Boom for 'God Men' as New Rich Seek Balm for the Soul

October 6, 2010

Author: Mary Fitzgerald

Source: The Irish Times

Inside the imposing five-storey meditation hall shaped like a lotus and covered with more than 1,000 marble petals, there are representations of several Hindu deities, but none as prominent as that of Lakshmi, a goddess of wealth and prosperity.


Every year, millions come here to the sprawling headquarters of the Art of Living Foundation, located close to Bangalore. It is from these lush surroundings that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – once dubbed “India’s Pat Robertson” by author William Dalrymple – peddles breathing techniques along with an approach to spirituality that has proved phenomenally successful with the country’s urban elite.