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About Us

Operating in 180 countries, The Art of Living is a non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization founded in 1981 by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Social Projects wing under the aegis of The Art of Living is headquartered in Bengaluru which strives to resolve India's looming water crisis & eradicating water poverty, and always had a focus on improving the livelihoods of rural farmers – to ensure their economic, physical and mental wellbeing which this starts with enough groundwater – which is the basis for rural communities to thrive.

Our partnership with the Government of India, various State Governments, along with the persistent support from corporates, individual donors, and well-wishers has helped us to grow in a developing and sustainable world.

India has been water-stressed, and the worrisome task is to eradicate its knock-on effect on the local communities. The problem of water scarcity specially for the agriculture purposes in the country is due to poor management of available resources. Deforestation, soil erosion, and climate change have also been the major factors among others responsible for the current water crisis.

The Art of Living – Social Projects, under the guidance of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is undertaking measures to solve the current water crisis in India. The project focuses on and ensuring farmers and villagers can scale their income with maximized crop productivity.

All the water conservation initiatives have focused exclusively on the multiplicity of consolidating water resources to make them available in the most-needed areas. Restoration of water sources and implementation of conservation methods have been the prime focus of significant projects. The impact can be seen on the inclusive development of farmers in the regions of execution of projects.

Our Vision

We are creating a more sustainable world through the implementation of task of projects not only to conserve soil, water and vegetation but also to promote their efficient use and environmental awareness so as to ensure sustainable development, deploying the network of people, businesses and communities."

JalTara Founder

Our Founder

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has united people of different races, traditions, economic and social status, and nationalities. This community, spanning 180 countries, has created a one-world spiritual family.

Gurudev's message is simple:
"Love and wisdom can prevail over hatred and violence." This message is not just a slogan, but through The Art of Living has been and continues to be translated into action and results.

Awards / Accolades

  • "Padam Vibhushan", Highest Annual Civilian Award, India
  • Highest Civilian Award, Orden De La Democracia Simon Bolivar, Bogota, Colombia
  • Global Humanitarian Award - American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, USA
  • Bharat Kirtimaan Alankaran 2022, World Book of Records
  • Saint of Modern India - Suryadatta National Lifetime Achievement Award 2022
  • Order of the Pole Star, the Highest Civilian Awards
  • Honorary Order of the Yellow Star (Ridder), Highest Civilian Award, Suriname Highest Civilian Award from the Goverments of Mongolia, Paraguay, Colombia and Suriname
  • Honored by the City of Tampa, Florida, USA by declaring June 18, 2015 as "A Day of Happiness"
  • Humanitarian Award from the Municipality of Lima, Peru 25 Honorary Doctorates by Universities Across the World
  • 27 Cities have been declared as Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Days in the US & Canada
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Biography


Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher, and an ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people around the world through service projects and programs offered by The Art of Living.

The beginning

Born in 1956 in Southern India, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was a gifted child. By the age of four, he was able to recite parts of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Sanskrit scripture and was often found in deep meditation. Gurudev’s first teacher, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, had a long association with Mahatma Gandhi. By the age of seventeen in 1973, Gurudev had graduated with degrees in, both, Vedic literature, and physics.

Founding The Art of Living and the International Association of Human Values

Gurudev founded The Art of Living as an international, non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization. Its educational and self-development programs offer powerful tools and accounts 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. The Art of Living programs are currently offered in 180 countries. In 1997, Gurudev co-founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), a sister organization of The Art of Living. The IAHV coordinates sustainable development projects, nurtures human values and initiates conflict resolution.

Inspiring service and globalizing wisdom

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 meditation and 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 inner silence in daily life.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

A Figure of Peace

As an ambassador of peace, Gurudev has played a key role in conflict resolution around the world as he shares his vision of non-violence at public forums and gatherings worldwide for free. Regarded as a neutral figure with a sole agenda of peace, he represents hope to people in conflict. He has received particular credit for bringing opposing parties to the negotiating table in Colombia, Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Kashmir, and Bihar. Through his initiatives and speeches, Gurudev has consistently emphasized the need for reinforcing human values and recognizing that we belong to a one world family. Fostering interfaith harmony and calling for multi-cultural education as the remedy for fanaticism are significant parts of his efforts to achieve sustainable peace.

Gurudev has touched the lives of millions around the world through a reawakening of human values and service. Going beyond race, nationality, and religion, Gurudev has rekindled the message of a one world family, which is free from stress, and violence.

Our Team

Prasana Prabhu

Chairman, Vyakti Vikas Kendra India, The Art of Living

Prasana Prabhu

From his successful career in the television industry, where he excelled in marketing airtime for popular shows, to his move into Bollywood, Prasana Prabhu was known for his dedication to achieving challenging goals. He also played a key role in bringing popular beauty pageants like Miss Universe and Miss World to Indian audiences.

However, Prasana Prabhu’s life took an unexpected turn. Amidst the allure of glamour and glitz, he happened to stumble into a spiritual world which he has joyfully embraced ever since. As an international educator and meditation mentor for more than twenty years, he has initiated various projects and has been the driving force behind several Art of Living trusts. He has demonstrated remarkable organizational skills while coordinating significant events for The Art of Living, such as the organization’s very first World Culture Festival in February 2006. Bangalore. Borders faded as millions came together from over 150 countries to experience and celebrate His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's message. For the first time in the history of Indian music, a gathering of more than 3,800 musicians from all over South India was brought together for the Silver Jubilee Celebrations. Prasana Prabhu was also at the forefront of the World Culture Festival in 2016, which drew 3.75 million attendees, 36,000 performers, 2,500 spiritual leaders, and representatives from 110 countries in New Delhi.

Today, Prasana Prabhu is the Chairman at Vyakti Vikas Kendra India, an integral part of The Art of Living movement. Here, he forges strong partnerships with leaders of government and corporate bodies and passionately drives various social initiatives like water conservation, afforestation, natural farming, women empowerment, and skill development. He is renowned for his expertise in engaging with rural youth, effectively motivating them to champion a wide range of social causes to enhance India's welfare.

Even though he has achieved numerous feats in his remarkable career, his motivation to work for a better India keeps him on a never-ending journey that captivates and continues to be an inspiration to many.

Manu Namboodiri

Founder of Save Groundwater Foundation & The Art of Living Volunteer

Passionate about solving the global water crisis, Manu has been working on low-cost, massively scalable approaches to address this immense problem quickly. He is an Art of Living volunteer. He is also the founder of Save Groundwater Foundation which is dedicated to addressing the global water crisis.

The JalTara 'one recharge structure per acre' and '500 recharge structures per village' approach was the result of Manu’s learnings from multiple projects and visits to drought-hit regions across India.

Manu works in the tech industry and travels between India and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Manu Namboodiri

Dr. Purushottam Wayal

Project Director, The Art of Living JalTara

Dr. Purushottam Wayal

He is a versatile individual with roles as a Professor, Farmer, Agricultural Expert, and The Art of Living Teacher. For almost two decades, he has led transformative water and environmental projects in rural Maharashtra, turning arid landscapes into thriving communities.

As an Art of Living teacher, Dr. Wayal not only shares knowledge but also promotes holistic living, connecting people with their environment. Based in Jalna, Maharashtra, he is committed to achieving Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's vision of Solving India's Groundwater Crisis.