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In Conversation With Ramani Ayer

Ranjani Saigal

Dr. Ayer was one of the first American Indian CEO of a Fortune 100 companies - The Hartford. During his 10 years as Chairman and CEO, The Hartford has grown from primarily a property and casualty company with $12.5 billion in revenue to a diversified financial services company with more than $26 billion in revenue. Under Dr. Ayer’s leadership, The Hartford has risen into the Fortune 100, and its share price appreciated more than 137%. The Hartford currently has 31,000 employees and manages assets of more than $377 billion. The company has received many awards for its management and customer service and is one of Fortune’s most admired companies.  

After completing his undergraduate degree at IIT Bombay, Ayer came to Drexel University for post graduate studies. Dr. Ayer learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 1971 while he was a graduate student at Drexel, and the advanced TM-Sidhi program, including Yogic Flying, with his wife Louise, in 1979. He credits his business success to the personal development he has experienced through practice of these techniques. “The regular practice of Transcendental Meditation has provided me with the capacity to weather the storms of life with equanimity. The culturing of "The Self", is a precious benefit that accrues to anyone who is a regular practitioner,” says Ayer. 

He is convinced that TM can bring global peace. He is very actively involved in the Global Peace Initiative that uses the TM technique. He refers to this initiative as a powerful, practical, scientific, and highly cost-effective initiative to reduce violence and conflict in the world.  

“I personally had benefited in my own life by practicing Transcendental Meditation. It helped me in so many ways as an individual. And when I met Maharishi, and I saw his deep concern for the future of the world and how he had worked most of his life to create this opportunity for mankind, I really felt I should do whatever I could to see his work come to fruition. Most people don’t even think world peace is possible, that it’s a dream. But I am convinced we now have a scientific, practical, and reliable way to use mankind’s most ancient knowledge, the Veda, to usher in a new destiny for mankind. It’s a very big thing—historic—and it is a joy to be part of the global efforts. As Indians who cherish the Vedic tradition in our hearts, we should feel very proud that this great knowledge has given us a practical means to create peace in the world”

He serves on the board of Maharishi University of Management (MUM).  His own son graduated from this University. “My son chose MUM without seriously pursuing any other opportunities because he saw the twofold benefits from that education viz, the development of consciousness and the acquisition of technical knowledge and skills” says Ayer. In an inspiring convocation address at MUM University he urged students to become great leaders.  “Let your dream lead you, let your Self guide you, let your Passion drive you, and let your Love prevail, “ said Ayer.

He is a featured speaker in the New Paradigm Tour http://www.newparadigmtour.org/. The keynote speaker in this tour is Dr. Tony Nader, (Maharaj Adhiraj Rajaram) , MIT –Harvard trained scientist whose research reveals the Vedas and the Ramayana being the blueprints of our bodies and the entire universe. 

The tour will be in Boston on May 8,9 and 10th.  “Dr. Nader i very highly evolved man based on his experience in the fields of consciousness. His contributions are profound” says Ayer.
What message soes he have for Lokvani readers? “Maharishi's vision is inclusive because it has at its center, the welfare and happiness of all mankind. If we can realize the benefits for the individual through the daily practice of TM, and if we can reverse the negative trends in the world through the work of the Global Peace Initiative, it would bring such joy to our hearts. So my message is, go to Vedic City/Fairfield and see for yourself what's happening at the University, at the school, in the Pandit campus, it will bring pride to your hearts because, the work and the promise of a bright future is palpable.”

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