for The Times of India on Feb. 18, 2012
KOLKATA: Alfred Ford (Ambarish Das), an American heir to Ford fortune and the great grandson of legendary businessman Henry Ford, visited the Institute of Leadership Entrepreneurship and Development (iLead) Kolkata campus to interact with the students and teachers.
He gave an inspirational talk on the Indian influence of spiritualism in his life and his association with ISKCON. Fords life is a remarkable exception from other billionaires. He is a devotee of Lord Krishna, a pure vegetarian, married to a Bengali woman and has willingly alienated himself from the Ford fortune and embraced Hindu spiritualism wholeheartedly.
Ford also shared the fact that his interest in spiritualism was inherited from his great grandfather Henry Ford, after whom a classroom has been named in iLead campus.
My great grandfather believed in the philosophy of reincarnation and did extensive research on it and if we give it a thought then even human beings are produced via an assembly line, said Ford.
When a student asked what led him to embrace such a life, Ford replied, I was born with a lot of money but no spiritual heritage so. The hunger to know life in its totality led him to where he is today.
After coming to India he became a disciple of Lord Krishna and is presently the campaign chairman of Mayapur Temple of Vedic Planetarium. Ford has many ongoing projects out of which one is establishing the largest Hindu temple in the world.
Ford tried to explain to the students that happiness always did not mean material success. One should always pursue ones happiness through good work. Spiritual satisfaction is way greater than material satisfaction.
No matter what you receive, you will have to leave behind everything after death, said Ford to the students who were left pondering at such philosophical thoughts.