Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival, Yoga and Meditation.

With the mind boggling advances in science and technology, the whole world has become more interconnected and interdependent. Economies of all countries have become increasingly interdependent. Travel, trade and tourism have shrunk the world in to a big global village. Advancements in Information Technology (IT) and Electronics & Communication (EC) have shrunk the whole world to the size of a small football field. Whatever happens in one part of the world is almost instantly known throughout the world.

There are both positive and negative aspects of these fast paced developments. On the positive side, the comforts generated by advancements in science and technology are available throughout the world in a very short span of time. On the negative side, threats posed by misuse of science and technology are felt throughout the world.

With the shrinking of whole world, the religious, ethnic, cultural and socio-economic differences have become more pronounced. Human brain needs to adopt itself to these changes.

As we all know, the human brain is functionally divided into ‘left brain’ and ‘right brain’.



Left brain divides and categorizes, it carries out linear thinking and logical analysis, it calculates and makes equations, it deals with science and mathematics, it is judgmental and relies on repetitive patterns, it wants control and order, likes precision and organized approach. Left brain deals with all that is concrete and materialistic.

Right brain integrates and views life in a holistic way, it empathizes and understands others, it deals with emotions and intuition, it is seat of human values and ethics, it is non-judgmental and random, it loves music, creativity, beauty, arts and crafts. Right brain deals with all the abstract and spiritual aspects of life.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the great humanitarian and spiritual leader says, “The whole day, from the time we wake up until we go to bed, we are only using the left brain – calculating, talking, logical reasoning, taking decisions. So our development is one-sided.”

If we look at the holistic picture of human brain activity for the whole humanity, over past century or so, we will come to a conclusion that, overall the ‘left brain’ activity has increased tremendously. In recent times, man has become more impersonal, practical, individualistic, scientific, analytical, logical and judgmental. The whole society is slowly becoming ‘left brain’ oriented.

The goal of human life is to find happiness and freedom. Everyone pursues something or other in life to find happiness and freedom. Peaceful co-existence of the entire humanity is the pre-requisite for individual happiness and freedom. Peaceful co-existence requires empathy, understanding, holistic approach and honoring of the human values and ethics. Peaceful co-existence requires nurturing of the ‘right brain’.

Violence and terrorism have become biggest threats to humanity today. Terrorism can be seen as direct offshoot of retarded ‘right brain’ activity. Terrorists may be religious but they are not spiritual. Terrorists are caught up in fixed concepts about religion and God, right and wrong, just & unjust and fail to look at the big picture of life. They judge everyone based on their own rigid belief system. They divide the whole society into fixed compartments. Terrorists have no respect for human values and emotions. They treat human beings like objects. Violence and terrorism are result of failure of human mind to accommodate personal, religious, ethnic, cultural and socio-economic differences. Terrorism with the help of advances in science and technology can wipe-out the entire human race from this planet within a matter of few hours.

Today the biggest challenge before mankind is, how to deal with terrorism? Terrorism cannot be eliminated through violence. Killing of Osama Bin Laden has seen the rise of more deadly Al-Baghdadi. Even if Al-Baghdadi is killed, it is unlikely that terrorism will end. Violence may, at the best, give a short term remedy but not a long term solution to this problem.


The root cause of terrorism lies in human mind. The human mind needs to be trained to become more accommodative and more tolerant. Terrorism can be eradicated only with proper education, balanced growth and culturing of human mind.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji says that, every child on this planet should be educated a little bit regarding all the diverse cultures and religions of the world. Education should make everyone understand that the whole world is one global family. Education should aim to cultivate respect, honor and love for all human beings. This only can ensure a violence-free and terror-free society. Wisdom is to rise above prejudice and see the whole world as one family.


The world today needs to shift its focus from ‘left brain’ dominance to the ‘right brain’ activity. This will bring about a balanced growth in society. Meditation, music, celebration, arts and cultural programs are food for the growth of ‘right brain’ activity. World Culture Festival-2016, where people from more than 155 countries are going to participate, is one of the biggest steps in this direction. The World Culture Festival (#WorldCultureFestival) is a celebration of The Art of Living’s 35 years of service to humanity. It is expected that around 3.5 million people from across the world will be participating in this mega event. It is a big step in educating the human mind to accept, honor and celebrate the differences in different cultures and communities. This three days’ festival will celebrate the diversity in cultures from across the world while simultaneously highlighting the underlying unity. The festival will showcase music and cultural events; interfaith meet and Global Leadership forum; celebration and meditation and all that is required to shift the focus of world consciousness towards the ‘right brain’.


The emphasis will be on enhancing human values, bringing in religious harmony and renewing our commitment towards a stress-free individual and violence-free society.

Be there and make the difference!

The world wants you to take the Right step!

Sanjay Sabnis

About Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival.

“Celebration is the nature of the spirit. Any celebration has to be spiritual. Celebration without spirituality does not have any depth. Silence gives depth to celebration”



These are the words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the humanitarian leader whose single motto is to put a smile on every face. Striving tirelessly to help people eliminate stress from their system using the simple yet powerful technique, Sudarshan Kriya,

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar simply and effortlessly makes us aware of our  true nature of peace and joy.  Practice of Yoga, pranayama, meditation and Art of Living principles to apply in day to day life, complemented by Seva and Satsang has truly made life a celebration for millions of people around the world. “Peace is our birthright. Neither at home nor at school have we learnt how to handle negative emotions” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Emotions are linked with the pattern of breath. When we change the pattern in a particular way, we can handle our emotions better. What a simple way to bring positivity in one’s life. The change begins with the individual. When each individual is transformed, the whole society, the whole world is transformed! It is as simple as that. Millions are already transformed but many more are yet to get a calling.

World Culture Festival is a calling for every citizen of the world to come together and celebrate ones birth as a human being on this planet earth. It is said we have to go through 86 lakh lifetimes as lower organisms before we earn the merit to be born in human form! To be born as a contemporary to global peace ambassador Sri Sri Ravishankar is the icing on the cake. We could have been born 50 years before or after His lifetime. We would have missed this golden opportunity to walk the same ground that He is walking now. Instead of reading about Sri  Sri Ravi Shankar in history books, we have the privilege of being the historians to chronicle the joyful colours of human life painted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar  on the canvas of world map.

For all of us, the fortunate ones,  associated with the Guru principle called Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhana, SEVA and Satsang have become a way of life! I for one, cannot stop wondering ‘ How did I ever live before the phenomenon called The Art of Living came into my life!’


In my 17 years into Art of Living , I have seen the magnetic drawing power of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with wonder struck eyes! I continue to be in awe of Him although He looks quite unaware of the magnitude of His power. His power is nothing but love, simply love, unconditional and non judgemental love. Globetrotting to spread love, peace and joy, lending a helping hand for trauma relief, a new light of hope to prisoners, bringing to the fore the value of farmers, instilling human values in children, guiding principles for good governance, giving solace to every living soul, be it humans, animals, birds, plants,  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been an oasis for the thirsty travelers on this journey called life.

To the question” Why World Culture Festival“, His answer is very simple. “I have been meeting people in pockets in different parts of the world, , so I thought why not get everyone in one place and celebrate”. If we are wise, we will be able to see beyond such simple remark. Mysterious are the ways of the divine. It is my conviction that a huge transformation for the better is in store for us after World Culture Festival. Many of us experienced miracles after Silver Jubilee celebration in Feb 2006. Health, relationships, finances and other problematic areas in people’s life got sorted out like magic just by being a volunteer for the event or even just by participating in the celebrations.

10 years later, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is hosting a much bigger celebration with more profound benefits. Remember He has said “Everyone will benefit by attending World Culture Festival”. Time to set aside ‘Ifs and Buts’ and march with conviction ‘ Come what may, #IWillBeThere ‘ to Delhi.

On a lighter note, lot of amusement is assured!

For three days you will witness ‘ Comedy of errors’ created by ‘ God’s plenty’, that is us!

Confusion, consternation, culminating in contentment. The triumph of human spirit against all challenges. You will discover the hidden strength in your personality being a part of 3 .5 million pilgrims who have weathered various challenges to spend the most precious three days of their life.


Yes, this is a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage to the shrine of love, peace and joy!

Let’s experience the pure bliss of meditating together on this global platform and pray for the whole world.

Let’s have one personal desire and one for the common good. When the time is right ,our faith will manifest what we have prayed for.

We have a duty towards future generation. That is to undo the harms done unwittingly and create a better world filled with human values.

Motley of human procession that gives enough fodder for you to ruminate for several years. Variety of characters with a single agenda but diverse ways! Just imagine the stories of World Culture Festival that you come carrying back with you. You will turn a historian with a quiver full of interesting anecdotes to recount to those less fortunate ones who missed it all!  Ten years later, when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar hosts an even bigger extravaganza of spiritual Olympiad, you will say with utter glee to all Freshers, ” Hey, I was there, done that” .

To conclude, I would say, all of us will be playing the role of Lord Rama’s monkeys in treta Yug that helped build bridge to vanquish evil. In Kaliyug, without waging a war, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is choosing a path of peace to overcome the evil in the hearts of human beings by bringing to our awareness ‘peace is our nature’.  I would not miss the opportunity to lay a brick to this bridge. Neither should you!

Let’s sing, dance, laugh and meditate with the world on March 11, 12 and 13 in Delhi.

I remember a poem from Nobel Prize winning book, Geetanjali, by Rabindranath Tagore which is apt to quote here.

“I have had my invitation to this worlds festival, and thus my life is blessed. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard. It was my part in this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could”


Leela Ramesh

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The World Culture Festival, World Culture Festival.

If you thought that only people had desires and wishes to fulfil. Get ready for a reality check. Preparations and rehearsals to one of the biggest cultural events of the world is quietly unfolding at the grounds opposite Mayur Vihar Metro station in New Delhi, India.

The very best of artists, directors and managers of sound, light, wind, water and earth are putting their best foot forward to stage the World Culture Festival 2016 presented by The Art of Living in New Delhi from March 11th-13th  

This festival marks the organization`s 35 years of service to humanity inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Themed to cherish and promote the values of unity and diversity, this event is set to redefine the idea of a festival.

On the ground. Right there now.The Sound system experts and engineers are busy mixing their talent to meet the challenge of delivering the best of music, chants and songs that will flow out from the several thousand maestros, musicians and singers scheduled to perform so that you get to hear that rhyme and rhythm. Perfectly.

Perhaps the huge speakers and mikes are jostling with each other in their storage boxes now, waiting to break free and be an instrument of peace for you, to safely and brilliantly deliver the scores of musical notes, pitch, aria, voices and rhythm. Because this music is surely going to touch your heart ! Music from various cultures and traditions of the world.

In it`s vibrant continuing service initiative of river rejuvenation, Art of Living volunteers in Delhi who first spearheaded the `Clean Yamuna` river campaign are working hard and diligently to keep the river clean and alive with several awareness initiatives and environment-friendly solutions. The Yamuna flows through the city of Delhi.

This is one whopping event that has got a mammoth team working on the ground now, coordinating with the compassionate earth to embrace a 7 acre long stage, the largest ever stage, almost the size of six football fields, that will see over 25,000 artists perform for the Festival. Loads of iron, wood, sand and stone must be competing hard among themselves to be a part of this stage that will go into the Guinness World Records. There is competition in the brick and mortar world too.


To light up the world`s largest stage and put all the 25,000 plus artists in the limelight, is perhaps a light – technician’s nightmare, delight or first time in the world opportunity. Whichever way one sees it, huge plans are afoot to set up light towers that the world has never seen before.

The eye of every camera, sophisticated or otherwise is perhaps waiting to catch this spectacular event in all its hues, colours and tones. Frame by frame. Moment  – to – moment. The best directors of film and photography are working out their details now to capture the event in its full glory. Even my smartphone camera wishes to do that.

And 3.5 million pairs of grateful eyes are going to catch the awesome World Culture Festival. LIVE. An eye to cherish and support a noble initiative of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for world peace and unity.

Be amazed. Lights. Camera and Action have their justifiable goals and wishes too.