Sunday, May 9, 2010



A Compilation on Perspectives towards Pursuit of Peace by 

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Author: Rakesh Radhakrishnan

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has pursued many perspectives
towards Pervasive and Perpetual Peace in this Planet. This book, an
outcome of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Grace, is a collection
and compilation on the actions and accomplishments of His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar over the last three decades.

The author is, by no means, an expert in this subject matter (Peace)
but is embarking on this journey attempting to uncover the systemic and
pervasive impact, of the efforts of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 
The author believes that no one can equal His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankarin terms of the amount of effort and work for Perpetual Peace
that HisHoliness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has achieved with his organizations
AOL-Art Of Living and IAHV –international Association of Human
Values– and his teachings (in the form of Books, Seminars, etc.), plus
his dedicated volunteers and millions of devotees all over the world –
with such a strategic and systemic impact in today’s world, covering over
150 countries, with over 150 million volunteers of the organization and
with an ever expanding exponential EFFECT, that we are witnessing,

This book is an effort by a humble devotee whose life has been
transformed and who is totally inspired by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar and his vision followed up with ACTIONS.

Sri Adi Shankaracharya in Viveka Chudamani

“There exist great and good persons who, like the spring season, are ever 
given to doing good to the world. Having themselves crossed the ocean of 
samsara, they help others to do so for no reason of their own.”

Chapter 1 Past, Present and Predictable future for Peace
Chapter 2 Peace within a person
Chapter 3 Peace with your peers
Chapter 4 Peace with your community
Chapter 5 Perennial and Perpetual peace – Pride of a nation
Chapter 6 Peace in the planet
Chapter 7 Peace perspectives
Quotes by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Meaning of Guru


The primary motivation of this book comes from the author’s
personal experience in the past three years with His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar- from the very first meeting in April 2006
in Washington DC, to the recent one during the Diwali
Celebrations at Dallas in October 2008.

The first time the idea of the book occurred to me when,
His HolinessSri Sri Ravi Shankar, during a Satsang, stated
that “everyone should contemplate on what they could offer
to society”. I understood it as a mandate to “contemplate”
– that is think through thoroughly about what it is that one
really wants to offer, over a period of our lifetime –
with commitment? (for their own spiritual evolvement and
With an autistic son, hectic professional life and the
demands of raising 3 children in the US, the author was
challenged with a lot of hurdles and hence was extremely
stressed resulting in personal unhappiness and family
conflicts. It seemed like a devastated life with a vicious cycle
of problems that persisted and continued beyond one’s control
– what with the cost of therapy and time and resource taken
away from other activities. Financial burden and expectations
that were unmet resulted in a stressful life. Friction along with
the unmet expectations caused a lot of anger and anxiety, added
by, turmoil in sibling relationships and more. Everything that was
envisioned about life didn’t seem to come true and resulted in
frustration and stress, despite round the clock hard work. 

It was during this time, around March/April of 2006, I was
recommended by a close family member from the Bay Area
in Califronia, to take the AOL (Art of Living) Part 1 course,
which I did. After attending the course, not only did the
“Sudarshan Kriya”, “Pranayama” and many such techniques
helped me relieve a lot of stress and improve my productivity,
the first time I saw His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, read all
his books and learnt about him and his teachings, I realized
how most of my stress was a result of my own (minds)
imagination and expectations.

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s family is this whole world;
he is raising several thousand children, he shoulders the
responsibility of addressing the challenges that mankind faces
(peace, conflicts, corruption, poverty, etc.), yet he is undeterred,
cheerful, always with a smile and absolutely no stress whatsoever.
After being in flights every week for several years at a stretch
as a consultant, I started hating flights – His Holiness Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar on the other hand has been flying for decades
now, yet feels very much at home anywhere. Slowly I realized
that what I was facing is miniscule in terms of challenges and I
am capable of taking on more when I practice Kriya Yoga,
Pranayama, Meditation, and other such programs from AOL
and still continue to live in Bliss, facing realities of life – by
taking life as is, with real joy and happiness. I am delighted to
state that – between April 2006 and now, I have experienced
punarnava (a new beginning). I am new again. The only difference
in me is that I long to be in his presence when I get the chance, for
each time I am in his presence, the more beautiful life is turning
out to be. With a mind-boggling perspective to life, where
every moment of living is Joy and pure happiness –due to all
energy forces directed towards a life with fulfillment and purpose
(going beyond trivial day to day issues and miniscule goals and
objectives). His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar helps me expand
and accomplish things that I thought was never possible. He
turned the negative cycle that I faced in life into a virtuous cycle
of positive forces that has helped me enjoy the various aspects
of life that every human being has the right to enjoy.

Brief moments of experiences with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The first time I had a chance to meet His Holiness Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar was after the 1st AOL course which I
attended in Northern Virginia. The teacher was a very
energetic lady and quoted that she used to do “IT as in
Information Technology” in the past and now she does
“IT as in Internal Transformation”. All the course attendees
had a special session with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar for an hour or so. With my first glimpse at His
Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar I had goose bumps and was
shaken completely by his poise, calmness, inner peace
and the glow that he was emanating. We also had a
special family darshan with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar along with my Dad who was working on many
Inter-faith programs in India including organizing
international conferences. 

A year later we again had the opportunity to be in his
presence at the  Kennedy Center in Washington DC for
the 25th Anniversary celebrations of AOL in the USA.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar quoted at the  
Kennedy Center in 2007 celebrating 25 years of AOL;

I think we have reached a stage where we need to 
bring the human values to every part of the Globe. 
Technology has made the globe shrink  into a village 
and the human values of spirituality will make the 
globe one family. We are one world family.”

Each time I get to be in his presence I have had remarkable
experiences.The first one helped me change myself and the
direction of my life. The second time was a very interesting
experience. I learnt about the enormous memory power
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has. In the course of a
year His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar meets many thousands
of people and I assumed he won’t remember all the folks he
meets. Hence after doing our “pranams”, I inquired if he
remembered me and the family meeting we had more than a
year back in DC. He had a smile in his face and kept moving
on to the rest of the folks who lined up. I assumed he
probably didn’t hear me in the crowd. The next day at  
Virginia there was another Satsang for about 800 people.
I was sitting right next to his feet near the stage. To my
amazement he recollected events and incidents  that took
place in Santa Barbara, Illinois, NY, Washington and other
locations naming everyone of his disciples(who had tears
that their Guru remembered such events despite the fact
that decades have passed by and that he has thousands of
meetings and events each year). He had a twinkle in his
eye when I looked at him with amazement and wondered why
I posed such a question to him the previous day. I personally
cannot remember people’s names that easily and have this
tendency of forgetting people and events, especially ones
that took place a long time ago.

At the Kennedy Center the auditorium that was filled with
huge crowd, we heard a few Senators and Congressman
speak and later had a blissful guided meditation followed by
a music concert. I was grateful for all the positive things in
my life especially the ones I was experiencing after meeting
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the first time a year ago.
No more complaining, no more misery, no more self pity, etc.
In my own  professional field as a Principal Architect
specializing in Identity System, I am authoring a series of
5 books;
  • Identity and Security
  • Identity and Policy
  • Identity and Context
  • Identity and Trust
  • Identity and Transparency
I know for a fact that because of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar’s grace my dreams of publishing my first book
came true in early 2007 (not only did I get to fulfill my dream,
I had the chance to do it in style - I had a chance to release
my book in Paris in an event where I delivered an opening
Keynote), followed by the 2nd in 2009 and I am grateful
that his grace is a continuum and has had an impact on my
life from all dimensions (personal and professional).

With His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s blessings I did
not allow any ego, pride or arrogance to kick in within me
– since I knew that all this was his doing. He had such a
cheerful smile when these thoughts went through my mind
with my wife sitting next to me in the second row at the  
Kennedy Center. I had my hands folded and I knew he
will guide me and my family for the rest of our lives. On this
day and the next day, I sought His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar’s blessings for my first son Arjun. Arjun was
making slow and steady progress and despite all
our efforts we clearly needed divine intervention.

The third occasion when I had the opportunity to be
in his presence was in late April 2008 when His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was conducting AOL part 2 for 800
plus students in Virginia. This was a great blessing  for me
– since I was attempting to do this program at AOL
Canada Ashram on several occasions in His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s presence but it just didn’t happen.
We had guided meditation, a few days of silence and nightly
satsangs plus organic and enriched meals in limited quantity
that was served all 4 days. The goal of the program was to
discipline the body and mind with silence – less thoughts,
less food, lots of meditation and lots of satsangs with music
for the soul and spirit. I did a few trips home –once to
take my Dad to see His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
and once to get my wife and 3 boys for his blessings during
a satsang evening. On this occasion was the quick interaction
with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that I had at the hotel
elevator about writing this book. I also met with many other
volunteers of AOL and IAHV who live in the East Coast
and the rest of the  US and Americas and all the great work
they were doing. Later I realized that His Holiness Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar was back after leading a IAHV
Conference on Peace for South Asia in Oslo a few weeks
back and his schedule took him to Buenos Aires, Argentina,
the following week where several thousand people gathered
with a lighted lamp in their palms for World Peace, followed
by Brazil where again several thousand folks got to be in his
presence. I though about the fact that I did on an average 4
or 5 trips to Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo for
work and consulting. All I did was working long days and
spent the night after exhaustion in a nearby American hotel.
The work culture was such that we had long days  with a long
lunch break and I enjoyed the stay in these countries for the
natural way with which they greeted one another in Spanish
and their ever smiling face, in the airports at the hotel and the
work place. I didn’t really enjoy any of these trips since I
did not take my family and I typically did not do any sight seeing.
Between the flights, jet lag and work – it was only hectic and
tiring. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the other hand
hada schedule that is 10 times more hectic – but he is always
at home where ever he is with a smile and enjoying the
present moment. The next time I do these trips I know I will
enjoy them –feeling at home and enjoying what ever experience
I am blessed with.

After attending this program we came to know His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was heading to Edison NJ during the
weekend of July 4th for another large satsang. I spoke to my wife
and enrolled her in the AOL part 1 course (which she should
have done a long time back) and the twins my second and third
son –Trinith and Tushar for the Art Excel course and
myself for the Yoga and Meditation course. I just wanted to
be in his presence again. 

At Edison, NJ during the July 4th weekend I had another
interesting experience. I carried a camera and a dictaphone
with me and had 9+ questions written down, one for each
of my chapters on peace and somehow I lost the paper. To
my amazement His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar answered
about 50+ questions from the audience and I had answers
to all of mine as well – during the course of the program. 

My original plan was to do an extensive research on this topic
and work towards a book on peace over a period of 2 years
– and release it around 2010 or so. After meeting His
Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, seeing the pace at which he
works I felt guilty that in reality all I am doing is
procrastination of the work to late 2009 and 2010. I instead
decided that I will focus and work on this material within July &
October of 2008 and hopefully come out with a final draft by
December 2008. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has already 
extensively worked for Peace in the last 25 years and all the
material needed was also available ready. I checked with my
Dad and his elder brother Dr. P Jayaraman from Bharathya
Vidhya Bhavan, NY about my interaction with His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and they stated that you should proceed
if His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has blessed. Ajay Tejasvi,
IAHV, also mentioned that the IAHV was looking for a
volunteer to do similar work of compiling all of His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s work on Peace and that this was good
timing. I also got almost 50 pages of write up from IAHV
about the quotes given by many folks who benefited from the
programs (which are featured in many of the chapters)
along with the quotes from many officials and dignitaries
who are appreciative of His Holiness Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar’s programs on Peace.

In the brief moment with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar at the hotel in Virginia when I mentioned to him
about this book his simple response was “just do it”.
After a few days I checked with my Dad if I should go ahead
and he said if His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said
“thathasthu” – meaning “so be it” – it is simply bound to happen.
Just go ahead without any doubts. The second hurdle was I
was not an expert in this topic.  There are probably hundreds
of books on peace; however I did know that I will get
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s guidance and that gave me
the confidence. On a trip back from Atlanta I missed my flight
and had to take the next one back to the National DC Airport
instead of the Dulles airport which is 10 miles from my place.
This was a week after the elevator meeting with His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Since the taxi ride will be an hour I
decided to meditate just while we were in the highway with
a fabulous view of the DC monument,  Lincoln and Jefferson
memorial. I meditated as if His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
was there guiding me into meditation. Before entering the
meditative state I was contemplating on the outline for
the book without any idea on how it will turn out. I had a
very unusual experience –like a flash – when I completed
meditating for about 25 minutes – and opened my eyes I
had a clear idea about the outline I wanted to have
starting from peace within to peace with family and friends
all the way to peace with the entire world. My inspiration is
the fact that His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is all about IT
(not information technology but internal transformation)
and Action – who takes real and meaningful actions for
global peace.

Therefore obviously the book should cover topics from
how he has set up programs from inner peace to world peace.
After this I elaborated on  the outline and I was given content
from IAHV volunteers on the different programs and initiatives
that His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has put together. 

I have also captured a lot of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s
writings from his books on “Celebrating Silence”, “Celebrating
Love”, “Shiva Suthras”, “The Guru of Love” and more,
which pertain to his prescriptions and preaching’s for peace
within one’s self to peace in the world.

As I was attending these events, reading these books and
the various meetings with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,
he had kindled my childhood thoughts. As a child I was enchanted
with devotional singing and bhajans and believed that I will grow
up to spread peace and happiness through my music and
bhajans.  Growing up, I was totally upset and frustrated with
pervasive corruption all around and developed a strong yearning
to see a world with a future that has eliminated corruption at all
levels. Later on, I admired the planet earth and all the beauty
that Mother Nature has to offer and had a compelling force
within me to work towards eco friendly programs and against
global warming. The very same thoughts that had given in to
more mundane and trivial thoughts as I grew up as a teenager
and an adult when the focus started shifting to studies, fun,
making money, marriage, family, vacations, travel and more.
 How can vacations, money, and other such thoughts overpower
the fundamental thoughts of a boy over time?
(1) How come people die due to poverty while there are plenty
of restaurants wasting food all over the world?
(2) How come war and violence continue to prevail for more than
5000 years despite man’s progress and evolution?
(3) How are resources contained and controlled despite
abundance and availability?
(4) How do people see borders when it is totally manmade?
(5) How can adults get caught up with trivial issues and fights?
(6) Why are not energy and resources directed towards
productive efforts as opposed to destructive efforts?
(7) How is it that a few decide to wage war and the many
who are against still suffer?
(8) What causes someone to kill another human being?
(9) When will we learn to live like real humans –
in peace and harmony with a value system?

Somewhere in time I forgot the fact that I had these questions in
me while I was growing. I started running the race of life and completely
buried my questions and thoughts. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,
through his guided meditations and knowledge resurfaced these
thoughts and I realized here is a human being who has truly evolved
into a Guru and God – since he selflessly dedicated his life with
action to find answers for these questions. 

I am sure majority of us felt this way while growing up, and we
wondered why? However we all got caught up with our own life
and buried these fundamental thoughts we had. One in a million
typicllay goes beyond just  wondering about it and doing something
in terms of actions, that may benefit a few others. One in a billion
(like His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) actually dedicate their
entire life for this purpose and take meaningful actions to ensure
that they not only act as an “Architect for World Peace”
but actually follow it up with day to day actions to fulfill the vision
and architecture for Global Peace.

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar always states that
“Past is your Destiny, Future is Freewill & the Present should be Bliss”
– we always think the other way – “the future is your destiny,
regret about the past and the present is equated to misery”.
By living in the present moment, being thankful for the past and
taking action for the future we are given a chance to make
the future for ourselves and the world. If millions and billions think
this way the future will be filled with peace and prosperity. This
approach gives us the capability to avoid the problem
– What’s happened has happened. This is a new moment,
with the future in our hands. With selfless  living, service and
stress free society we can create a future of peace and
harmony. All our energies and efforts are exercised towards
productive and not destructive activities – such as finding a
cure for cancer, researching on tapping into alternative sources
of energy, elevating the levels of education, and many more. 

At the July 4th event I witnessed hundreds of children running into
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s arms and giving him hugs.
What makes children do this to him, how do they see his love and
grace shine? I was moved by this scene. The thought I had in my
mind is the fact that adults too behave like kids around His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. That very same morning when I was waiting
with a few others for him to step out of the front seat of a car,
I saw an almost 6 foot man (in his 50’s) hugging His Holiness
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with a childlike smile in his face. He truly
awakens the heart, soul and mind of every person he touches.
There is something about His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that
I cannot comprehend. This is true with millions of his devotees
and disciples in all seven continents of the world. 

During this very same event I heard His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar state something very beautiful. There are 3 reasons
why one will not procrastinate.
a) when one knows he will be rewarded handsomely when
the task is complete,
b) when one knows that he will be penalized when the
deadline is not met and
c) when one is performing the act due to “love” –there is a
sense of urgency and eagerness to see the task completed.

I know for a fact that I am working on this book for the third
reason and hence I will get it done without procrastination.

I have turned into a passionate believer in the possibility
of peace –perpetual and perennial peace – especially when
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is unleashing all the positive
energy needed to dissipate the root causes of violence
and war. 

By eliminating the core causes that work against pervasive
peace – we cannot just dream or have the audacity of hope
for a future of peace in this ONE (and ONLY) planet we
have – but we can achieve it in THIS CENTURY.

Peace begets Prosperity
Peace begets Productivity
Peace begets Progress

Lets WAGE one's AGAINST:

JAI Gurudev!!

1 comment:

  1. Since july 4th weekend of 2008, I had the pleasure of being in his presence around diwali nov, 2008 (at Austin on a monday and Dallas on a tuesday).. In april2009 we had a sathsang at a public event and another at the DC center, and later in July/Aug 09 sathsangs at the Bangalore ashram.. and now at Ft Lauderdale in april 2010..

    Gurudev will be in Canada and Hartford soon...