IAS Target

Shri Shri Ravi Shankar

Introduction

Ravi Shankar (born 13 May 1956) is an Indian spiritual leader. He is frequently referred to as "Sri Sri" (honorific) or as Guruji or Gurudev. He founded the Art of Living Foundation in 1981, a volunteer-based NGO providing social support to the people. 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.

Philosophy and Teachings

Spirituality
Shankar believes 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.
According to Ravi Shankar, 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."

Peace and Humanitarian Work

Ravi Shankar humanitarian work in Pakistan, Iraq, Columbia, Kashmir, NE-india and other region show he has compassion, sympathy, love, affection etc to the human being. He emotionally feel to serve humanity and try to alleivate people suffering.

Ayodhya Ram Temple Dispute, India

Ravi Shankar's efforts at mediation in the Ayodhya dispute in 2017 received a mixed response from both Hindu and Muslim leaders. Based on Supreme Court of India's suggestion for an out-of-court settlement he proposed a mutual compromise where both communities "gift" neighbouring pieces of land to each other. This proposal was met with a lot of skepticism and resistance.

Interfaith Dialogue

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. In July 2013 at a meeting in UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva, issues including HIV prevention, gender based violence, stigma and discrimination were discussed.
Withholding information for commercial interests unethical (on data storage by MNCs). Deliberately withholding information for commercial interests is "very unethical", the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said, underlining the importance of ethics in innovation. Recently in the 'World Forum for Ethics in Innovation' in Munich, Germany, Sri Sri cited examples of misuse of innovation for commercial purposes even at the cost of putting millions of lives at risk. He also emphasised the importance of ethics in innovation. When we've made a discovery that is useful for mankind, then it should be made available to everybody," he said, adding that the ultimate purpose of any innovation is to bring happiness at the individual level.