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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace

Introduction

In this world we are taught many branches of knowledge: reading, writing, mathematics, science, music, art. Yet where along the way have we learned the art of living -- the secrets to life that will secure our health, happiness and success?

Health is much more than an absence of illness. Success is something beyond money in the bank or material possessions. The status we have attained and the comforts of home and family are no guarantee of happiness.

The true value of our life is our own inner joy -- and how much we have shared with others. Our worth in this world is our unconditional love and service to a global family.

Does joy fill our lives and overflow freely onto all those we meet? Or do we wrestle each day with our own discontent? Do our actions spread peace and harmony in our surroundings? Or do we create stress in others from unresolved tensions inside us? Are we able to achieve our desires? Or do we chase after happiness like an endless horizon?

Living effectively is the finest of arts. The time-tested secrets of the art of living comprise the highest and most treasured teaching on this planet -- a practical wisdom that bestows day-to-day worldly blessings as well as the deep spiritual unfoldment of one's inner Self.

Where can one go to get this supreme knowledge of life?

To learn and practice music, painting or any fine craft, one traditionally seeks study with a master of that art or skill. To realize grace in the art of living, guidance from a Master is even more essential.

The human mind glorifies the past. Yet God has been kind to all peoples. For those who seek, there has always been the light of wisdom from Masters in every generation.

Teachers in this world are many; authentic Masters of the art of living are precious and few. They are the brilliant stars who graciously refuse to leave the earth in total darkness. Instead they shine their beacon lights of wisdom to guide the paths of all who will find their way. In each century these great saints are so rare that they can be counted on fingers. Usually they do not venture much into the world, and so their divine presence is seldom understood by their contemporaries.

Occasionally a time is blessed with One of extraordinary brilliance and compassion who comes out to teach among the people. Such a presence abundantly uplifts those of that time and those of generations to come. History records the impact of such Ones as Christ, Buddha, Lao-tzu, Krishna, Adi Shankara, Mahavir and others of diverse times and places whose names are less known today.

With this book we herald the living presence of such a One. He is addressed by various names: Guruji, Swamiji, Babaji. He has no care for titles. Many simply call him Punditji (Revered Wise One). His full name is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. A spiritual Master of exquisite grace and rarity, he embodies at once the love of Jesus, the silence of Buddha, the playfulness of Krishna and the wisdom of Adi Shankara.

As a child of three, he was often found with eyes closed, rapt for hours in deep meditation. At four he could recite sacred scriptures. Resplendent with radiance, he was recognized by the enlightened saints of his boyhood as crowned with the Divine.

"Ah, Baba, you've brought me the river Ganges," proclaimed India's beloved saint, Anandamayi Ma, as His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi presented the shy young Ravi Shankar.

The river Ganges? The boy pondered her meaning. Rivers are considered feminine. Was she referring to his long flowing hair and soft beardless face?

Anandamayi Ma continued.

"You have brought me the One. The One who will wash away the ignorance of the world."

With her simple words, this celebrated saint anticipated the events that now unfold before our eyes.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's presence affords a golden opportunity for the fortunate ones who come to know of him. Full of humor and profound silence, he freely bestows the master keys to a higher way of living. His message rings of love, fulfillment and oneness. Miracles abound in
the life of anyone whose heart he touches.

This book offers the reader a glimpse of this gentle Master who showers our generation with wisdom and grace.

"Attaining this divine love, one becomes fulfilled.
Then all your actions will be an expression of joy."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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