Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar highlight of Peace Festival in Chicago

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Spiritual leader Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with Illinois Congressmen Danny Davis and Raja Krishnamoorthi, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and community leaders. Photo: Asian Media USA

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of living Foundation, led the ‘I Stand for Peace’ festival in Chicago June 26, 2022 at the University of Illinois Forum Auditorium.

It was a large gathering that included among others, ranking United States Congressmen, Local, county and State elected officials and a host of business and community leaders a press release.

“In this polarized society, we need more people who can bring peace, who can bridge the gap from conflict to proper communication and celebration,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in his address, and spoke of advancing peace and goodwill through the World Culture Festival next year to bring people of all backgrounds and all ideologies together.

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“We want to give the message, ‘Wake up. We are one family’,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Later, he led the participants in a half-hour guided meditation and spoke about what he has experienced while on this worldwide tour and how it can help Chicagoans achieve meaningful peace and amity. “Meditation makes you emotionally strong, mentally sharp intuitively more alert, and mindful in your work, whatever you are doing,” he said and described its benefits for various health conditions.

Among those present at the event were Ranking Illinois Congressmen Danny Davis and Raja Krishnamoorthi, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, State Representative Jim Durkin (R, 82nd District), Adarsh Shastri, grandson of late former Prime Minister  of India Lal Bahadur Shastri, Hoffman Estates Police Chief Kasia Cawley and severl State Senators, State Representatives, Mayors, prominent faith leaders attended.

Keerthi Ravoori, Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of Illinois Medical Board, spiritual leader Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ajeet Singh, president, Indian American Business Council, and Vinesh Virani of the Art of Living Foundation Illinois chapter. Photo: Asian Media USA

Durkin said that he would table a resolution on the floor of the Illinois General Assembly to declare June 26th as the World Peace Day and celebrate its observance in the State of Illinois every year – which elicited sustained applause.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a proclamation to the event which was read aloud by Alderman David Moore in which she declared June 26 each year to be “I Stand for Peace” Day.

Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of the event & Chair of the Illinois Medical Board, welcomed everyone and emphasized the significance of meditation.

Ajeet Singh, president, Indian American Business Council emphasized the importance of the event in fostering robust interaction to advance peace, harmony and happiness, and thanked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for coming.

Vinesh Virani of the Art of Living in Illinois, in his statement said the worldwide sense of helplessness and hopelessness caused by the pandemic, war, and inflation has weighed heavily on the human psyche and therefore took a toll on mental health. He added Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s visit represents hope in these turbulent times.

“Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and of human values,” adding that the Indian spiritual leader provides techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life.

Indian Americans physicians held another exclusive event on June 27, 2022 at the Double Tree Hotel in Oakbrook where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed the Physicians and held a half-hour meditation.

Several prominent physicians spoke in admiration of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s contribution in advancing peace amidst the growing turmoil. At the event, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar honored Dr. Bharat Barai, chair of Indiana Medical Board, Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of Illinois Medical Board, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Trustee of Oakbrook Village, Ravi Kolli, AAPI President, Dr. Vishnu Chandy and Adarsh Shastri.

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