Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 154 countries and has touched the lives of over 370 million people.
The programs 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 help individuals get rid of stress and experience 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 Art of Living movement 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 has a few sister organisations which are also dedicated to 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), Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI), Sri Sri Rural Development Program (SSRDP) and Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust (SSIAST) among others, formulate and implement humanitarian projects of The Art of Living globally.
IAHV is an international volunteer-based NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations which along with the Art of living has touched the lives of people in 155 countries around the world. An international humanitarian NGO, IAHV implements social development programs aimed at increasing global equity, sustainable development initiatives, and social justice for all human beings on the planet.
SSIAST Trust was founded with its long term aim towards Eco-Initiative to protect natural resources of land, soil, water and vegetation. Its Initiatives facilitates interaction with farmers to appraise their decline in crop productivity, methods of escalating the production cost which directly results in higher consumer prices. The Institute conducts seminars, lectures and demonstrations creating awareness in farmers about the dangers in chemical farming and advantages in organic farming. The trust further is involved in search of remedial solutions for some of the major environmental degradation factors in the experiments with the farmers and also scientists and looks for NGO’s initiative to launch projects and programs.
Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir Trust was established in 1999. An educational and health wing of The Art of Living, the trust was built to promote value-based, holistic education in a stress-free, student-friendly environment. It also aims to bring the benefits of the ancient science of Ayurveda to the modern world. The trust has established about 90 plus schools across India, one free school at Dharavi Slums, 2 International schools in Nepal and Oman, an Ayurveda College and a Hospital, a Sri Sri University at Cuttack etc, in all effort to bring change in the education system.
Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth is the Umbrella organization registered as a Public charitable trust constituted to promote spiritual, educational, cultural and social development activities. In addition to rural development programs, women’s empowerment projects and educational initiatives, VVMP is also involved in Vedic research, medical research and social research for the benefit of the public.
Sri Sri Publications Trust is the Publication division of the Art of Living. They produce and distribute discourses of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in form of cd’s, dvd’s and book. They also have an exhaustive repository of Soulful Bhajans by the eminent internationally acclaimed singers of the Art of living fraternity.
Vyakti Vikas Kendra was established to aid a far-reaching social transformation in India through the Art of Living programs and implementing a broad range of service projects to uplift and empower individuals, families and communities so that full potential of human life can be expressed. The goal is to enable more and more people in urban as well as rural India to become stress-free and inspire these individuals to become change agent to alleviate poverty, misery and disease right up to the smallest unit of a village.
The Art of Living is a multi-faceted organisation with one of the largest volunteer bases in the world. The international headquarters is located in Bangalore, India. Globally, the organisation operates as The Art of Living Foundation formed in 1989 in the United States of America and in Germany. Since then, local centres have been established across the world. In the Art of Living’s organisational structure, there is a board of trustees with a term of two years.
Two-thirds of the trustees change every two years. All the Art of Living teachers and the previous trustees are allowed to nominate a new board. There is a provision for an advisory board that monitors and guides the organisation. All the accounts are regularly audited by an external auditor. Other than expenses, no trustee is entitled to benefits in terms of salary etc. Art of Living programs directly helps to fund its humanitarian projects. The proceeds from the sales of The Art of Living Publications and Ayurveda products are also directed to our social initiatives.