Home>Service> Awardees of Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> 9th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award 2006> The Greatest Master Yoga-- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Promote the yoga breathing; turn the world with love
      The founder of U.N. International Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, aims at the purposes of joyful life, unselfish service and self-awakening. In 1982, he founded “International Art of Living Foundation”; he promotes “Yoga breathing method” in 144 nations including India to help more than 23 million people regain their hope, health, happiness and love. In 1986, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was honored the “Greatest Master Yoga” by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, meaning he had reached the highest state in body, mind and spirit and deserved to be called people’s spiritual master.

       In 1997, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded “International Association for Human Values” (IAHV). Up until now, this organization has assisted more than 30 million people in 25,300 villages around the world. Through IAHV, voluntary workers launch their relief mission globally including Afghanistan, Bosnia, the 7.9 scale earthquake in India Gujarat Province in 2002, 911 terrorist attack in New York U.S., and 2004 South Asia tsunami disaster.

      These volunteers also provide psychological counseling and therapy for Iraqi people. The most impressive thing is that hundreds of thousand people use art of living class and activity to positively face reality and live peacefully with hope, health and love. He promotes the “Yoga breathing method” and strengthens the “Conscious therapy” to relieve pressure, purify spirit, answer life question, explore life; and therefore, people learn to live their life more wisely. He deserves to be called “the Greatest Yoga Master”.
Inspiration of human wisdom and privileges
      Born 1956 in India Papanasam, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) used to study under numerous famous spiritual masters and became a Vedas literature scholar. At 17, he received a degree in modern physics; later on, he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. degree from India Karnathaka Province Kuvempu University. He always tirelessly travels around the world and says to people: “Joy is to live at the moment. If you completely live for this instant, you would understand everything is taken good care of. If you are happy right now, the past will never bother you. This is the art of living.”

      He gives speeches in many occasions such as the U.N. Economics Forum, European Parliament and International Anti-corruption Conference. He was invited by U.S. academic and research institution for special reports including U.S. Department of Health, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Yale University, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Columbia University and University of California. Among them, the theological school in Yale University praised Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s global contribution to human values. They gave Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a permanent honorary trustee position. Every year, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar travels more than 35 countries to remind the world that every civilization and tradition shares the same objective and value—violence does not exist in religion. 

      He brings people simple inspiration—love, practical wisdom and help people. He encourages the harmony; he teaches people to practice their own religion and respect other religions. People from around the world who have listened to him are touched by his words. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar always answers question in words of joy, playfulness, poetry, love and wisdom. For example, he uses the following spiritual language to answer questions in “Deal with criticism and complaints”:
      It is not a big deal to love someone whom you like.
      You do not score if you love someone who loves you.
      You will definitely learn something if you love someone whom you do not like.
      You will learn the art of living if you love someone who blames you for no reason.
      The service to move the world with love
      Sri Sri Ravi Shankar sets an example for an international service program. He says that service is an expression of love. Do everything possible to provide service to the society. Ask yourself: “What should I do to help the people around me and the entire world” Your heart would have an all-new beginning. Otherwise, ordinary people would always think: “What about me What about me” We should ask: “what should I do to be useful and have contribution to this world”

      Sri Sri Ravi Shankar teaches everyone that the most important responsibility is to service people. Services are not evaluated by the action or material reward. It is judged by the peace and love brought by the actual action. It can be in any style, form and size. When we get beyond what we originally care about and start to care other people, the love and joy associated with the service behavior are the spiritual harvest. As we grow up, services become an extension of our life. The unselfish behaviors to others without asking for feedback become unconscious part of our life. It is animal nature to “take”; it is human’s nature to “give and take”. God’s nature is “give without taking”. Through the process of giving, we become mature to share with God’s nature. If we only keep it to ourselves, our happiness would cease existing. We must share with other people in order to increase happiness. It is important for spiritual growth by giving. Services are just the way we share with other people and the way we help people. 

      Services are the actions to express inner joy, not obligation or uncomfortable responsibility. It is rather a natural state of mind. We will learn that the way to measure life standard is by how much we give to others, not how much we gain. 

      The International Art of Living Foundation and IAHV Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded have participated in many international service programs as follows:
5H Program
      5H is Health, Homes, Hygiene, Human Values, and Harmony Amidst Diversity. This is an integral long-term project which can change the entire society, including basic needs such as good health, appropriate and adequate inhabitation, personal and community hygiene, individual and community spiritual needs. This program gives support and training for the growth of human value and harmony. In the most impoverished area in India, it is exceptionally successful. The program creates a responsible and enthusiastic participation for a respectful individual to be self-reliant in a prosperous and harmonious community. Now, the program has practiced in areas other than India such as Poland, Latin America, U.S., South Africa, Kenya, Kosovo, Iran, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Barefoot Program
      An employment training program provides for Asian village women to increase their employment and ability to make a living. It helps to solve poverty problem in rural area and social problems associated with poverty. For example: free sewing and typing classes, teaching skill of making Indian fragrance for Indian women. Arrange job opportunities after completion of training.
One dollar a day
      Long-term donation and support program to provide free food and clothing, medical, education and transportation for needy children in India and Uganda.
      Free education to revive ancient Vedas classical scientific research
      Since 1981 in headquarter of Bangalore, they have worked hard to revive the study of ancient Vedas classics. They provide long-term free room, board, education and transportation for kids to study the knowledge. Library in the school has collection of more than three thousand volumes of books. In addition to the Sanskrit edition, books in English and other local dialects are also available for the convenience of study. Seminars are often held for inviting scholars in relevant research concerning ancient heritage studies.
Slum Development Program
      Dharavi slum revival plan
      Dharavi slum (Mumbi) is the biggest slum in Asia. People who live in the area will benefit a lot from the 5H program.
      25 thousand residents in the slum participated in the breathing-water-voice classes.
      A garbage dump is transformed into a garden in Dharavi area.
      More than 10 thousand trees are planted.
      A school for 120 children in the slum area is established.
      Free computer education for Dharavi young people.
      Fifty-eight public hygiene stations
      Fifteen medical service camps
      Sixty young people participated in young leader training class.
Prison Smart for inmates in the prison
      Prison Smart is a prison program for pressure management, transformation and training. It allows the inmates to release pressure and anger from their body and break the vicious circle of violence. It also prepares them to re-enter the society and helps them relieve pressure and anxiety.

      There are more than 500 thousand inmates participating in this program from all over the world including U.S., Russia, Netherlands, Scandinavian, Brazil, Britain, Germany, South Africa and India. It also provides for the prison staffs so that they can learn to face the tremendous pressure from prison management.
Disaster rescue tasks
      Master Gurujee and the voluntary worker from Arts of Living Foundation and International Association of Human Values consider helping people in need is their duty and obligation. In numerous catastrophic events, these volunteers offer material assistance and pressure-relief classes for preventing future emotional and psychological problems.
      September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on Twin Tower of New York
      Flooding in India
      Flooding Relief in Dreseden, Germany
      Reconstruction of the entire town of Nana Dahisarh after 2001 Gujarat earthquake
      Typhoon in Orissa, India
      2004 Iran earthquake
      War-ridden Bosnia
      Rescue mission in Iraq
      2004-05 South Asia tsunami relief mission
Program for school-building in aboriginal tribe
      Today in India, there are more than 80 million tribal aboriginals living in primitive poverty. They feed on plants’ rootstock, fruits and hunting, and live in remote areas where the modern transportation network cannot reach. They do not have light bulbs, schools, medical services. The Foundation has begun building up free primary education institution for these tribal children so that the aboriginal kids are able to have a new start. They also focus on young local leader training; therefore, the younger generation can become responsible for the development of local society. So far, six schools have been built and 834 school children have benefited.
India Village Development Program
      In 1999, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar began a development plan for transforming Indian villages. 

      There are more than 600 thousand villages in India containing approximately 70% national population. Since the independence of India Government fifty years ago, many villages have maintained an extremely impoverished situation with poor medical, hygiene and residential conditions. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar initiated a program for building up a beautiful India. First, the Foundation adopted 3000 villages and started to train “young volunteer leaders” for this program. There were more than 200 young leaders coming from all over the India to participate the two-month training class. After they got back to their hometown, they were required to transform at least 10 villages in a year. The content of transformation was to practice 5H program in every village; that is, the services of Health, Hygiene, Homes, Human Values, and Harmony Amidst Diversity.