a trader trades, a teacher teaches and a preacher preaches, though as individuals they do other things also. Then what is the primary function of the Creator? Can you answer my question?"

The minister was puzzled. No one knew, and no book ever explained what God's work was. After some thought, he said, "I, too, have often wondered about this like you. But my duty here is to advise and assist you on worldly affairs. This involves spiritual matters and the right person to answer you is our bishop."

When the king repeated his question to the bishop, the bishop asked for a week's time to reply. At the end of the week, the bishop was sitting under a tree on the outskirts of the town, thinking whether to face the king's wrath the next morning, or to run away from the kingdom.

A shepherd boy who was passing by enquired about the cause for his worry. The bishop brushed him aside, saying he was deeply worried about a spiritual matter. The boy was quite insistent, and so the bishop related his trouble, without any hope of solution or solace from the boy.

"My dear master," said the boy, "is that all that worries you so much? Please go in peace to the king. Tell him that the shepherd boy knows the answer."

The surprised bishop begged the boy to give him the answer, but the boy preferred to meet the king in person. So the bishop went home, and the next morning he was at the court when the king eagerly asked for a reply.

"My dear king!" said the bishop, "i need not have taken so much time or trouble to give you a reply. However, i would request you to call for my shepherd boy who will give you a satisfactory answer."

The surprised king immediately sent for the boy, who promptly presented himself before the king. His appearance was repulsive to everyone, but the court awaited his words with interest.

"You, shepherd boy," said the king, "do you know the answer to my question which even learned scholars are not aware of?"

The boy paused for a while and said, "My dear sir, before i answer your query, may i request that proper protocol is observed. You are a student, as far as this question is concerned, since you want to learn. I am a master as i am to give you the knowledge. Normally the master occupies a higher seat than the student." After some hesitation the king slowly came down from his throne and let the boy sit on it. So eager was he to know the answer!

But the boy, after ascending the throne, was calmly enjoying the new-found dignity and did not speak for a while. Impatient, the king shouted at the boy, "You fellow! Where is my answer? What is God's work?" The boy calmly replied, "Here's the answer, to push down the haughty and to push up the humble - that is God's work!"

This is one of the 1,50,000 stories found in the ancient puranas, which have relevance even in modern times.

Acharya Ratnananda (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's father) left for his heavenly abode on June 8. Vaikunth Aradhana on June 19 at the Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore. Priti Bhoj at 10 a.m. All are invited.
News courtesy Times of India

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The Art of Living Foundation, Muscat screened Discover the Gift, an inspirational documentary dir-ected by Demian Lichtenstein, at City Cinema Shatti last weekend. The foundation is a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational NGO founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

Demian’s body of work includes music videos for Sting and Eric Clapton. Through Discover the Gift, Demian attempts to inspire people to find their true calling.  He takes the audience on his journey of discovering his own gift, interspersed with lessons from leading speakers and icons in the worlds of self improvement and spiritual growth, including the Dalai Lama, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Sir Ken Robinson and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.  

The film talks about the gift that each individual possesses and the need for each one to discover and share it. According to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “Life itself is a gift which is wrapped in a beautiful wrapping paper. We need to unwrap the gift that life has offered us and discover what is inside of us.” 

Speaking about the objective behind screening the film, Kamal Khimji, a teacher of the Art of Living Foundation, Muscat said, “I was very inspired by the movie. It was given as a gift to me and I wanted to share this gift with other people.” 

Damien’s picturisation is spot-on, with words of the speakers forming pictures in the background to make it easier for viewers to understand the message. Worthy of a special mention is Carlos José Alvarez and his team that created the film’s background music. It helps maintain the interest level of viewers throughout the film. 

Among the multinational audience that attended the screening was Hanan Owalweel, from Egypt, who said, “It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot from this film. It has made me realise what my role is in this life.” Adventurer Nabil al Busaidi, who also attended the screening, said, “I think we need to find out our gifts and share it a bit more.” Read More

Tamil Newspaper Applauds Guruji's effort

Monday, June 13, 2011

Guruji Says 'I will not support anybody adopting any form of violence'

First Gandhian Anna Hazare and then yoga guru Baba Ramdev -- a fast appears to be an effective way of getting the government to do things.

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been vocal about these movements and even managed to convince Baba Ramdev to call off his fast. 

In an interview with's Vicky Nanjappa, the Art of Living founder says that even though he supports the cause, he would never support anybody who resorts to violence.Read the full transcript

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ravi Shankar meets Ramdev, appeals to end fast

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday met Baba Ramdev and appealed to him to end his eight-day fast even as the health condition of the yoga guru showed signs of improvement.

The Art of Living founder however made it clear that the Centre had not asked him to negotiate with 46—year—old Ramdev for ending his fast against black money and corruption.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and former President A.P.J. Abdula Kalam also appealed to Baba Ramdev to end his fast.

No government mediation

“No. Nobody in the central government has said anything to me and I have come here on my own. I will keep meeting him till he breaks it,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said when asked if someone from the government got in touch with him on the issue. Read More

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guruji wants Baba to breakfast

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who has been on a fast at his Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar for the last six days, was moved today to a hospital here after his health showed visible signs of deterioration.

Art of Living founder and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar — who has thrown his weight behind Team Anna and Baba Ramdev’s campaign against corruption — visited the Baba at the hospital and urged him to break his fast.

Ravishankar intervened apparently after Law Minister Veerappa Moily got in touch with him. “Moily had called Sri Sri Ravishankar and he is touch with the Prime Minister regarding Ramdev’s fast,” the Art of Living said.

Sources said that with the Baba refusing to break his fast even on the seventh day, apparently for fear of losing face, Uttarakhand’s BJP government decided at the highest levels to step in.

Sources said top BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh spoke with Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and asked him to make efforts to shift Ramdev to hospital. The chief minister spoke with Ramdev and his second-in-command Acharya Balkrishna in the morning, urging them to allow the administration to move them to hospital in Dehradun.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tribute to Pitaji from Art of Living Web Seva Team Coimbatore.

The ART OF LIVING family in obeisance, express our sincere gratitude to Pujya Pitaji for his selfless service and his gift of Gurudev to us.

He was a true Gandhian and joined the freedom movement.
A scholar, educationist and social worker, he served tirelessly for woman empowerment and education. He dedicated his life to service.  

He remains our eternal inspiration.

Excerpts from International Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore (India) Satsang (8th June 2011)

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 12:48 PM PDT

*Sri Sri:* Jai Gurudev!
Today an incident has taken place. Pitaji, the one who has given me this
body, has left his body. Body coming and leaving is a celebration. After
living a complete life he has gone to the source. We should know that
our bodies are going to be destroyed one day.

There are three Gunas by which ones life can be considered. If we see
from this angle, Pitaji's life was sattvic. He has been always
enthusiastic, never every complained about anything but took everything
as challenging. Every one's life is a story.

In his childhood he was born in scientific and learned family. His
parents were in Gandhi ji's ashram for 20 years and worked for a India's
independence. His parents gave all the gold and wealth at home to
Gandhiji for the struggle that finally got India its independence. At
that time Pitaji was 10 years old. He was studying in an English medium
school in Bangalore. He quit school during the Quit India Movement. His
father expired when he was just 16 years old. At that tender age, he
took care of his family including his brother and sister financially. He
used to walk 17km daily to do the job. He used to work and he started a
shop which his brother used to manage. Pitaji's younger brother was very
innocent. He wasn't managing the business at the shop so well but Pitaji
never said anything to his brother about not talking proper care of the

When Bhanu and I were born, he ensured that we always had everything. He
used to tell us new stories everyday that were very inspiring. Every
evening when he would come, we would clap hands and make everyone smile
for sometime. He would serve the poor. He never bothered or used to
worry about tomorrow. When the Bangalore International center started,
he took care of the ashram. He would come to the ashram everyday to take
care of the requirements and he would bring vegetables too for the
ashram kitchen. He would travel by bus, even though I would tell him to
go by car. In a village nearby the ashram, 100 young girls were about to
be sold, Pitaji stopped that and taught those girls tailoring to support
their life by themselves. He has had a enthusiastic and happy life. I
would like all the elderly to live with enthusiasm till their last
breath. Its very important because nowadays after 50 years, people are
loosing enthusiasm.

Pitaji used to say: there are three kinds of people: VIP, VVIP, and
VOC.  VOC: Very ordinary chap. Pitaji used to call himself a very
ordinary chap. He was a down to earth person. Till his last breath he
was involved in service projects. He never believed in long rituals.
When rituals for the dead would go on for too long, Pitaji would say
that the person performing the rituals for the dead would die :)

A few days ago, Pitaji expressed his wish that he wants to depart. He
breathed his last when I landed in Bangalore. He was so energetic. Even
when he would walk, he would walk like an elephant. He has experienced a
wide spectrum of life.

Remembering all his qualities mean that we should imbibe those qualities
in us. He was so deep in faith and commitment. We need to imbibe all
those qualities that he represented and lived all his life. His sense of
humor and humility.

He designed a car when we were young. He was very fond of making a 4
wheeler car in India.
At that time he went to Delhi to get a license for the same. At that
time Maruti car was also getting launched. He tried to get the license
for 4 years. He said OK the government is refusing to give license for 4
wheeler car, so I will take one wheel away. He made a 3 wheeler
vehicle. There was so much corruption at every step of the way and since
he was not ready to pay bribe to anyone, he couldn't make it. I told
him, why are you doing all this?
I told him to get into service, social service. Then he started VISTA
India. In Sirsi, 450 km from here he started work. He has worked in 33
villages and created many groups. He used to go to these remote villages
and take care of those women and children. In fact, till now I haven't
been to that place yet. His wish was that I should visit the 33 villages
where he has worked. I will go there.

*Q:* What is the most important/Valuable thing in life?
*Sri Sri:* Life itself is the most valuable thing. Things/objects should
gain value from life, life shouldn't get value from things. When we
value life, things also get valued.

*Q:* If everyone goes to heaven then who will serve people?
*Sri Sri:* I received a funny SMS. As soon as I opened it, the first
line was *Goto Hell*. Then it was followed by "Because only you can
transform hell into heaven". You know any one would get shocked by
seeing the first line :)
Hell and heaven are right here. It depends on the state of mind. When it
is happy, heaven gets created whereever it is.

*Q:* How to go beyond happiness and sadness?
*Sri Sri:* Days of happiness and sadness come and go, but life keeps
going on. Between clouds of happiness and sadness, see the sky - that is
what we are.

*Q:* Why wasn't Sudarshan Kriya come earlier?
*Sri Sri:* Bhagvad Gita was given to this world 5000 years back.Why it
was not there before it. The nature knows what is required when and it
comes at the right time.

*Q:* Why doesn't God teach the corrupt people as lesson?
*Sri Sri:* So that you can do something. God has created corruption and
has given some work to you. Dont expect everything do be done by God
only. We never think let God himself come and feed us. We put in efforts
to fulfill our needs, similarly we need to put in efforts to fulfill the
needs of our country. Our work is to support dharma.
In Germany, every 2 years, 1.5 lakh people gather at a evangelical
church. They asked me to come and I went. Everyone loved the
program. Then on the next day I saw in the newspaper that they had
called me because they knew that people who are seekers will come when
they hear my name. They had kept a ticket.
They wanted people to come and there was a lady moderator, and a priest.
These two were supposed to cut whatever Guruji says and then all the
people who have come to the church will have more respect for the
church. This was revealed in the newspapers in Germany later.
The program was a good one and everyone was interested at the end in Art
of Living instead in church. The discussion was such that all the people
who came said that this is what we want. Though people wanted to fight
and win over me, they didn't know how to fight with me, so I already
won. In the newspapers next day, they wrote that their plan failed. The
plan was of a small group of people. Not everyone is bad here, there are
more good than bad. The world is made of all kinds of people.
If there is nothing else, people take a religious cause to fight - my
God is better than your God.

Anna Hazare's team (Team fighting against corruption in India) said that
we will ask for Chidambaram(a member of Indian parliament) to resign. I
asked what will happen even if he resigns? They will replace one pawn
with another.
Ask the whole goverment to resign.

I am telling Ramdev ji (One more saint leading the fight against
corruption in India) also to stop fasting. You need a lot of energy when
you have a big fight. When you are dealing with sensitive people, it is
fine. They will feel that you are fasting, they will have some mercy but
when you are with insensitive people, you have design and plan new tactics.

*Excerpt source:*
*Note*: The recorded satsangs will soon be displayed on
Full fledged satsang QNA's will be published on
_ very soon!
For the details on the upcoming LIVE webcast satsangs, please visit

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sri Sri Ravishankar backs Ramdev's campaign

NEW DELHI: Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar Thursday extended his support to yoga guru Baba Ramdev's indefinite fast against illegal wealth stashed in foreign banks, saying "all are together in the fight against corruption".

"We are all together in this cause ... may be our working style is little different but we are all together. I am not going on fast because it will have more international impact. I don't want these things to go beyond Indian borders," Ravishankar told Times Now.
"People all over the world are getting upset over corruption ... I am keeping low profile, but I am supporting the cause. We all are together," he said.
The spiritual guru said the government should immediately take action against those involved in corruption.
"They have to take this thing seriously, you know, corruption and the black money issue have been in news for last one year but nothing much is happening. It is not moving ahead, so I think it is essential to hurry this thing," he added.
Baba Ramdev has called for a fast-unto-death from June 4 to pressurise the government to take urgent steps to bring back black money stashed abroad by the Indians. Courtesy Indian Express