Francois Gautier’s racy account about Sri Sri Ravi Sankar is a slow but interesting read!

Since this is the only authorized biography of Sri Sri Ravi Sankar, who is one of the most admired and unconventional modern-day gurus, it instantly caught my fancy. Sri Sri Ravi Sankar has helped and inspired millions of people across the globe in finding happiness and purpose of their times through his sermons under “The Art of Living”. I have seen his lessons on TV a couple of times (though some of the things went over my head, , some of it made sense) – For example ‘If individuals become strong and brilliant, then the society will become divine.’

Sri Sri Ravi Sankar was born into a religious family in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu in 1956. In his early childhood days, it was considered that he is special being reminiscent of Satya Sai Baba – full of miracles around him – for example at the age of 4, he could recite the entire Bhagwad Gitaand a lot more.The author scrutinises every aspect of Sri Sri’s life in detail and ensures that the flow of the narrative doesn’t break.

 

Sri Sri never discriminated amongst people and if he believed in something, he made a genuine effort to follow it truly. One of the biggest examples emphasizing this is when Sri Sri visits Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He found that a large number of people over 60 years of age and physically weak were being held in captivity for alleged crimes. He took time out and organised a survey of those people and appealed for mercy for them to the authorities and sought their release.

 

One of the highlights of the book is that it is not a PR exercise for Sri Sri Ravi Sankar,it also talks about the controversies surrounding this man. For example, the way he talks about life and religion, his definition of happiness and ways to achieve it, his point of view on what’s happening in the society with equal emphasis. At times, as a reader, I felt that the book is written by someone who is totally in love with Sri Sri but right after that the author managed to strike a balance in the narrative.

 

Overall, for me as a reader, the book was a slow read but I definitely learnt a lot about Sri Sri’s life and  my take on this is from a completely neutral perspective. If you are a follower of The Art Of Living, then this book will definitely give you insights into the life of Sri Sri and if you’re not a follower of , then this book will give you insights about how a man rose to being one of the most beloved and followed person on the planet.

Yatin Gupta

Yatin Gupta is an advertising professional by the day. An avid reader & Humans of New York fan, he feels that stories can influence how we see others & spark a change in behavior.

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