Jammu, 15 July 2022 : Global spiritual master and founder of The Art of Living, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was decorated with Suriname’s highest civilian honor, the Grand Cordon – honorary order of the yellow star (Ere-Orde van de Gele Ster) for his humanitarian work by Hon. President of Suriname, Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
“We are honored 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,” Hon. President Santokhi said in his address.
The ceremony took place at the Presidential Palace. Gurudev is the first Asian recipient of the award. Historically, the award has been given to the heads of states. This is the first time it is being awarded to a spiritual leader. Also present at the ceremony were Ambassador of India to Suriname Hon. Dr. Shankar Bhalachandran.
“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,” Gurudev said in a tweet.
Gurudev is visiting the South American nation after 21 years, where he was warmly received by Suriname’s Hon. Minister of Defence. In the morning, Gurudev met with leading businessmen of the country and spoke about the importance of spirituality in taking care of the mental health of the work force. In the evening, Gurudev addressed the fully packed national indoor stadium (Anthony Nesty Sporthal) in Paramaribo, where he 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’.
The Hon. President also took the pledge ‘I Stand for Peace’, a global movement launched by Gurudev to bring the focus back to peaceful progress, unity and harmony.