Thursday, November 3, 2011

The monk and the billionaire father

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything ;
They just make the most of everything they have .

The monk who flew in a jet

In 2008, as my friend and I sat down in the restaurant to eat our dinner, we saw a man in the hotel lobby. Immediately, we assumed that he was alone so decided to invite him for dinner.

“I don’t eat dinner,” the elderly man declined the offer, “I am on my way to the gym.”

The next morning, I met him in the hotel lobby and noticed that he was wearing the same clothes.

“Excuse me,” he said politely and then looking at the young monk sitting next to me, said affectionately, “Son, it is time for us to go home.” The son obediently picked up his small cloth bag from the floor and followed his father.

Earlier, curious to see a monk in the Uma hotel in Paro, I had started a conversation with him.

“Yesterday was my father’s 70th birthday and he wanted me to spend it with him in a special place,” the monk informed me. The monk could have been in his early thirties. He had short hair and was wearing saffron robes and had a pair of slippers on. “What a beautiful country you have? They had flown into Paro in their own jet.

So who are these people? The elderly man is Ananda Krishnan and the monk his only son.

Krishnan is the second richest man in Malaysia . According to Forbes he is worth 7.6 Billion dollars. The Tamil Malaysian of Sri Lankan Tamil origin is a self made man and is a notable philanthropist but leads a low profile life. He and his son are both Buddhists.

Few years ago, the billionaire lost his son. He started to look for him and his search stopped in a Buddhist monastery in north Thailand . Shocked to see his son in saffron robes, short hair with a begging bowl in his hand the father invites his son for a meal.

“I am sorry; I cannot accept your invitation.” Like all my fellow monks, I have to beg for my food.” Krishnan reply made headlines, “With all my wealth I cannot even afford to feed my own son.”

The son still lives in the monastery in the forest of Thailand and like all the monks in the monastery depends on other people’s generosity for his sustenance.

Hearing stories like these one wonders if we are giving up everything that we already possess to acquire things that we really don’t need.

This story clearly demonstrates that human contentment and well being in real terms requires us to go beyond physical, mental, and emotional dimension. Krishnan’s son clearly shows that detachment could be a greater wealth and devotion a bigger asset in our lives.

[Source: Business Bhutan]


  1. I never read blogs that have any political sound offs, cause they keep making me think about unnecessary stuff. - But I like yours because it has sucha humane take on life :) <3

  2. Truly a beautiful touching experience of a father and son. A son whose heart is like gold full of good virtues and godly thoughts. Only wish his son can take over the fathers assets and help the world to be a better place like feed the hungry, help the sick and give hope to the ones in need. You being a billionaires son in the monastery...sad. You can contribute to the peace and happiness of many...hope you think about it. In such a place where so many are so greedy and will go to any extent to swallow wealth...we need people like you to make this a more meaningful world. Of course peaceful to...good deeds can be done and wipe out the misery of the old folks home, orphanages and others...please help dont just sit in a monastery. Good you can meditate and feel the bliss...but helping others can make a difference to the world. Meditation can teach us to cut-off from others and blame on karma...but by helping you can also increase your good karma. Begging leads one to be humble i guess..but it is not for people like you. You found peace and you can feed the hungry.