His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual leader and Humanitarian, was born in 1956 in southern India. He was often found deep in meditation as a child. At the age of four, he astonished his teachers by reciting the Bhagawad Gita.
To globalise the knowledge of leading a happy, stress-free life, H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar established an international educational and humanitarian NGO – The Art of Living in 1982. Today with a presence in over 151 countries the Art of Living is one of the largest voluntary organizations in the world.
One of the World's most inspirational and dynamic leaders, his Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is also one of the greatest thinkers of our times. Emphasising practical wisdom, He has transformed millions of lives all over the globe. His talks are a unique blend of knowledge and guidance, delivered with simplicity and humour – a powerful, unbeatable combination that touches lives and hearts wherever heard.
It is with great joy that we offer this deeply absorbing collection of profound yet simple to comprehend talks, given by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, over a period of time. They compel one to delve deeper, ponder further and look beyond the obvious. They give an insight into our rituals and a deeper meaning to our traditions.
The image of Lord Shiva has over the centuries been romanticized by historians and devotees alike. A body smeared with ash a tiger skin encircling his loins, a crescent moon adorning his forehead, matted hair piled high on his head from whence flows the celestial river Ganga, one hand bearing a trident, another set in a classical mudra, sometimes playing the dumroo as he is consumed in the cosmic dance, the third eye between the brows accentuating his bold handsomeness, snakes encircling his azure neck. The imagery in its evocativeness has never failed to attract and arouse the curiosity within.
As much as there have been metaphors to describe the visual appearance of Shiva, there have been many more names to describe the attributes that he has been known to embody. The 1008 names of Shiva only serve to portray his infinite and versatile nature, his unknowable mysteries, a being devoid of polarities, composite and synthesized. Yet, He is beyond description or definition. He can only be experienced and lived through.
You cannot completely know Shiva with just the head or the heart alone. Therefore, in this book, we have compiled a series of commentaries by Sri Sri on aspects related to Shiva and to His worship, which appeals to both the rational and the devotional. Through this offering, we hope to move the reader beyond the limited abstract conceptions of Shiva, and expose the vibrant kaleidoscope of the all – encompassing reality that Shiva is.
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