Over the past ten years with the Art of Living Foundation as a full-time faculty and trainer, Swami Purnachaitanya has taught extensively in India, as well as in Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and various countries in Europe. Apart from teaching a wide range of Art of Living programs, he specializes in training teachers in Sri Sri Yoga, a balanced and thorough design of yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation and yogic knowledge, designed to help yoga aspirants remove self-imposed limitations, realize their full potential and offer their talents in service to the society.
Swami Purnachaitanya was born and brought up in The Netherlands, and his mother being from India, spiritual values and meditation were an important part of his upbringing. From an early age he showed a keen interest in the spiritual practices, cultures and philosophies of the East. This initially led him to practice a wide range of Eastern martial arts, such as judo, taekwondo, ninpo bujutsu, wushu (kung fu) and aikido. Over the years he realized, however, that it was not the fighting skills, but human values, philosophies and meditation that attracted him.
Meeting Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during a program in The Netherlands in 2000, Swamiji knew that he had found the spiritual Master he had been looking for. He started doing some of the programs of The Art of Living, as well as organizing programs as a volunteer with the organization. After completing his studies at the acclaimed Leyden University in The Netherlands, Swamiji came to India in 2007 to dedicate his life to service and his Master’s vision of a violence-free, stress-free world, through the re-awakening of human values. Since then Swami Purnachaitanya has been traveling extensively, conducting various programs, already personally reaching out to more than 500,000 people.
Swamiji oversees many projects and activities of The Art of Living in the North Eastern Region of India as well as West Bengal as a Regional Director, where he has also worked in areas affected by insurgency. He looks after 93 Art of Living schools that are providing free value-based education in rural and tribal areas in this region, and also conducts trainings to empower rural youth, women and other sections of the society. As a member of The Art of Living Council for Yoga, Swamiji also oversees programs and activities to spread the ancient knowledge of Yoga in these regions, and he also works for the preservation and revival of ancient Vedic practices and indigenous traditions in the region.
He has represented The Art of Living at various national and international forums, seminars and conferences, and has also addressed audiences at various national and international educational institutions on a wide range of topics. He has taught yoga, pranayama and meditation to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds: from indigenous people in jungle areas to corporate executives, from villagers to prison inmates, and from urban youth to militants. Many have experienced profound transformation and experienced healing on various levels.
The Art of Living foundation, or Art of
Living, is an educational and humanitarian movement that has been serving
humanity through stress-management programs and service initiatives for the
last 35 years. The organization was founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1981,
and it has since then spread across the world through the efforts of Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar and a growing team of inspired and dedicated volunteers. The
organization mainly consists of people who volunteer in whatever capacity they
can, as they share Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vision of working for a
violence-free, stress-free world where people from all cultures and backgrounds
live together as a One World Family, respecting each other and celebrating
diversity. The organization is actively working globally in more than 150
countries and has touched the lives and reached out to over 370 million people
One of the main ideas behind the Art of Living courses is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’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 courses and stress-elimination programs include breathing techniques, meditation and yoga, and help people to get rid of stress, overcome depression and experience inner peace. Through the Art of Living courses millions of people around the world have been able to overcome stress, depression, negative emotions and violent tendencies, and experience peace and a sense of well being in their daily life.
Over the years, the Art of Living has spread peace and a sense of belongingness across communities through a wide range of humanitarian initiatives, including disaster relief, conflict resolution, sustainable rural development, women empowerment, education for all, prisoner rehabilitation, and environmental sustainability.
Art of Living’s Organizational Structure
The Art of Living has become a multi-faceted organization operating globally that has one of the largest volunteer bases in the world. The international headquarters of the organization is located in Bangalore, India. In 1989 the Art of Living Foundation was formed in the United States of America and in Germany, and since then local centers have been established in countries across the world.
The Art of Living also works in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, and takes part in a variety of committees and activities relating to health, education, sustainable development and conflict resolution. The Art of Living also works together with UN organizations such as United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and others, for several joint initiatives.