2nd wealthiest man’s son is a monk
Recently, a student of mine sent me an interesting e-mail regarding one of the wealthiest person in Malaysia. It was surprising but news to rejoice at!! It was regarding Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan’s son…
Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan is the second wealthiest man in South-East Asia and ranked 89th wealthiest man in the world. As a Malaysian businessman, he has an estimated net worth of US$7.6 Billion.
Currently, Tan Sri has multiple business interests including those within the media (Astro), satellite (MEASAT) and telecommunications (Maxis) industry to name a few. Although Tan Sri is one of wealthiest person in the world, he is known for being very low profile. As a father of 3 children, most of us may imagine them to be 3 terribly spoilt children… on the contrary, his only son is a monk.
It is written in the news article below that when Tan Sri invited his son for a meal, his son rejected his father politely. He said that he is now a monk and like other monks, he has to beg for his food. Tan Sri’s son is now living in a monastery within a forest in Northern Thailand. He now depends on other people’s generosity to sustain himself. Can you believe it… Why would the son of an immensely wealthy family become a monk? For very good reasons of course.
In many other reports, they also state that Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan himself is a devout Buddhist. How beautiful… Tan Sri is also popularly known as a great philanthropist, especially in the field of education. So much merits for Tan Sri to have such son now ordained as Ajahn Siripanno.
I am so excited to read that Mr Ananda has a son who has decided to devote his life to the Three Jewels. Doing so is not only great blessings for himself but also for his father and family. I rejoice and pray that Mr Ananda and his family will always be blessed be the three jewels. Just like when Siddhartha Gautama left his palace and riches to seek enlightenment.
Please see Ajahn Siripanno’s beautiful dharma talk here:
The Monk who Flew in a Jet
By business bhutan | 01 January 2011
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.
(Extracted from: Business Bhutan, “The Monk who Flew in a Jet”, http://www.businessbhutan.bt/?p=3954, 1-01-2011)
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