Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar became the first Indian to receive the Crans Montana Forum Award. The Crans Montana Forum Award was conferred upon him at a ceremony in Brussels on 24 June 2011.
About Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar usually known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born asborn Ravi Shankar Ratnam on 13 May 1956. He is a spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation (1982) which aims at relieving both individual stress and societal problems and violence, and which is an NGO with UNESCO consultative status. He is also frequently referred to simply as Sri Sri (honorific) or as Guruji or Gurudev. He also established in 1997 a Geneva-based charity, International Association for Human Values along with the 14th Dalai Lama. International Association for Human Values is an NGO that engages in relief work and rural development and aims to foster shared global values.
Sri Sri inspired his father and several other prominent citizens of Bangalore to found Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth, an educational and charitable trust, in 1981. Under the auspices of this trust, he opened a school south of Bangalore for local rural children, which presently provides free education for 2000 such children.
Art of Living was founded in 1982. The Foundation's name is drawn from the title of an earlier book by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Science of Being and the Art of Living, published in 1963. In 1983, he held the first Art of Living course in Europe in Switzerland. In 1986, he travelled to Apple Valley, California in the USA to conduct the first course to be held in North America.
According to him, science and spirituality are linked and compatible, both springing from the urge to know.
Others who received the award along with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Alassane Ouattara (President of Cote d''Ivoire), Adrian Nastase (Former Romanian Prime Minister), Philippe Maystadt (President of European Investment Bank), Tahar Benjelloun (Psychologist and Writer), Mohamed Ibn Chambas (Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific, Group of States) and Richard Holbrooke (U.S. Ambassador) who was awarded posthumously were the other recipients of the award .
Winners of the Past
The award has been mainly conferred on politicians in the past. The recipients in the past include Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Shimon Peres, President of Israel, Yasser Arafat, former leader of Palestine Liberation Organisation, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the Soviet Union.
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