In times of terror, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an icon of world peace. The spiritual leader speaks to S Gurumurthy about his mediation in Colombia to bring the armed rebels to the negotiation table and how he applied the Gandhian principle of non-violence, and ancient Indian values of yoga and meditation to rid the world of violence and mould it into One Family.
"Do not get him married. Let him be a Brahmachari for life. He has a mission in the cause of our dharma.” This was how the Kanchi Mahaswami, the Sankaracharya of Kanchi, regarded by many as divine incarnation, blessed the young boy Ravi Shankar. This was when the young Ravi Shankar’s parents, Visalakshi and Venkat Ratnam, the devout Brahmin couple from a small town, Papanasam, in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu when they took him, their only child, to have darshan of the Mahaswami.
Visalakshi was distraught. But Ratnam, well versed with Upanishads, astrology and Ayurveda, understood that his child was destined for something big and high. A few years later, the Sage also told the young Ravi Shankar, to be a Sanyasi but not wear saffron dress. Thus began young Ravi Shankar’s spiritual quest. I personally saw him first when he was an extremely attractive young brahmachari, with sharp features and piercing eyes, just out of his teens.
Narrated by famous journalist Shri S Gurumurthy in The New Indian Express.
In the above picture, Religious leaders gathered for a meeting at Sringeri Shankar Math in Bangalore. Seen are (from left) Vishvesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math; Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living; Shivarathrishwara Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math; Balagangadharanatha Swamiji of Adichunchanagiri Math; Valukeshwara Bharathi Swamiji of Sringeri Shankara Math; and Shivamurthy Shivacharya Swamiji of Taralabalu Math.