Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Spreading Awareness over the World

Abstract : During the Twentieth Century, either before or after the Independence, India produced several saints. Many of these saints have preached and still preach a religion of love and devotion, the bhakti. Nowadays, many of the bhakti movements they have created are still active and other new movements are being born with the emergence of new saint-figures. Among all these modern movements, The Art of Living Foundation is the most recent one, and one of the most active today. Founded in 1982 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who is believed by his followers to be the embodiment of divine love, The Art of Living Foundation claims to possess the "keys" to a better living. Indeed, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's movement offers courses of yoga and meditation worldwide to share its precious wisdom with the widest public, regardless of walks of life, religions, societies and cultures of the aspirants. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's yoga techniques and main messages as "Life is sacred ; celebrate life" attract an ever-growing public, be it in India, in America, or anywhere else. In spite of the fact that The Art of Living Foundation is present all over the world, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his movement remain not very much known among the scholarly circles, especially outside the Indian subcontinent. So, the present study, based on observation and analysis of the movement, will introduce Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his movement in a critical way by comparing The Art of Living Foundation with the other modern Hindu bhakti movements, highlighting and critiquing the salient features it tries to enshrine.
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Alexis Avdeeff. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Spreading Awareness over the World. Journal of Dharma, 2004, XXIX (3), pp.321-335. ⟨halshs-00430542⟩

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