Global humanitarian and spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living addressed both US’s Delaware State Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar became the first Indian spiritual leader to be invited to both the houses.
In the address to the Delaware General Assembly, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar focused on dealing with mental health challenges and establishing peace. He highlighted the importance of using one’s own breath to achieve inner peace and mental wellbeing.
Interestingly, Delaware is the first state to ratify the Constitution of the US and is the electoral constituency of US President Joe Biden.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met with Governor John Carney during the US visit. He was also presented the Key to the City of Miami by Commissioner Kionne McGhee of Miami-Dade county.
Ravi Shankar visited Harvard University where he spoke with noted author Susan David. He also had an engaging conversation with John Sexton at the New York Public Library, where they discussed a variety of topics ranging from religion & spirituality to climate change & the environment.
Ravi Shankar attended an event hosted by National Geographic & the Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC, where he addressed the medical fraternity. In another event jointly hosted by George Washington University in partnership with Stanford’s CCARE, Ravi Shankar addressed a gathering with US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy and James Doty on the topic of youth mental health.
Recognising Gurudev’s work
During the meeting, each chamber presented a tribute acknowledging “the extensive work of The Art of Living globally towards peace, trauma relief, conflict resolution, women empowerment and community development”. The tributes also recognised Ravi Shankar’s long-standing role in mediation and conflict resolution in countries like Iraq, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Cameroon, and Bihar, among others.
In his address, Ravi Shankar emphasised the importance of building communities where human values are cherished and nurtured. He also encouraged all the stakeholders to join forces and be a part of the “I Stand for Peace” campaign, a movement to bring the focus back to “peaceful progress, unity and harmony”.
“We are proud to honour and thank Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s humanitarianism, spiritual leadership and commitment to peace here in the United States and across the world,” mentioned John Carney, Governor and Bethany Hall-Long, Lieutenant Governor in their joint tribute to the spritual leader, recognising Art of Living’s work.
As part of his first tour of the US this year, Ravi Shankar has initiated a critical conversation on the importance of mental health and well being in the post-pandemic times, “when the incidences of mental health illnesses including depression, fatigue and anxiety are on the rise across the globe”.
His 2022 US tour began in Miami where he addressed a conference of physicians on the role of meditation for mental health and overall well-being. He continued to Boston, where he shared his thoughts about destigmatising mental health at Harvard University.