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So Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?

Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?

A Master’s life is his message. Few have ever embodied their message so
eloquently as has His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Whether through the Art of Living programmes which have found

worldwide acceptance, or his many public appearances in the 40 plus
countries he visits most years, Sri Sri has reached out to every strata of
society, from individuals to corporations, from disaster victims to heads of
state, from religious leaders to scientific communities.

He moves between all these roles with ease and grace. Hence you will find
him listening to the grievances of local communities, then meeting and
laughing with schoolchildren, conversing with corporate heads, greeting
world leaders, serving food, singing joyously and meditating, and then
enunciating the very secrets of creation and consciousness, all in the course
of a day!

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born in Papanasam, southern India, in 1956. Even as a very young child,
he was often found in deep meditation and while still only five years old he could chant the 700 Sanskrit verses
of the Bhagavad Gita. This astounding accomplishment heralded an extraordinary life.

His formal education was equally remarkable. By the age of seventeen, Sri Sri had obtained an advanced
degree in Modern Physics, later receiving an Honorary Doctorate. However it is his life as a renowned spiritual
leader and humanitarian that everyday inspires literally thousands of volunteers around the world to dedicate
their time and energy to the multifarious Art of Living service projects.

In 1975 at 19 years, Sri Sri was acknowledged by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Guru who introduced meditation
to the West. Sri Sri spent some time with Maharishi before, in1982 he entered an auspicious ten day’s
silence. It was during this silence that the Sudarshan Kriya, a unique cleansing and rejuvenating process based
on the repetition of different breathing rhythms was revealed to him, and The Art of Living was born.

"Breath has a great lesson for us. Every mental and emotional pattern we experience causes a corresponding
rhythm and pattern in the breath. In the same way, we can use the rhythms and patterns of our breath to
alter the behavioural patterns in our minds.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Participants of the Art of Living courses who practice the techniques testify to
extraordinary results in both physical and mental health. They commonly
experience an innate sense of happiness and peace of mind as the harmful and
debilitating effects of stress are gradually eliminated. Personal worries reduce
and the ability to function at optimum levels increase, often accompanied by a
desire to share the source of this enhanced well being and to seek peace
through service, inter-faith harmony and the fostering of human values.

Sri Sri has often visited over 40 countries in any one year, imparting His vision
of the world united in a violence-free global family. His teachings and
humanitarian initiatives have already reached out to an estimated 300 million
people worldwide.

His Holiness Sr i Sri Ra vi S hankar ● Making Life a C elebrat ion ●

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Honoured Universally
The Peter the Great, First Grade Award, Russian Federation - 2006

“By the decision of the Russian Federation and the Department of Security, you have been
elected as an academician of law enforcement in society for your contribution to the
Russian Federation. For reintegrating prisoners back into society, for improving the
conditions of military service, healthcare, education and human values, you have been
awarded the Peter the Great First Grade Award.”

Outstanding Service to returning Veterans - 2007

Floyd “Shad” Meshad, president and founder of the American Veterans Foundation,
presented Sri Sri with an award honoring his outstanding service to returning veterans and
their families at the Art of Living Foundation’s 25 anniversary celebrations.

Felicitation by the Government of Mongolia Prime Minister’s Award - 2006

Ms. Tugsjaral Gandi, The Honourable Minister of Health, honoured H.H. Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar, on behalf of the Government of Mongolia for his contribution to humanity, and
for his work in the area of social upliftment. He was presented with the Mongolian Prime
Minister’s award and an award from the Governmental Implementing Agency.

Felicitation by H.E. Shri A.R. Kohli, Governor of Mizoram, India

His Excellency Shri Amolak Rathan Kohli, Governor of Mizoram, felicitated His Holiness Sri
Sri Ravi Shankar on behalf of the Government of Mizoram, for “completing 25 years of
promoting peace, harmony, love and affection, in all sections of society.”

Awards and Honours

 National Veterans Foundation Award, USA, 2007
 Honorary Doctorate of Science, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, India, 2007
 Leadership Award for Extraordinary Promotion for World Peace and Harmony, Amity University, 2007
 Sant Shri Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize 2006, World Peace Centre, Pune, India
 Doctor of Philosophy (Holistic Medicine), Open International University for Complementary Medicine, Sri Lanka
 Order of the Pole Star, Highest State Honour, President of Mongolia, 2006
 Fervent Global Love of Life 2006, The Cultural and Education Foundation of Human Life, Taiwan
 Peter the Great, First Grade Award, Russian Federation, 2006
 Mongolian Prime Minister's Award, 2006
 Mahavir-Mahatma Award for Contribution to Peace, Times Foundation, India, 2005
 Dara Shikoh National Award for Harmony, New Delhi, India, 2005
 Global Humanitarian Award, Illinois, USA, 2005
 Member of Martin Luther Collegium of Scholars, USA, 2005
 Bharat Shiromani Award, New Delhi, India, 2004
 The Illustrious Visitors Award, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2004
 Phoenix Award, Atlanta, USA, 2002
 Guru Mahatmya Award, Government of Maharashtra, India, 1997
 Title of Yoga Shiromani (Supreme Jewel of Yoga), President of India, 1986

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day ordained in the following cities
 Ottawa, Canada (September 13, 2006)
 Edmonton, Canada (September 7, 2006)
 Halifax, Canada (September 10, 2006)
 Chicago, Illinois (June 28, 2002)
 Beverly Hills, California (May 8, 2002)
 Atlanta, Georgia (April 29, 2002)
 Austin, Texas (January 10, 2002)
 Washington DC, Washington (August 26, 2000)

What world leaders are saying about Sri Sri

“We need leadership and we need to empower women. The Art of Living leads with an open mind
to education, and that education leads to choice. It opened my eyes to how development could or
would occur in the future.”

Mr. Günter Conra ~ CEO, CON-First, Strategy through Leadership

“So here in this artistic shrine, it is fitting that we celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of India’s
stars - the Art of Living Foundation.”

Joseph R. Biden Jr. ~ Vice President. USA Senator

“We need more than ever the contribution of men and women of faith who defend and promote
the human values that bind us together...The values you champion including non violence,
compassion, and the sanctity of all life go to the heart of what the United Nations stands for.”

Hon. Ban Ki Moon ~ Secretary General, United Nations

“I am proud to be part of the group that is helping to create the important bonds and look forward
to working with a man of peace, a man of vision, a man of compassion and man of action. We
certainly need that in this world today.”

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky ~ US House of Representatives

“I came here to listen and learn and to appreciate all the great work that Your Holiness Sri Sri and
the Art of Living foundation have been doing around the world and here in the US.”

Congressman Jim Gerlach ~ US House of Representatives

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Extracts – Ethics in Business at European Parliament,
Brussels organised by IAHV under Sri Sri’s guidance

“With the projections of climate change and prospects for firm action by the global community, the
world has to move to a low carbon economy and environmentally friendly products and processes.”
Dr. R.K. Pachauri: Chairman, Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, Switzerland

“Innovation is no mere technical or technological endeavour. It requires the co-operation of all

members of an organization and thus a leader’s style, which governs by argument, fairness, respect
and empowerment of colleagues.”
Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan: President, European
University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

“In times of globalization, corporations have become too powerful, and therefore have to take on an
active role with respect to the social dynamics.”
Dr. h.c. Lothar Späth: Chairman, Merrill Lynch,
Germany/Austria; Former Minister-President,

”Good corporate culture, which is regulated by corporate laws, only flows from ethical living of
individual employees and the management.”
Mr. Vinod Mittal: Managing Director,
Ispat Industries Limited, India – Speaker 2006

“It is the responsibility of society and governments to create the right framework for – on the one hand
– the development and the production
of the right products and – on the other – for customers to wish to acquire such goods.”
Dr. Hanns R. Glatz: Delegate of the Board of
Management, Daimler AG, Germany

“Climate change has gone from being a marginal issue to being at the forefront of business leaders’
minds. We need to stir our hearts and
minds, and admit that fighting climate change is our ethical obligation.”
Prof. Jerzy Buzek: Member of European
Parliament; Former Prime Minister, Poland

”Only those companies with authentic leaders at the helm will be able to achieve growth and success,
as well as impact society in a positive way.”
Dr. Saad Al Barrak: Deputy Chairman & CEO,
MTC Group, Kuwait – Speaker 2006

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Extracts - 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the Art of Living

“Not only do we have rights, but we also have duties. We have inherited seeds and roots, but we must
irrigate them to make them blossom. To do this, we must realize the innate dignity of life.”
Dr. Myron Scholes, Nobel Prize Laureate for Economics, USA

“When basic needs have been met, human development is about ‘being’ more rather than ‘having’
Rabbi Awraham Soetendrop, Liberal Jewish Community International, Netherlands

“In the frantic struggle to meet deadlines, accumulate wealth and meet all the demands of the modern
world, we often forget to stop and make contact with our inner selves. Any type of growth that benefits
a few and excludes the majority is bound to collapse. Equality, peace and democracy are fundamental
to our efforts to attain and sustain human values.”
Dr. Manto Tshabalala Msimang, Honourable Minister for Health, South Africa

“We are all connected by the desire to make this world better. We need peace, and here in India, you
have a great tradition of peace. There is a lot to do, and we can do it together.”
His Excellency Dr. Janez Drnovsek, President, Republic of Slovenia

“It’s time for us to start addressing what I call the negative ‘isms’ – sexism, racism, tribalism – and start
looking at the core foundation of human rights. We need to bring people on board by acknowledging
that we are diverse, different but equal, by addressing the irrational fears that we seem to have among
our different religions, races and sexes; by agreeing to share the quality of life and by embracing the Art
of Living.”
Ms. Njoki Ndungu, Member of Parliament, Kenya

“Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji teaches the principles of love and compassion. Hence, so many religious
representatives are here. He is an inspiration, not just for India, but for the whole world.”
Moulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi, President, All India Organization of Imams of Mosques, India

“We are here today to celebrate and to say thanks – thanks for opening our hearts, thanks for the
silence, for the prayers, for our faith, for the love we share, for the services given, and for the peace
you, Sri Sri have brought. In saying thanks, we are not expressing our separateness, but our oneness.”
Mr. Nirj Joseph Deva, Member of the European Parliament, United Kingdom

“The teachings of His Holiness provide the world with a road-map for love, justice and harmony. His
spiritual and humanitarian actions are worthy of praise since it is rare to find people so dedicated to the
human cause. His legendary charisma, knowledge, service and unwavering commitment to peace, drive
thousands of volunteers towards community service.”
His Excellency Sir Anerood Jugnauth, President, Mauritius

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“There are events which one can witness only once in a life time and this Silver Jubilee Celebration of
the Art of Living Foundation has presented to the country and to the world one such unique event and
Shri L.K. Advani, Former Deputy Prime Minister, India

“I have met many NGOs - representatives of indigenous people - and they have made it clear that
economic development alone does not suffice. The common future of our one world family is rooted
in the awareness tha t we have only borrowed mother earth from the generations to come. The Art of
Living is not the end, but it is the beginning for everybody and everything. It is the way to harmony.”
Mr. Ruud Lubbers, Former Prime Minister, The Netherlands

“The Art of Living is the way that India, with her experience and courage, has found to show the path
to the future, to understand the links between what we see and what is not visible to our eyes. It is
the way to show that technology and science require spirituality because it is the way to make real
Ms. Edith Cresson, Former Prime Minister, France

“My NGO, Transparency International, is fighting corruption all over the world, and it has been
energized, inspired, and strengthened by H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.”
Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen, Founder & Chairman of Advisory Board, Transparency International, Germany

“The Art of Living’s message of peace, love and willingness to help, creates a new dawn for humanity,
based not on violence and weaponry, but on human values. It constitutes a new spiritual dimension
for the 21st century.”
Mr. Hugo Coveliers, Senator & Member of the Flemish Parliament, Belgium

“We all have to make important decisions daily. Meditation and the study of the Self can take us to
decisions and options, which are beneficial for ourselves and for society. We must leave our personal
interests aside and ask ourselves, ‘How do I want to relate to and participate in society as a whole?’
We cannot live in this world alone. Everything and everyone is related to the other.”
Dr. Jorge Giandomenni, Secretary, Supreme Court, Argentina

“Congratulations for the wonderful work you have been doing!”

Most Rev. Vincent Michael Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi, India

“All human values are divine and they are the heritage of all religions. Through various programmes,
Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji has been making a significant contribution to raising the standard of society’s
moral fabric. May he continue to be a blessing to this nation.”
Most Rev. Father Bernard Moras, Archbishop, Bangalore City, India

“In this age of stress, Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji has brought smiles to faces. He has touched the lives
of millions of people through his love and celebration.”
Shri Ramdev Maharaj, India

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Two Foundations for Global Harmony


The Art of Living Foundation is now one of the largest volunteer-based educational and humanitarian
organisations in the world. It has accredited representatives at the United Nations in New York, Geneva and
Vienna and also works in formal consultation with the World Health Organization (WHO): "Development of a
Global Health Policy for the 21st Century"

Some of the Foundation's activities over the past 8 years:

• 2008, Conference on Ethics in Business – Corporate Culture & Spirituality, European Parliament,
• 2008, The International Business & Leadership Symposium, Brussels, Belgium
• 2008, All-India NGO Summit for Environment Protection and Access to Social Justice, Bangalore,
• 2008, Faith in Action’, a Religious Leaders Caucus on HIV/AIDS, Bangalore, India
• 2007, Celebrating Women Conference, Bangalore, India.
• 2007, Teacher Training Course for 55 Iraqi young men, Bangalore, India
• 2007, Truth & Reconciliation Conference, New Dehli, India
• 2006, International Conference on Human Values, Bangalore, India.
• 2005, International Women’s Conference, Bangalore India.
• 2003, Geneva, U.N. World Summit on the Information Society
• 2003, ICT for Development Platform (Human Values - the Basis for Social Progress)
• 2003, U.N. World Economic Forum: Davos, Switzerland
• 2002, U.N. 55th Annual NGO Conference "Breaking the Cycle of Violence"; New York
• 2002, World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD): Johannesburg, South Africa
• 2002, U.N. - World Summit on Sustainable Development, New York, USA
• 2001, Back on Track America: Program aimed at getting U.S. businesses back on track after Sept.
11th began in New York and travelled through 15 U.S. cities
• 2001, UN Conference on Racism and Discrimination: Durban, South Africa
• 2001, Village Adoption Program - Post-Quake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation: Gujarat,
• 2000, U.N. Millennium World Peace Summit: New York, USA


In 1997, together with the Dalai Llama, he founded the sister organisation, the IAHV, to co-ordinate
social development activities and disaster management including emergency and trauma relief

Each year the IAHV educates at various forums such as the United Nations, World Health Organisation, World
Economic Forum, international conferences and global symposia on peace, unity, human rights, sustainable
development, environmental protection, youth development and conflict resolution.

The IAHV works in special consultative status with the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC) of the
United Nations, participating in a variety of committees and activities related to health and conflict resolution.

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Both the Art of Living Foundation and the IAHV are known for their low overheads and strong organizational
capacity. This is possible because of our large inspired volunteer base.

From over 32,800 villages in India to the ghettos of South Africa to more than 155,000 prisoners incarcerated
around the world, Sri Sri is transforming lives. Prisoners, and wardens, report stories of lives transformed in
USA, Russia, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, South Africa and just recently starting in
Australia and New Zealand, Sri Sri’s wisdom, his legendary charisma and his selfless service have inspired
farmers, students, housewives, politicians, corporate leaders, social workers, religious leaders, professionals,
and thinkers alike.

What Are Human Values Sri Sri promotes?

* The innate dignity of human life
* Respect and consideration for others
* The interconnection between humankind and the environment
* And thus the need to care for and preserve the earth
* The importance of integrity and service
* An attitude of non violence
* The individual and collective quest for peace and happiness.

“Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is one of the most dynamic men in the world today, with millions of followers across the
world. A tireless international traveller, speaker and teacher, he has addressed the foremost institutions,
including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, European Parliament, United Nations Millenium
Summit, Yale and Harvard Universities, NASA and countless international Forums and conferences. In a
world torn by strife, he carries the eternal message of love and revival of human values”.

Francois Gautier (2002) - Author of ”The Guru of Joy” and former political correspondent, ‘Le Figaro’ and ‘Le
Journal De Geneve’.

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Sri Sri’s Self Development Courses for All

Unarguably the most multi-faceted activist in the world today, Sri Sri’s work addresses a vast landscape of marginalisation,
disability, race, ethnicity, religion and gender discrimination.

In addition to the personal development and empowerment of individuals, He has also designed courses to enhance and
invigorate the corporate environment (APEX).

Sri Sri has brought to the masses ancient techniques and wisdom traditionally kept exclusive. He has designed many self-
development modules which people can easily incorporate into their personal lives and use to calm their minds, energise
their spirits and heighten their enthusiasm for life. Through these programmes, thousands have come out of depression,
suicidal tendencies and aggressive behaviour, and found peace and fulfilment in providing service to others.

“A guru is simply a teacher. Whether you like it or not, the guru principle pervades your life. Your mother is your first guru
and then from science to spirituality, from birth to death there is a guru for every discipline – a work guru, a family guru, a
health guru, a guru for all life’s disciplines. A satguru is simply a guru for your spiritual life.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri – A Living Example of Selfless Service

Sri Sri’s simple message that love and wisdom can prevail over hatred and distress is reverberating around all continents of
the world. Governments and organisations have honoured Sri Sri in recognition of his tireless service to humanity. Over
the years, he has been invited to address global forums, from the UN Millennium Peace Summit , to NASA scientists,
Parliaments and governing bodies across the globe.

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Global Initiatives
Peace & Conflict Resolution

Programmes, Workshops and Peace Initiatives are currently being run in Israel, Lebanon,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Kashmir and India.

Universal Declaration of Human Values

“Globalizing human values is essential to counter religious fanaticism. Although we have globalized the market economy
today, including technology, fashion, food, and music, we have yet to globalize human values and wisdom.” Sri Sri.

On March 28th 2007, Sri Sri proposed a resolution to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Universal
Declaration of Human Values represents his vision for a fresh approach to fostering understanding and harmonious
coexistence among different peoples and cultures, and fulfilling the purposes for which the United Nations was formed.


We, the One World Family, in order to create a better world for humankind, pledge:

To create a violence free, stress free society by uplifting the human spirit and inculating human

To encourage broad based education in every part of the world in order to foster a harmonious
co existence among different religions, cultures and civilizations.

To commit ourselves to serving humanity by creating a truly global, spiritual civilization, united
in its diversity and acting in harmony to eradicate poverty, disease and hunger.

To cherish our beautiful planet by integrating measures in our lives that contribute to protecting
its natural resources.

To bring spiritual values and make like a celebration on this planet.

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Trauma Relief

The Art of Living Foundation has an ongoing commitment to help victims of trauma all over the world through special
trauma relief programs. These provide a faster recovery from stressful stimuli, restoration of normal sleep patterns,
significant reductions in anxiety and relief from depression.

Mumbai Terror Attacks 2008 London subway blast, UK, 2005

China Earthquake 2008 Madrid terror attack, Spain, 2004
Bihar Floods, India 2008 Beslan terror attack, Russia, 2004
Surat, India Floods, 2006 Post-war trauma relief, Iraq, 2003
Israel and Lebanon conflict, 2006 Post-war trauma relief, Afghanistan, 2003
Mumbai train blast, 2006 Bam earthquake, Iran, 2003
Hurricane, Katrina, 2006 Jakarta floods, Indonesia, 2002
Mumbai Floods, 2006 River Elbe floods, Germany, 2002
Kashmir and Pakistan earthquake, 2006 Kosovo conflict, Kosovo, 2002
Tsunami relief operations, South Asia, 9/11 terror attack, USA, 2001
2005 Gujarat earthquake, India, 2001

Prison Programme
“Violence ends where Love begins” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Prison Program is
conducted all around the world including Russia, USA, India, South Africa, the
United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and more recently in New Zealand.
The innovative and results-oriented prison program aids rehabilitation at all levels.

Enhanced life skills enable individuals to accept responsibility for past actions and
to handle future conflict and stressful situations more constructively. Prison
administrators have reported that inmates who have participated in the program
exhibit reduced drug dependence, violent behaviour and other stress related
behavior, while increasing cooperation with prison staff and administration

The Prison Programme provides courses for:

The primary population including inmates, ex-inmates, half-way house residents, those on parole or probation,
incarcerated youth at juvenile justice centers, and women in prison.
The victims of crime
Those working to control it, i.e. criminal justice professionals, law enforcement officers, prison officials and

“It was when we started to see phenomenal shifts in behaviour in some of the worst criminals around, that we knew we
had a tool that could work to reduce stress and
control anger in a prison environment.” Tom
Duffy, Art of Living Prison Program Instructor.

Participants develop their own vision of a new

potential for a violence-free and crime-free life
upon release. Many, like the current head of
the Art of Living Prison Programme, have been
inspired to actively seek opportunities to
contribute to society by coaching other ‘at risk’
individuals away from crime.

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Community Projects
5H Programme – Projects and Goals

Health – to provide basic health care for every member of our society
Homes – to provide a roof over every head
Hygiene – to provide clean drinking water and sanitary conditions for all
Human Values – to promote and sustain the global development of Human Values
Harmony in Diversity – Initiatives to bring about the sense of World Community.

Women Empowerment

The Art of Living and IAHV’s endeavours to empower the individual especially
shines through in their programs designed to empower woman - particularly those
women who lack the opportunity and confidence of their economically fortunate
counterparts. The Annual Women’s Conference has become a beacon of
inspiration for women around the world.

Bio-Dynamic Agriculture

“The farmer is ‘annadatha’ – the one who provides food. If our farmers are happy and
comfortable, then we are also happy and comfortable. This agricultural comfort can only
come from practices that are in harmony with the whole planet.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

This initiative was taken in response to the increasing farmer suicides, not just in India
but around the world, due to growing debts and ever mounting economic uncertainties.
One of the key objectives of this program is to provide guidance to farmers to become self-reliant and build their inner
confidence, to promote and revive organic farming and to educate farmers on water management and irrigation.


“Just information is not education. Education is culturing our behaviour and attitude.
It is our ability to perceive things better. Perception, Observation and Expression -
these three aspects of education have to be improved.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The Art of Living provides free education to many rural and underprivileged
populations. The schools impart value-based education in a stress-free and child
friendly environment, combining ancient wisdom and modern technology.

Emphasis is placed on a value-based holistic education which enables the complete development of a child’s fullest
potential. The innovative learning methods encourage laughter, friendliness and belongingness among children. In
addition to the basic academic curriculum of science, math, reading, language and arts, a program of self learning that
develops life-skills and nurtures leadership is taught as a core component. Special attention is given to human values,
health and hygiene. The children also learn yoga, meditation and special breathing practices, helping them to handle the
challenges of childhood, and providing life skills and natural ‘tools’ to take into their adulthood.

Youth Leadership Training Program

YLTP is a vigorous training programme for youngsters, often from highly disenfranchised backgrounds, in a number of areas
like health, hygiene, education, waste management, housekeeping etc.

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International Websites

www.srisri.org The official website of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

www.artofliving.org.au Australian website. Includes details on our full range of courses, local
activities and service projects.

www.artofliving.org International website with a wealth of information on Art of Living activities

world wide.

For more information, contact the Art of Living Foundation:

Atul Aneja
Tel: +61 2 9671 6309
Mob: +61 411 352 654
Email: atul@artofliving.org.au
Web: www.artofliving.org.au

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