in 1982, The Art of Living Foundation is an educational and humanitarian
foundation, registered in the US as a tax-exempt and nonprofit organization.
It is not a religious organization, but as one adhering to the basic
spiritual principles of love, kindness and unconditional service to
the world. It carries out numerous charitable, educational and humanitarian
programs throughout the world on the basis of donations.
the activities of the foundation are based on the saying of its founder teacher
Sri Sri Ravishankar"a truly religious person will be secular in nature.
Secular means one who thinks all human beings are his or her own."
The Art of Living works in special consultative status with the Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) of the UN, and as such it has accredited representatives at the
UN in New York, Geneva and Vienna. It also works in formal consultation with the
World Health Organization (WHO).
From 1985, the Art of Living started supporting the Dollar-a-Day
service program, for rural children of India, which provides them with the basic
amenities of life and much more. This innovative activity is pursued under Care
for Children program where children learn, other than the traditional courses,
the fine art of living, the skill of making friends, handling negative emotions
and value of service to the fellow beings. The children are taught to take the
studies as an enjoyable challenge, pick up the habit of hygienic living and most
importantly, develop the skill of community living, a sense of belonging to each
one of it.
THE 5H PROGRAM
One of its many commendable programs is the 5H
which focuses onHome, Health, Hygiene, Harmony in Diversity and
Human Values. It aims at bringing about a social transformation so that
the complete potential of each individual is expressed. Sri Sri Ravishankar
is the inspiration behind the program.
program is perhaps the most popular program, which offers courses for
all round development of children and youth (8 to 21 years old). Through
simple play-way techniques and awareness games the participants learn
how to develop their personal potential and manage stress in their life.
This highly admired program is currently offered in major Indian cities
like Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta, and in countries like Canada and the
USA. The Art of Living program is working closely with UNICEF to make
this program available to the world community at large.
SMART is another laudable program providing training on stress management and
rehabilitation for juvenile and adult prisoners, prisoners on parole and probation,
victims of crime, at-risk youths, and even the law enforcement officers and probation
staff. The Prison SMART Foundation Inc. that carries out these services was established
in 1992. This unique foundation is the first of its kind in the USA and now has
gained national recognition to offer services in the prisons and juvenile halls
across the country. The foundation provides vision, resources and a committed
corps of talented volunteers.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN
The International Association for Human Values is another nonprofit
outfit of the Foundation, which works for cultivating and supporting basic human
values in societies all over the world. The association boasts of a network of
well-trained and motivated personnel to carry out its activities.
The Youth Training Program (YTP) in India focuses on
the education of the rural youth and encourages them to work for the betterment
of their community. Arranging medical camps, distributing clothes to the poor,
creating sanitation facilities and setting up local cooperative groups.
on the principles of love and essential human connectedness as delineated
by their founder member, Sri Sri Ravishankar, the Art of Living tries
to follow a holistic way of living coupled with humanitarian values.
It teaches a wide variety of courses including a meditation course
a natural and effortless meditative technique. It admits that all
its self-development courses and programs are a form of yoga, which
is nothing but a "union with the Self." The sudarshan
and other related techniques, propounded by the Foundation, are all
based on the ancient yogic science of breathing, which explores the
connection between mind, body, the emotions and rhythms of breath.
Over a million people in more than 100 countries have taken Art of
The Foundation has Vyakti Vikas Kendras all over India,
to teach people how to revive love among themselves, improve their
interpersonal interactions and to reach out to the world in a positive
manner. Corporate courses are offered to executives and all, to enhance
their efficiency and team spirit.
When Sri Sri Ravishankar addressed the August 2000 UN Millennium World Peace Committee
of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, his speech was widely received as a path breaking
one. The Art of Living, as the instrument of Guruji's ideals, promotes the idea
of preventive diplomacy in the case of conflict situations in the global arena.
An idea that was proposed to the UN in its 1995 World Social Summit.
Above all, the Foundation endeavors to drive home Sri Sri Ravishankar's message
thateven though practices remain different, all great religious traditions
share the same common goals and values, and mankind would do well to cut across
these barriers and anomalies to connect with each other through love.