Art of Living

Sri Sri Ravi Shanker

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and an ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living.

Art of Living a Spiritual NGO

“We are committed to making life a celebration on this planet.”
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The Art of Living is a not-for-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the organization has worked in 151 countries.

The Art of Living Foundation offers programs to uncover the strength, peace, and joy that lie at the core of every human being. By nurturing the spirit and compassion of every individual, the Foundation seeks to help build a global society that is free of stress, violence, and misery – and full of service, wisdom, and celebration.

The Art of Living Foundation was inspired by the programs of spiritual leader and humanitarian His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that began in 1982. It has been a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational and humanitarian organization in the U.S. since 1989. Accredited as a United Nations Non-Governmental organization in 1996, it is now one of the UN’s largest volunteer-based NGOs. It works in special consultative status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council, participating in a variety of committees and activities relating to health, education, sustainable development, conflict resolution, and disaster relief.

The Foundation also offers programs for youth and teens, business, law and government, prison inmates and staff, trauma survivors, people with depression, and programs for people living with cancer, HIV, and other life-threatening diseases.

Principals of AOL

The organizational activities are guided by Sri Sri’s philosophy of peace: “Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace.” To guide individuals to inner peace, the Art of Living offers stress-elimination programs, which include breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. These programs have helped millions around the world to overcome stress, depression and violent tendencies.

The Works of AOL

The Art of Living has spread peace across communities through diverse humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all and environmental sustainability.

The Art of Living also has a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

Sister Organizations

The Art of Living has several sister organizations which are dedicated to realize the vision of a stress-free, violence-free world. The International Association for Human Values (IAHV), Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP), Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM) and Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI), among others, formulate and implement humanitarian projects of the Art of Living.


AOL is having membership with following international Organizations:

  • CONGO (Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the United Nations), Geneva and New York
  • International Alliance against Hunger
  • UN Mental Health Committee and UN Committee on Aging, New York
  • International Union for Health Promotion and Education, Paris
  • NGO Forum for Health, Geneva

Sri Sri Ravi Shanker Ji

Born in 1956 in Southern India, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was a gifted child. By the age of four, he was able to recite parts of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Sanskrit scripture and was often found in meditation. His first teacher Sudhakar Chaturvedi, had a long cooperation with Mahatma Gandhi. By the age of seventeen in 1973, he had graduated with degrees in both Vedic literature and physics. Sri Sri entered a ten-day period of silence in Shimoga located in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful breathing technique, was born. With time, the Sudarshan Kriya became the centerpiece of the Art of Living courses.

Sri Sri founded The Art of Living as an international, non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization. Its educational and self-development programs offer powerful tools to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being. Appealing not only to a specific population, these practices have proven effective globally and at all levels of society.

In 1997, he co-founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) to coordinate sustainable development projects, nurture human values and coordinate conflict resolution in association with The Art of Living. In India, Africa and South America, the two sister organizations’ volunteers are spearheading sustainable growth in rural communities, and have already reached out to over 36,000 villages.

Inspiring Service and Globalizing Wisdom

A noted humanitarian leader, Sri Sri’s programs have provided assistance to people from a wide range of backgrounds – victims of natural disasters, survivors of terror attacks and war, children from marginalized populations and communities in conflict, among others. The strength of his message has inspired a wave of service based on spirituality through a huge body of volunteers, who are driving these projects forward in critical areas around the globe.

As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditation and offered them in a form that is relevant to the 21st century. Beyond reviving ancient wisdom, Sri Sri has created new techniques for personal and social transformation. These include the Sudarshan Kriya which has helped millions of people to find relief from stress and discover inner reservoirs of energy and peace in daily life. In a mere 29 years, his programs have raised the quality of life for participants in 151 countries. As an ambassador of peace, Sri Sri plays a key role in conflict resolution and spreads his vision of non-violence at public forums and gatherings worldwide. Regarded as a neutral figure with a sole agenda of peace, he represents hope to people in conflict. He has received particular credit for bringing opposing parties to the negotiating table in Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Kashmir and Bihar. He was appointed the Chairman of Reception Committee for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Coronation of Krishnadevaraya (by Government of Karnataka, India). Sri Sri is also a member of the Amarnath Shrine Board (appointed by Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India).

Through his initiatives and addresses, Sri Sri has consistently emphasized the need for reinforcing human values and recognizing humanity as our highest identity. Fostering interfaith harmony and calling for multi-cultural education as the remedy for fanaticism are significant parts of his efforts to achieve sustainable peace on our planet.

His work has touched the lives of millions of people around the world, going beyond the barriers of race, nationality and religion with the message of a “one-world family”; that inner and outer peace are possible; and that a stress-free, violence-free society can be created through service and the reawakening of human values.

Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP)

At a young age just after his graduation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar started receiving invitations from different parts of the world to give lectures on Vedic knowledge. He travelled to universities in Europe where he interacted with many scholars and professors. On one such occasion, a German university invited Guruji to their library that housed volumes of Sanskrit manuscripts and sought his help to decode them. Guruji decided to get Sanskrit scholars from India for this work. On returning to India, he searched extensively for Sanskrit pundits but found a big gap between orthodox Sanskrit pundits and those with a scientific outlook.

With the sole intention of reviving the science and knowledge of the Vedas, established Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP) was established in 1981 to take his vision forward.

VVMVP is having its own Ashram at Bangalore off Kanakapura road.


The Art of Living is a multifaceted organization with one of the largest volunteers’ bases in the world. The international headquarters of the Art of Living is located in Bangalore, India.  Globally, the organization operates as the Art of Living Foundation, which began in 1989 in the United States of America and in Germany. Since then, local centres of the Art of Living have been established across the world.

The Art of Living’s wellness programs fund its humanitarian activities. The proceeds from the sales of the Art of Living publications and ayurveda products are also directed to our social initiatives.

Natural disasters where Art of Living provided relief


Wherever and whenever there is a natural disaster caused by nature, AOL has always stood up in service and rendered the services to human kind. Here is the list where AOL has provided its service during the time of Natural disaster all over the world.

  • Chile Earthquake (February, 2010)
  • Haiti Earthquake (January, 2010)
  • Manila Floods – Philippines (Sept 2009)
  • Sichuan Earthquake – China (May 2008)
  • Flood relief – In Bihar and North East India(2007/8)
  • Vidarbha farmer suicides – India (2007)
  • Surat Floods – India (August 2006)
  • Kashmir Earthquake – Pakistan (October 2005)
  • Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans – USA (August 2005)
  • Mumbai Floods – India (July 2005)
  • Gujarat Floods – India (June 2005)
  • Indian Ocean tsunami – India/Sri Lanka (December 2004)
  • Bam earthquake – Iran (December 2003)
  • Jakarta floods – Indonesia (January 2002/February 2007)
  • River Elbe floods – Germany (August 2002)
  • Gujarat Earthquake – India (January 2001)
  • Orissa cyclone – India (October 1999)


Programmes of AOL

The Art of Living has spread peace across communities through diverse humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all and environmental sustainability.

The Art of Living also has a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

Free school Education Program

 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has set up more than 92 free schools in the tribal and rural belts of India where child labour and poverty are widespread. 10,000 children are benefited annually from the education imparted by the free school. Children are not only provided with free education but also skills which will enable them to go forward in life.


Youth Leadership Training Program

Established in August 1999, the Youth leadership training program has a unique syllabus. While most programs around the world focus on a specific area of the human personality, the Youth leadership training program is holistic in its identifying the dimensions that constitute the actual human personality.

5H Program (Healthcare, Hygiene, Human values and Harmony in diversity)

The 5H program aims at ensuring that every rural area/village has Homes for the homeless, Health care, Hygiene, Human Values and Harmony in diversity. Set up in 1997, 5H catalyzes social transformation that aims to eradicate poverty, misery, disease and ensure peace and harmony in rural and tribal areas worldwide.

The youth from the local community undergo the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP). This gives them the skills, motivation and abilities to initiate and lead service projects in their own villages and localities based on their needs.

The Art of Living Course

The Art of Living Course gives participants the practical knowledge and techniques to unlock their deepest potential and bring fullness to life. Whether happy and successful or feeling the stress of poor health, disappointments, or fear, every participant is cared for and comes away lighter, with effective techniques for releasing mental and physical stress and increasing his or her health, energy, peace, self-knowledge, awareness, and joy.

The course teaches:

  • Practices that heal and harmonize the body, mind and spirit
  • Skill for handling negative emotions and situations
  • Practical wisdom for improving work and relationships
  • Insight into the laws that govern the mind and emotions
  • Stretching and Low- impact yoga for health, blood circulations and body stillness

Sudarshan Kriya

The masterpiece of the Art of Living Course is a powerful breathing-based technique called Sudarshan Kriya, or the healing breath. Sudarshan Kriya incorporates specific natural rhythms of breath to release stress and bring the mind to the present moment. The course also includes other breathing techniques, meditation, low-impact yoga, and skills for dealing effectively with challenging emotions and situations.

The Power of Meditation

It is in every person’s faculty to experience the benefits of a regular meditation practice and the Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique. Breath and meditation is the body’s natural way to quiet the mind of thoughts, experience deep rest and energize and heal the entire system.


Art of Living Foundation
2401 15th Street NW
Washington DC 20009
Phone: 1-877-399-1008

Website   [email protected]

Email [email protected]