Sri Sri Ravi Shankar conferred Suriname’s highest civilian award

Spiritual leader and Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been honoured with South American nation Suriname’s highest civilian honour for his humanitarian work.

The spiritual leader was decorated with the Grand Cordon – honorary order of the yellow star (Ere-Orde van de Gele Ster) by President Chandrikapersad Santokhi at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace, a statement issued by Art of Living said.

In his address, President Santokhi said: “We are honoured that you’re shining a light worth seeing and feeling, now and also for the future generation. With this declaration, may you lead us all to peace and harmony…The people of Suriname welcome you with a warm heart.”

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the first Asian and the first spiritual leader to become recipient of the award, traditionally given to the heads of states.

Indian Ambassador Dr. Shankar Bhalachandran was also present in ceremony.

“I credit this award to the teachers and volunteers who have been doing commendable service in this country. I thank President Santokhi and the judges for this honour,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in a tweet.

Visiting the South American nation after 21 years, he met leading businessmen of the country on Friday morning and spoke about the importance of spirituality in taking care of the mental health of the workforce.

In the evening, he addressed a jam-packed event at national indoor stadium in Paramaribo, led a meditation and interacted with the thousands of people present.

The attendees basked and swayed in the vibrations of ancient chants and music, in keeping with the vision of The Art of Living of ‘Making Life A Celebration’.

President Santokhi also took the pledge ‘I Stand for Peace’, a global movement launched by him to bring the focus back to peaceful progress, unity and harmony.

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