The Art of Living is a multi-faceted, not-for-profit educational and humanitarian Non-Governmental-Organization (NGO) with a global presence. Founded in 1981 by H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living has become one of the largest voluntary organizations in the world. The goal of the organization is to serve society by strengthening the individual through educational programs and humanitarian service projects. The Art of Living has reached out to more than 370 million people in over 155 countries with its various programs.
The programs are guided by Sri Sri’s vision 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 that 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 promoted development and progress across communities through diverse humanitarian projects. These projects span diverse areas including:
Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace.
Integrated Community Development projects
Health and hygiene
Vocational training and skills development
Environment protection and sustainability
Women empowerment and child protection
Disaster relief management
Prisoner rehabilitation and conflict resolution
The service initiatives for the Art of Living are managed by different trusts in India. These trusts include:
The International Association for Human Values (IAHV)
Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI)
Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP)
Sri Sri RaviShankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM)
Sri Sri Rural Development Program (SSRDP)
Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Trust (SSIAST)
Sri Sri Publications Trust (SSPT)
These trusts are headed by committed professionals with years of experience in successful management and implementation of large scale social development projects.
The Art of Living is an organization with one of the largest volunteer bases in the world. The international headquarters is located in Bangalore, India. Globally, the organization operates as The Art of Living Foundation formed in 1989 in the United States of America and in Germany. Since then, local centers have been established across the world.
In the Art of Living’s organizational 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 organization. All the accounts are regularly audited by an external auditor. Other than expenses, no trustee is entitled to benefits in terms of salary or benefits. The Art of Living programs directly help to fund its humanitarian projects. The proceeds from the sales of The Art of Living Publications and Ayurveda products are also directed to the social initiatives.
The Art of Living is a member of several prestigious groups and alliances. These include:
CONGO (Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the United Nations), Geneva and New York
International Alliance against Hunger
UN Mental Health Committee and UN Committee on Ageing, New York
International Union for Health Promotion and Education, Paris
NGO Forum for Health, Geneva