Son of Billionaire who became Monk

I wanted to experience Cambodian countryside so I decided to take a bus from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap (Home of Angkor Wat temples). The city outskirts are still raw and basic with continuously changing landscape, not much affected by urbanization. The journey proved to be a refreshing experience for the soul!!

I met Mr Tan, a businessman from Malaysia whose seat was next to mine. He was also visiting Cambodia for the first time to do some sightseeing but mainly to explore new business opportunities. He was a Chinese Buddhist and must be in his 50s.

I was doing Japa meditation since it was an early morning bus. Some time later I opened Bhagavad Gita and immersed into it as the feeling of gratitude overtook me. What have I done to deserve this? To be fortunate enough to be in a strange, new land surrounded by people from different countries, all on their own journeys but still sharing a common bond!!

Mr Tan couldn’t hold his curiosity and asked me about my faith and practices. He was very interested to know about Hinduism, Buddhism, Bhagavad Gita, God, Soul, Purpose of Life etc. etc. I don’t remember how six hours flew by while both of us indulged in these topics.

First I clarified the two most misunderstood things about Hinduism: Caste system and the concept of many Gods. Then I spoke about Vedas, Ahimsa, Buddha, Krishna, Christ and above all “The Real Purpose of Human Life”.  The first aphorism in the Vedanta-sutra is: Athato brahma jijnasa which means: Now that you have attained the Human Form of Life, Enquire into the Absolute Truth. Understand who you are, why have you come to this world and where you have to go.


Mr Tan was genuinely interested in these topics, his child like curiosity overtook his personality of a successful businessman during the bus ride. Then he told me that he knows a monk who is the only son of a Malaysian Billionaire. He was bewildered and shocked about this phenomenon. So he expected a surprise or an amazement expression from me as well. But I was calm, my reaction was: it should be natural for a person to enquire into the Absolute once the basic needs of his/her life are met. Especially in a case where a person has material riches. Why waste this precious human life only in sense gratification which is also available in lower species of life like animals, birds etc?


Hope you’re also able to discover your destiny like this son of billionaires has. IMHO, it is better to have a role model like Warren Buffet instead of Larry Ellison. 🙂

Some food for thought.

Have a good weekend!!

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