Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar, usually known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was born Ravi Shankar Ratnam on 13 May 1956. He is also frequently referred to simply as "Sri Sri" or as Guruji or Gurudev. He is a spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation, which aims to relieve individual stress, societal problems and violence. It is an NGO with UNESCO consultative status.
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A sad song of musical censorship in India and Pakistan
Huffington Post - 3 months
Hindustani classical music played on a river boat in Banaras. Jason Baker/flickr, CC BY-SA Laksmi Subramanian, Center for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta At the end of September 2016, the Indian motion picture producer's association, India's largest organisation related to entertainment, announced a ban on all Pakistani artists. In retaliation, Pakistan authorities imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on all its TV channels, including Bollywood movies. This cultural war, triggered by the September Uri attacks in Kashmir, is far from new. Indeed it is a sad reminder of last year, when the Indian ultra regionalist Maharashtrian-based party Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt a performance by celebrity singer Ghulam Ali in Mumbai, forcing the concert to be cancelled. What are we to make of these episodes that occur now with depressing regularity, enjoy prime-time popularity on Indian television and then die down, only to be recalled when yet anothe ...
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Huffington Post article
Review: A Concerto in Which East Meets West, and Peace Reigns
NYTimes - 4 months
The New York Philharmonic is performing Ravi Shankar’s “Raga-Mala,” in which the soloist is an orchestral chameleon.
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NYTimes article
India's finest musicians light up the Albert Hall with tribute to Ravi Shankar
Guardian (UK) - 9 months
Stars of the Indian classical music world – including Hariprasad Chaurasia and Anoushka Shankar – gathered for a long and festive night of virtuosity For all the echt-English setting of the Royal Albert Hall, this was largely a south Asian affair – musicians and audience both ­– and certain norms had therefore to be upheld. So we run late, of course, although only modestly behind schedule. The “felicitations” of artists, that flower-strewn staple of Indian performances, begin in promising chaos with the stage crowded with sponsors, organisers and hangers-on, but are cut mercifully short. And if the night winds up almost an hour or so after the ushers had promised, at least it’s enough to save some face. Continue reading...
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Guardian (UK) article
Award wapsi? Padma Vibhushan Sri Sri says he rejected Nobel, doesn't believe in honours - India Today
Google News - 10 months
India Today Award wapsi? Padma Vibhushan Sri Sri says he rejected Nobel, doesn't believe in honours India Today Sri Sri made these remarks in Latur over the weekend while he was on visit to the drought-hit areas of Maharashtra. His Art of Living Foundation is working to help farmers in the area with irrigation projects. IndiaToday.in | Posted by Avarnita Mathur. Sri Sri Allegedly Said He Rejected Nobel Peace Prize, Targets MalalaNDTV Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar too cool for the Nobel prize? Twitter thinks soScroll.in all 4 news articles »
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Google News article
River restoration preserving in spite of questionable accusations
The Huffington Post - 12 months
"We need to revive the ancient practice of honoring and conserving the balance of nature. Rivers are the lifeline of any civilization. Unfortunately, our rivers have been neglected for a long time and as a result, many have been polluted or dried up... The success of this effort requires both inspiration and expertise." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Rivers have been the lifeblood of India for centuries, nourishing the bodies of its people and the soil of its lands. Since ancient times, they have held deep spiritual significance in Indian heritage, playing a central role in sacred Vedic texts, rituals, and beliefs. While India depends on its waters, individuals and communities, companies, and governments have lost sight of their interdependence with the natural environment, hiding behind bureaucracy, pointing fingers and deflecting blame. The future of the rivers requires rising above political posturing to mobilize collective action towards solutions. More...
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The Huffington Post article
Making Noise for Peace: The World Culture Festival in March 2016
Huffington Post - about 1 year
One of my favorite Malcolm X quotes is, "if you want something, you had better make some noise." And rather than violence, what if we dared to make some noise for something as great as peace? Violence gets all the attention, and after the chain of violent acts we had last year - Oregon, Iraq, Syria, Paris, San Bernardino - it feels like time to try something different. Even in the advent of the useful protests that have been happening - over race, immigration, or women's issues - it is the resistance, the anger, and the injustice that is crying out. What if we got together and made a loud cry because we like each other? What if we made a lot of noise because we celebrate diversity? What if we gathered and told the world that we are spiritual, we take care of the environment, we care for people, we love life and want to see it change for the better? What if there was a loud noise in our world that was not violent, not sad, not angry, but that stood on a platform of love, compassi ...
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Huffington Post article
Why The World Needs An Event Like The WCF?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In the age of digital connectivity where everyone is connected to everyone else with a push of a button, the initial reaction to a world culture festival (WCF 2016) that brings millions of people together in one place to celebrate different cultures, was ambivalent to me. A television broadcast would reach millions more with lesser effort, was my first thought. Why all this fuss? Why fly people from the far east, far west, places in between and then herd them all into one place in India? Then the probing and analytical side of my mind took over and surprised me. Here's what I found: I googled the phrase 'celebration of diversity' with a few key word variations. I learnt that the UN has sanctioned a day to celebrate and honor the world's cultural diversity. I was impressed with the goals and ambitions set out by this great organization but found that the magnitude and reach of their program were rather local, scanty and scattered. The UN's programs were global in intention but lacked ...
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Huffington Post article
Connect to Lead for Climate Change
Huffington Post - about 1 year
As I follow the talks at COP21 in Paris, I feel our urgent need for major action. I find myself asking: What will catalyze such a profound shift in our priorities that our policies and laws reflect rather enforce a healthier, more sustainable relationship with our environment? How do we reach a place where a critical mass of global citizens prioritize our planet? Change is not always easy Starting in my mid-twenties, I made a deliberate choice to work on socially and environmentally conscious initiatives that protect and uplift, rather than exploit, the planet and people. I've had the privilege of being influenced and mentored by incredible leaders in impact investment, systems thinking and community engagement. I've learned from and supported exciting projects, including advising a social and environmental Youth Corps in Haiti, serving as the youngest member of a Mayor-appointed sustainability commission, and being contracted to investigate global best practices for sustainab ...
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Huffington Post article
Nepal govt asks Sri Sri to broker talks with Narendra Modi - The Indian Express
Google News - about 1 year
The Indian Express Nepal govt asks Sri Sri to broker talks with Narendra Modi The Indian Express Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Modi, who have known each other since 2000 when the PM was an RSS pracharak, have met each other a few times in the last year-and-a-half. Written by Shubhajit Roy New Delhi Published:Dec 3, 2015, 2:27 ... Nepal Deputy PM meets Sushma Swaraj; India to re-route vehicles from quieter ...Economic Times Sushma Swaraj may attend Afghanistan meet in PakistanLivemint Express ReadingThe New Indian Express Business Standard -Calcutta Telegraph all 147 news articles »
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Google News article
At the Heart of Ethics
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In the wake of the recent Paris attacks, I traveled to Brussels to speak at the World Forum for Ethics in Business at the European Parliament. Upon arrival, I discovered that the conference was cancelled, then reinstated at the insistence of a few Parliament leaders. By the end of the conference, Brussels was on high alert for terrorist activity, and the entrance to the European Parliament we had entered through just hours before was barricaded due to new security concerns, and yet the conference ended up being a huge inspiration for most everyone who attended. Why would business, political, media, and spiritual leaders look to ethics in this time turmoil ? Ethics can seem like esoteric philosophy debated by academics with little practical consequence, tucked away within ethics codes and social responsibility charters, far from the minds and hearts of decision-makers and stakeholders concerned with the bottom line. It can feel like an obligation, in someone else's expertise or ...
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Huffington Post article
Our Generation's Call to Duty
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Just a few day ago, I felt a deep sense of honor and pride as my grandfather received France's Legion of Honor, the highest honor given by the French government, for his part in fighting Nazi Germany - the evil of his time - and helping liberate France with other brave soldiers of his generation. After Friday's events in Paris, my heart hurts with the French people, as they reconcile a new form of terror. It strikes me that my generation faces similar evil - fanaticism, extremism, and intolerance - which are spreading far and wide. Unlike in my grandfather's time, however, we can't always see this enemy. They transcend borders, and penetrate the hearts and minds of people longing for a sense of power in their lives. They are an enemy that seems to only find unity and meaning by creating terror for others. The default response seems to be to give more power to our governments to fight this new threat, in the form of more weapons, more killing and more loss of life. At first, this ...
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Huffington Post article
Within You Without You: George Harrison and a Popular Dialogue among Civilizations
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Mid-late 1960s: West goes East. While it was John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Canada that initiated Rock n' Roll Diplomacy, George Harrison was the first to apply that concept to music. Through Harrison, The Beatles were the first Western Rock band to use non-Western instruments. Having been intrigued by the sound of a Sitar during the filming of Help!, Harrison went on to learn how to play it with Ravi Shankar. Harrison would first play the Sitar on the introduction to the ballad "Norwegian Wood" (1965) - prompting the Rolling Stones to follow suit in "Paint it Black." While playing short Indian instrument passages on Beatles tracks, such as "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Strawberry Fields Forever", Harrison went one step further by convincing his band-members to expand their repertoire by including tracks in which he sang to Indian instruments: from the cynical "Love You To" (1966), to the cosmic "http://www.thebeatles.com/song/within-you-without-you" (1967), and the transcendental "The ...
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Huffington Post article
Homecoming, Humor and Hasan: Minhaj à HA!
Huffington Post - over 1 year
There's Glass Menage-erie. There's Nicky Minaj. There's ménage à trois. And then there's Hasan Minhaj. Think Deepak Chopra meets Chris Rock. Spiritual meets comical. Gandhi meets Woody. He's nimble yet noble, profound yet playful, a rebel with reverence. And oh yes, he's Indian. The chai tea kind, not the Cheyenne headdress kind. Let's face it. We Americans don't really know our samosas from our pakoras, our chapati from our chutney. We arrogantly think we're pretty Indian hip if we watch Sanjay Gupta on CNN. We imagine we're uber open-minded if we so much as watch a you-tube video on "How to Wear a Sari." We think we deserve Groupons to a cruise down the Ganges if we tip our cabbie in Bengali. Honestly, we're clueless. Ok, so we can order chicken tandoori and garlic naan and we can proudly drop a few names like Taj Majal, Hare Krishna and Ravi Shankar. But seriously, we still pigeonhole our Indian career professionals into the roles of pharmacists and radiologists, wit ...
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Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ravi Shankar
  • 2016
    Age 59
    In January 2016, he was awarded the "Padma Vibhushan" by the Government of India.
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  • 2015
    Age 58
    Ravi Shankar "brokered" the peace deal between the Colombian government and the guerrilla movement FARC during his visit to Cuba in June 2015.
    More Details Hide Details The FARC agreed to follow the Gandhian principle of non-violence to attain its political objectives & social justice. VFABI is involved in many activities, including protest against the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, free health camps, and voter awareness and registrations in India.
  • 2014
    Age 57
    In November 2014, Ravi Shankar visited the relief camps in Erbil, Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details He also hosted a conference to address the dire condition of Yazidis and other non-Muslims in the region.
  • 2013
    Age 56
    NONVIO was launched as a nationwide movement by Shankar's foundation in March 2013 with the aim of eliminating violence.
    More Details Hide Details It encourages individuals to pledge one act of non-violence through different social and online media and adopt nonviolent principles in government, public health, and media. He was involved in the movement demanding a strong lokpal bill and was also one of the founders of the "India Against Corruption" movement. A three-day World Cultural Festival held on 11–13 March on 35th anniversary of Art of living.
  • 2012
    Age 55
    In 2012, Ravi Shankar, while attending a function in Jaipur, claimed that some Indian government schools are breeding grounds for Naxalism, a movement of militant communist groups in India declared to be terrorist organisations. "All government schools and colleges should be privatised.
    More Details Hide Details The government should not run any school. It's often found that children from government schools get into Naxalism and violence. Children from private schools don't get into this," he was quoted as saying by media reports. Later, Shankar issued a clarification that he didn't mean that all government schools breed Naxalism. More clarification followed on his Twitter account: "I specifically referred to sick government schools in Naxal affected areas. Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools. I did not say all Govt schools (where lakhs study) breed Naxalism. Great talents have emerged from these schools & I would never generalize." Ravi Shankar has authored the following books:
  • 2009
    Age 52
    In 2009, Shankar was named by Forbes Magazine as the fifth most powerful leader in India.
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  • 2008
    Age 51
    Ravi Shankar is involved in interfaith dialogue and currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute. Through interfaith summits in 2008 and 2010, he has been engaging faith-based leaders for collective action against HIV.
    More Details Hide Details In July 2013 at a meeting in UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva, issues including HIV prevention, gender based violence, stigma and discrimination were discussed. In 2003, he initiated the Ethics in Business - Corporate Culture & Spirituality dialogue with an aim of strengthening human values and ethics in business. This evolved later on in the formation of the World Forum for Ethics in Business which convenes international conferences on ethics. World Summit on Ethics in Sports, a one-day event held in September 2014 at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, focused on "morality and openness" in sports. In 1992, he started a prison programme to rehabilitate prison inmates and help them reintegrate into society. His volunteers assisted the 2004 tsunami victims, Hurricane Katrina victims, in Haiti, and many other regions of conflict and natural disaster.
  • 2007
    Age 50
    During his visits to Iraq, at the invitation of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, in 2007 and again in 2008, he met with political and religious leaders to promote global peace.
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  • 2004
    Age 47
    He visited Pakistan in 2004 on a "goodwill mission" and again in 2012 when he inaugurated Art of Living centers in Islamabad and Karachi.
    More Details Hide Details The Islamabad centre was burned down by armed men in March 2014.
  • 1997
    Age 40
    In 1997, he established a Geneva-based charity, the International Association for Human Values, an NGO that engages in relief work and rural development and aims to foster shared global values.
    More Details Hide Details For his service, he has received some of the highest awards of several countries including India, Peru, Colombia, and Paraguay.
  • 1986
    Age 29
    In 1986, he travelled to Apple Valley, California in the US to conduct the first course to be held in North America.
    More Details Hide Details Shankar teaches that spirituality is that which enhances human values such as love, compassion and enthusiasm. It is not limited to any one religion or culture. Hence it is open to all people. He feels the spiritual bond we share as part of the human family is more prominent than nationality, gender, religion, profession, or other identities that separate us. In Shankar's view, "Violence-free society, disease-free body, quiver-free breath, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory, and sorrow-free soul is the birthright of every human being." According to him, science and spirituality are linked and compatible, both springing from the urge to know. The question, "Who am I?" leads to spirituality; the question, "What is this?" leads to science. Emphasizing that joy is only available in the present moment, his stated vision is to create a world free of stress and violence. His programs are said to offer practical tools to help accomplish this. He sees breath as the link between body and mind, and a tool to relax the mind, emphasising the importance of both meditation/spiritual practice and service to others. In his view, "Truth is spherical rather than linear; so it has to be contradictory."
  • 1983
    Age 26
    In 1983, Shankar held the first Art of Living course in Switzerland.
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  • 1982
    Age 25
    He says that his rhythmic breathing practice, Sudarshan Kriya, came to him in 1982, "like a poem, an inspiration," after a ten-day period of silence on the banks of the Bhadra River in Shimoga, in the state of Karnataka, adding, "I learned it and started teaching it".
    More Details Hide Details Shankar says that every emotion has a corresponding rhythm in the breath and that regulating the breath can help elevate the individual and help relieve personal suffering.
  • 1981
    Age 24
    He is also frequently referred to simply as "Sri Sri" (honorific) or as Guruji or Gurudev. He is a spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation created in 1981, which aims to relieve individual stress, societal problems, and violence.
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  • 1956
    Born on May 13, 1956.
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