Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Shankar, Sri Sri, Guruji, Gurudev, ஸ்ரீ ஸ்ரீ ரவிஷங்கர
Hinduism, Sudarshan Kriya, Art of Living
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
May 13, 1956
Place of Birth: 
Papanasam, Tamil Nadu, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 


Ravi Shankar was born May 13, 1956 in Tamil Nadu in India. His parents named him Shankar since his birthday matched that of the 8th century CE Hindu saint, Adi Shankara.

It is said that at the age of four he could recite verses from the Bhagavad Gita and was often found in deep meditation even at a young age. Some of his followers of the Art of Living movement claim he received an advanced degree in physics at the age of 17.

At early age, Shankar's father delegated him to the care of the known guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Shankar became a disciple of him. Shankar joined Maharishi's entourage, taught the Vedic pundits at Maharishi's charities, and soon became the Maharishi’s favorite disciple.

In the early 1990s, Shankar added the honorific Sri Sri to his own name Ravi Shankar after the renowned sitarist Ravi Shankar claimed that the guru was capitalizing on his fame.

Shankar said that in 1982, after a ten-day retreat into silence on the banks of the Bhadra river in Shimoga in Karnataka, India, the "Sudarshan Kriya", a rhythmic breathing exercise which is the foundation of the Art of Living courses, came to him "like a poem, an inspiration". Shankar says that every emotion has a corresponding rhythm in the breath, and believes that regulating breath could help people with their suffering.

Shankar founded the Art of Living Foundation in 1982 to spread the breathing technique. Along with Dalai Lama and others, he founded in 1997 the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) "to foster on a global scale a deeper understanding of the values that unite us as a human community."


Shankar emphasizes breath as the link between body and mind and therefore a tool to relax the mind.

He also emphasizes service to others, besides meditating.

According to Shankar, science and spirituality are linked and consistent. His stated vision is to create a world which is free of stress and violence through acquisition of wisdom, and his programs aim to offer practical tools to accomplish wisdom. In his view:

Truth is spherical rather than linear; so it has to be contradictory. Anything that is spherical is always contradictory,

The Art of Living & Sudarshan Kriya

Shankar's teachings and techniques are packaged in a course called "The Art of Livingt". The Sudarshan Kriya is a technique which is the core component of the Art of Living courses. Though the specifics of the technique are kept confidential and revealed only to course participants, some of the starting asanas (postures) and exercises have been disclosed.

Sudarshan Kriya is said to infuse the body with energy and harmonize the natural rhythms of the body, mind, and emotions. There have been several independent studies published on the effects of the technique.


Art of Living Foundation

The Art of Living Foundation offers many programs centered on Sudarshan Kriya, meditation and group-dynamics.

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Celebrating Silence

by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


In this book, Sri Sri discusses topics ranging from doubt and fear to love and dispassion. He describes what it means to be on the spiritual path - a path of service, sadhana and surrender. He leads us through an understanding of God and back to our inner Self - what we really seek, often without knowing. "Some questions can only be answered in silence. Silence is the goal of all answers. If an answer does not silence the mind, it is no answer. Your soul is solidified silence and this solidified silence is wisdom, knowledge. When wisdom dawns, it gives rise to celebration. - H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Recommended Audio: 
Cover image

A Gift Of Silence: Meditations By His Holiness

by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

(Audio CD)

Pro Opinions

Sudarshan Kriya relieves you with the pain you dont even realise you had

archana.anchal's picture

While practicing Sudarshan Kriya i realized that its capable of taking out deeply buried pains and emotions, which remain there in our sub conscious mind though we do not realize still they affect ou



thousands and thousands masters are born in India time to time according to the needs of present Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the one who has revolutionized the world with his methods of spiritual

Con Opinions

Sri Sri is the HOLY name of LORD VISHNU

amrit's picture

SRI SRI is a Holy name of Lord Vishnu . In none of His AVATARS , did Lord Vishnu , ask for money to be taught any Yogic practise.

dora's picture


Sri sri is not only the name of vishnu and what he did or not did is just a speculation, especially regarding money.

You have nothing to say about this guru, all you cry is about money money. I know many so people that Ravi Shankar helped and I'm sure that if there is some karmic system (which I personally think that it is a stupid fantasy) then he will be in a karmic heaven.

Money is neither bad nor good, the attitude towards money is what counts and it appears that you have an issue with money.

dora | Thu, 03/04/2010 - 07:35

Judge Yourself By True Vision (Sudharshan)

Nathyogi's picture

1. Ravi Shankar added Sri Sri on his own before his name. This shows self claimed honours are only projected by ego.