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About Mahant Swami Maharaj (born Vinu Patel, 13 September 1933; ordained Sadhu Keshavjivandas) is the present guru and president of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an…
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, a 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.
Numerous honors have been bestowed upon Gurudev, including the highest civilian awards of Colombia, Mongolia and Paraguay. He is the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India’s highest annual civilian award and has also been conferred with 15 honorary doctorates from around the world.
Gurudev is the Chancellor of Sri Sri University and the Chairman of the Quality Control of India Yoga Certification Committee. He is also a member of the Amarnath Shrine Board (appointed by Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India). Gurudev was the Chairman of Reception Committee for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Coronation of Krishnadevaraya (by Government of Karnataka, India).
Ravi Shankar was born on 13 May 1956 in Tamil Nadu, India. He is 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. 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. For his service, he has received some of the highest awards of several countries including India, Peru, Colombia, and Paraguay. In January 2016, he was awarded the “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India.
In 1982, Gurudev 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. Sudarshan Kriya incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath which harmonize the body, mind and emotions. This unique breathing technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving you calm yet energized, focused yet relaxed. With time, the Sudarshan Kriya became the center-piece of the Art of Living courses.
Gurudev 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 also 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 40,212 villages.
During his visit to the drought-hit Latur, Maharashtra, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reportedly made a statement that was splashed across headlines. Talking about Malala Yousafzai getting Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, he has been quoted as having said: “That girl got the prize for nothing. The prize is a political one and has no meaning.”
A noted humanitarian leader, Gurudev’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, Gurudev has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditationand offered them in a form that is relevant to the 21st century. Beyond reviving ancient wisdom, Gurudev 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 35 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in 155 countries.
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.
The Rural development Program of The Art of Living is predominantly driven by the yuvacharyas. The yuvacharyas are the youth from the local communities in the villages who have undergone 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.
Only a strong spiritual foundation brings self-esteem and self-confidence that is unshakeable. It is this combination of personal inner strength, as well as skills and leadership training that ensures the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of this programme.
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. The program aims to eradicate poverty, misery, disease and to ensure peace and harmony in rural and tribal areas worldwide.
The individuals and communities at the grassroots become self-reliant both socially and economically, this ensures the effects of the program are long-term and sustainable.
As an ambassador of peace, Gurudev plays a key role in conflict resolution and spreads his vision of non-violence at public forums and gatherings world-wide. Regarded as a neutral figure with a sole agenda of peace, he represents hope to people in regions of 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 the Reception Committee for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the Coronation of Krishnadevaraya (by the Government of Karnataka, India). Gurudev is also a member of the Amarnath Shrine Board (appointed by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India).
Through his initiatives and addresses, Gurudev 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 two of the significant aspects 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 his 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.
Though everyone is born unique, we all possess certain traits that set us apart from the rest. These traits define who we are and how we respond to situations. Often, we end up clinging onto the ones that do more harm than good and end up undervaluing ourselves. The fact however remains that we are all unique in our own ways and only need to ignite that dormant passion and give a boost to our persona. This is where personality development comes in.
Personality development is nothing but the act of moving from an inert and disinterested state of existence to a zealous, motivated and joyous living one. It’s is the act of celebrating your uniqueness without hesitations and boundaries, but only with more enthusiasm and liveliness.
9 Personality Development Tips
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