Art of Living foundation
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|The Art Of Living Foundation|
|Motto||"One World Family"|
|Headquarters||21st Km, Udaypura, Kanakapura Road, Bengaluru|
The Foundation is working in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)  of the United Nations. The International Association for Human Values  is the sister NGO that Shankar founded, that focuses on the upliftment of human values at the grassroots level.
Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) has its international headquarters in Bangalore, India at Ved Vignan Mahavidyapeeth or VVM campus (usually referred to as the Art of Living's international facility in Bangalore, or as the Bangalore Ashram)and has regional centers in more than 150 countries. In Europe, the organization is known as the Association for Inner Growth. The Foundation was founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and offers a variety of personal-development and trauma-relief programs around the world.
AOLF has been an educational and humanitarian organization in the U.S. since 1989. Accredited as a United Nations non-governmental organization in 1996, it works in special consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council, participating in a variety of committees and activities relating to health, education, sustainable development, conflict resolution, and disaster relief. The Art of Living is a DPI NGO (Department of Public Information), which means it plays an active role in communicating and contributing to various United Nations goals (such as the UN Millennium Goals and the Stand Up initiative).
The majority of the officers of the organization, along with most of its teachers and staff, are volunteers. Many humanitarian programs, disaster relief efforts, and training programs are conducted through, or in conjunction with partner organization, the International Association for Human Values (IAHV). Some of the key worldwide chapters include the Art of Living Foundation (U.S.A.), Vyakti Vikas Kendra (India), Die Kunst des Lebens (Germany), Art of Living Center (Canada), Art of Living South Africa, Art of Living Israel, Art of Living Brazil, and Art of Living Argentina.
The objective of the organization as described in its website is to develop a stress-free society and a peaceful individual.
Guided by Sri Sri’s philosophy of peace, “Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace”, the Art of Living offers several stress-elimination and self-development programmes based mainly on breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. These programmes have helped thousands around the world to overcome depression and violent and suicidal tendencies. Art of living hopeline (24X7 telephonic hopeline number) is a dedicated program to reduce suicidal tendencies.
A number of medical studies on the organization's core life-enhancing/trauma-relief techniques (Sudarshan Kriya and its preparatory practices) have been published in international peer-reviewed journals. A range of mental and physical benefits are reported in these studies, including reduced levels of stress (reduced cortisol—the “stress” hormone), improved immune system, relief from anxiety & depression (mild, moderate & severe), and increased antioxidant protection, enhanced brain function (increased mental focus, calmness and recovery from stressful stimuli), among other findings.
The organization is involved in community service through its centers 
According to the tax return filed by the American chapter, AOL Foundation had total revenues of $5.5M (mainly 3.5M from course fees and 1.7M from public support ) and expenditure of $3.6M from July 2006 to June 2007. Net assets at the beginning of July 2007 amounted to $7.7M. EIN for the American chapter of AOL Foundation is 77-0240101.
Social Service 
Art of Living is engaged in many social services globally. Its areas of work covers conflict resolution, disaster and trauma relief, poverty alleviation, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all, campaigns against female foeticide and child labour and environment sustainability.
In 2007, the foundation initiated the 'Project Vidarbha - 'Swavalamban programme'. The aim was to support, train and encourage farmers in severe drought hit regions to roll back their lives. Over 1000 volunteers provided training in organic farming, zero-budget farming, rainwater harvesting, hygiene, construction of toilets, etc. in addition to the Art of Living course. The program received official backing as a result of its success and was initiated in other areas as well. "AOL received Rs 14 lakh from the state Government as against its total spending of nearly Rs 75 lakh. While a small part of that came from AOL's own coffers, most came from its corporate donors..."
Art of Living organize courses based on breathing exercises, meditation and personal development. Sudarshan Kriya is the pivot of majority of Art of Living Courses. Various Meditations along with Sahaj Samadhi Meditation is also taught through these courses.
Musical concerts and dance events 
The Art of Living has entered the Guinness Book of Records for a Mohiniyattam dance organised in Cochin The performance has been awarded the world record for the most people performing a Mohiniyattam dance, the traditional Kerala dance form. 
The organization organized a sitar concert "Brahm Naad" which also entered Guinness Book of Records. The proceeds of the event went towards rehabilitation of the victims of the Bihar floods.
On May 16, 2012, The Art of Living Foundation, organized a cultural evening in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture, NDK, in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria, where 333 Bulgarian bagpipers played a 9.13 minutes suite. The youngest player was 9 years old and the oldest player was 80 years old. 
Legal issues and Controversies 
Settlement with anonymous bloggers 
In 2010, Art of Living sued two anonymous bloggers, "Skywalker" and "Klim", accusing them of defamation, trade libel, copyright infringement and disclosing trade secrets. Claiming to be former teachers/followers in the organisation they created blogs critical of Art of Living. Art of Living's request to unmask Skywalker and Klim's identities was denied. Further, the judge allowed only the trade secrets claim to go to trial.
In 2012, Art of Living and the bloggers reached a settlement under which the foundation dropped the lawsuit with prejudice, compensated the bloggers' attorneys fees, and agreed to never again prosecute Skywalker, Klim, or any of their contributors[better source needed]. Skywalker and Klim agreed to freeze their existing blogs with no restriction on starting up new blogs critical of Art of Living.
Alleged land encroachment 
In 2011 a public interest litigation petition was filed in the high court alleging that Art of Living had constructed huge structures, encroaching upon the water spread area of Udipalya tank. The irrigation department of the state government of Karnataka inspected the area & found that the foundation had indeed encroached upon 6.53 hectares of the tank area.
- "Art of Living Foundation". Artofliving.org. Archived from the original on 20 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- Noted Global Peace Leader and Founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Arrives in Los Angeles - Yahoo! News
- "Art of Living Foundation Overview". Newswiretoday.com. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
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- "United Nations - Department of Economic and Social Affairs - NGO Section". Un.org. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- [dead link]
- "About Us | Art of Living Foundation | Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | NGO | About Us". Artofliving.org. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- Gautier, Francois. The Guru of Joy. New York: Hay House, 2008.
- "Project Hope - World Alliance for Youth Empowerment". Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- Antidepressant efficacy of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) in melancholia: a randomized comparison with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and imipramine Janakiramaiah N; Gangadhar B.N; Naga Venkatesha Murthy P.J; Harish M.G; Subbakrishna D.K; Vedamurthachar A Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 57, Number 1, January 2000 , pp. 255-259(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10708840
- Gautier, Francois. The Guru of Joy. New York: Hay House, 2008. p. 155-164.
- Scientific Research on Art of Living Practices http://www.aolresearch.org/published_research.html
- Melton, J. Gordon (2003), and, though not a religious organization, and programs are taken by people of many traditions and religious backgrounds, underlying principles are compatible with Vedic philosophy. Encyclopedia of American Religions (Seventh edition). Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, Inc., p. 1004. ISBN 0-7876-6384-0
- "Art of Living Foundation, Fairfield, IA – Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, IRS 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- "Unesco – Conflict Resolution And "The Art Of Living In Peace"". Portal.unesco.org. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- "Art of Living providing trauma relief in China". Thaindian.com. 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
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- "South African prisoners embrace yoga". BBC News. 2008-12-24.
- "Voices against female foeticide filed by: Nirmala". The Times of India. Sep 13, 2009.
- "SAIL's CSR drive a boon for farmers". The Times of India. 2009-08-21.
- "AoL project to tackle global warming". The Times of India. Mar 14, 2009.
- "Art of Living rescues Vidarbha farmers". DNA. Apr 2, 2007.
- "After loan waiver, no Art of Living course for Vidarbha farmers". The Indian Express. June 27, 2008.
- "Mohiniyattam dance enters Guinness Book". Hindustan Times. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- "A Guinness record 1200 dancers and Art of Living - Trends News - IBNLive". Ibnlive.in.com. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- "Largest Sitar Ensemble". Guinness World Records. November 21, 2008.
- "A musical treat: 1000 sitar orchestra". The Times of India. November 22, 2008.
- Largest hand drum ensemble
- "Unmasking The Art of Living". East Bay Express. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- "Blogger vs. Alleged Cult Case Ends in Favorable Settlement". East Bay Express. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- "Art of Living Foundation v. Does 1-10". Citizen Media Law Project.
- "AoL has encroached tank". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "Sri Sri Ravishankar grabs Rs 50 cr land illegally in K'taka? Read more at: http://news.oneindia.in/2011/09/06/sri-sri-ravishankar-grabs-poors-land-illegally-for-aol.html". OneIndia News. Retrieved 17 February 2013.