HENRY FORD’S GREAT GRANDSON…
Mr. Ambarish Das/ Alfred B Ford

Henry Ford’s Gr Grand Son had embraced Hinduism and took name of Mr. Ambarish Das converting from Alfred B Ford.. What he found and fascinated in Hinduism to embrace it.

Ambarish Das may not have been born Indian. His soul is Indian though.

Before he adopted his Hindu name, he was Alfred B. Ford. His mother is the daughter of Edsel Bryant Ford II, son of the legendary Henry Ford (founder of the Ford Motor Company). That makes him a fourth-generation Ford and a part of one of America’s most iconic families.

But this Ford has more on his mind than cars.

While studying at Tulane University, Louisiana, he heard Hindu religious music at the campus record store, for the first time. He broke down on hearing the record. It touched something deep in him. Thus began his involvement with Hinduism.

He married a Bengali girl and has since used his fame and wealth to spread the word of Hinduism and Krishna.
He travelled all over the world with his wife, also a devotee, to spread Krishna consciousness because he says “It is a spiritual science not just for Indians, but for everybody around the world.”
“I had a lot of questions when I was growing up. When I was young, I used to wonder how big the universe was, what’s on the other side of the sky, who was God, what was He like – those kind of questions and things”, he said.

“My great grandfather Henry Ford would have been happy to see my lifestyle today, as he was also very interested in spiritual life and Eastern philosophy.
He used to practice yoga daily and read many of the Hindu scriptures. He believed in reincarnation and was a vegetarian. He was also a good friend of Paramahamsa Yogananda.”

So he would have been very happy with the lifestyle I am leading and the things I believe in.
“I was looking for meaning in life and hadn’t found it in the faith I grew up in. I experimented and read several religious systems but as soon as I read the Bhagawad Gita, it was like a bell went off.
He said all the things that I was looking for: God is a personality. We have a relationship with God and by restoring that relationship we can go back to the spiritual world.”

“I lived as a recluse in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming for many years – reading, chanting and cooking vegetarian food.“

“I believe in the concept of ananda – unlimited happiness. Happiness is not something that has a beginning and an end – it is endless.”

“Some people get happy if they go shopping, have a good meal, or do well in an exam, get a job, make some money etc. but how long does the happiness last? It doesn’t last very long.”

Happiness cannot come from sensory objects. It comes from self-realization. It comes from realizing who we are, what is our dharma, what are we supposed to be doing, who are we supposed to be serving.

Once we find that and feel comfortable in that position, then we realize that that position cannot end. No one can take it away. There is no fear involved. That is the beginning of happiness because it is not temporary.

When I married Sharmila that was a milestone for my parents.

They were very impressed with her, she had a PhD, very well educated, accomplished woman and, of course, they love my children, Amrita and Anisha, too.

He assisted in the establishment of the first Hindu temple in Hawaii and also donated $500,000 to help establish the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center in Detroit which was completed in 1983.

Alfred Ford has made many significant donations over the years which have assisted ongoing projects such as to build the Pushpa Samadhi Mandir. He is also the chairman of the Sri Mayapur Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

Ford also lobbied very hard to have a Vedic cultural centre made in Moscow at an estimated cost of $10 million but it was blocked by the communist government.
He has recently bought a $6000,000 mansion to convert it into a temple and learning center in Honolulu, US

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Why did Krishna not save the Pandavas when they played dice with Duryadhana & Shakuni?

Wonderful explanation by Krishna himself:

From his childhood, Uddhava had been with Krishna, charioting him and serving him in many ways. He never asked for any wish or boon from Sri Krishna. When Krishna was at the verge of completing His Avatar, he called Uddhava and said,‘Dear Uddhava, in this avatar of mine, many people have asked and received boons from me; but you never asked me anything. Why don’t you ask something now? I will give you. Let me complete this avatar with the satisfaction of doing something good for you also’.

Even though Uddhava did not ask anything for himself, he had been observing Krishna from his childhood. He had always wondered about the apparent disconnect between Krishna’s teachings and actions, and wanted to understand the reasons for the same. He asked Krishna, ‘Lord, you taught us to live in one way, but you lived in a different way. In the drama of Mahabharat, in the role you played, in your actions, I did not understand many things. I am curious to understand the reasons for your actions. Would you fulfil my desire to know?’

Krishna said, ‘Uddhava, what I told Arjuna during the war of Kurukshetra was Bhagavad Gita. Today, my responses to you would be known as ‘Uddhava Gita’. That is why I gave this opportunity to you. Please ask without hesitation.’

Uddhava starts asking – ‘Krishna, first tell me who is a real friend?’

Krishna says, ‘The real friend is one who comes to the help of his friend in need even without being called’.

Uddhava: ‘Krishna, you were a dear friend of the Pandavas. They trusted you fully as Apadhbhandava (protector from all difficulties). Krishna, you not only know what is happening, but you know what is going to happen. You are a great gyani. Just now you gave the definition of a true, close friend. Then why did you not act as per that definition. Why did you not stop Dharmaraj (Yudhishthira)
from playing the gambling game? Ok, you did not do it; why did you not turn the luck in favour of Dharmaraj, by which you would have ensured that dharma wins. You did not do that also. You could have at least saved Dharmaraj by stopping the game after he lost his wealth, country and himself. You could have released him from the punishment for gambling. Or, you could have entered the hall when he started betting his brothers. You did not do that either. At least when Duryodhana tempted Dharmaraj by offering to return everything lost if he betted Draupadi (who always brought good fortune to Pandavas), you could have intervened and with your divine power you could have made the dices roll in a way that is favorable to Dharmaraj. Instead, you intervened only when Draupadi almost lost her modesty and now you claim that you gave clothes and saved Draupadi’s modesty; how can you even claim this – after her being dragged into the hall by a man and disrobed in front of so many people, what modesty is left for a woman? What have you saved? Only when you help a person at the time of crisis, can you be called ‘Apadhbandhava’. If you did not help in the time of crisis, what is the use? Is it Dharma?’ As Uddhava posed these questions, tears started rolling from his eyes.

These are not the questions of Uddhava alone. All of us who have read Mahabharata have these questions. On behalf of us, Uddhava had already asked Krishna.

Bhagavan Krishna laughed. ‘Dear Uddhava, the law of this world is: ‘only the one who has Viveka (intelligence through discrimination), wins’. While Duryodhana had viveka, Dharmaraj lacked it. That is why Dharmaraj lost’.

Uddhava was lost and confused. Krishna continues ‘While Duryodhana had lots of money and wealth to gamble, he did not know how to play the game of dice. That is why he used his Uncle Shakuni to play the game while he betted. That is viveka. Dharmaraj also could have thought similarly and offered that I, his cousin, would play on his behalf. If Shakuni and I had played the game of dice, who do you think would have won? Can he roll the numbers I am calling or would I roll the numbers he is asking. Forget this. I can forgive the fact that he forgot to include me in the game. But, without viveka, he did another blunder. He prayed that I should not come to the hall as he did not want me to know that through ill-fate he was compelled to play this game. He tied me with his prayers and did not allow me to get into the hall; I was just outside the hall waiting for someone to call me through their prayers. Even when Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were lost, they were only cursing Duryodhana and brooding over their fate; they forgot to call me. Even Draupadi did not call me when Dusshasan held her hair and dragged her to fulfil his brother’s order. She was also arguing in the hall, based on her own abilities. She never called me. Finally good sense prevailed; when Dusshasan started disrobing her, she gave up depending on her own strength, and started shouting ‘Hari, Hari, Abhayam Krishna, Abhayam’ and shouted for me. Only then I got an opportunity to save her modesty. I reached as soon as I was called. I saved her modesty. What is my mistake in this situation?

‘Wonderful explanation, Kanha, I am impressed. However, I am not deceived. Can I ask you another question’, says Uddhava. Krishna gives him the permission to proceed.

‘Does it mean that you will come only when you are called! Will you not come on your own to help people in crisis, to establish justice?’, asks Uddhava.

Krishna smiles. ‘Uddhava, in this life everyone’s life proceeds based on their own karma. I don’t run it; I don’t interfere in it. I am only a ‘witness’. I stand close to you and keep observing whatever is happening. This is God’s Dharma’.

‘Wow, very good Krishna. In that case, you will stand close to us, observe all our evil acts; as we keep committing more and more sins, you will keep watching us. You want us to commit more blunders, accumulate sins and suffer’, says Uddhava.

Krishna says.’Uddhava, please realise the deeper meaning of your statements. When you understand & realise that I am standing as witness next to you, how could you do anything wrong or bad. You definitely cannot do anything bad. You forget this and think that you can do things without my knowledge. That is when you get into trouble. Dharmaraj’s ignorance was that he thought he can play the game of gambling without my knowledge. If Dharmaraj had realized that I am always present with everyone in the form of ‘Sakshi’ (witness), then wouldn’t the game have finished differently?’

Uddhava was spellbound and got overwhelmed by Bhakti. He said, ‘What a deep philosophy. What a great truth! Even praying and doing pooja to God and calling Him for help are nothing but our feeling / belief. When we start believing that nothing moves without Him, how can we not feel his presence as Witness? How can we forget this and act? Throughout Bhagavad Gita, this is the philosophy Krishna imparted to Arjuna. He was the charioteer as well as guide for Arjuna, but he did not fight on his own.’- Realize that Ultimate Sakshi/ Witnesser within & without you! And Merge in that God-Consciousness!
Discover Thy Higher Self- The Pure Loveful & Blissful Supreme.
Hare Krishna


Steve Jobs

The world continues to mourn the death of Apple founder and visionary Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday, October 5, hailing him as an innovator who forever changed the landscape of our lives. In offering our condolences, Hare Krishna devotees might be especially interested to reflect on some interesting connections between this remarkable man and our own faith tradition. Here are three:

First, as a young man Jobs regularly attended the Sunday Feast at an ISKCON temple. He famously recollected that special time in his life, shortly after he dropped out of Reed College but continued to drop in on classes there, while delivering the commencement address at Stanford University in 2005. It wasn’t all romantic, he told students in the now iconic speech, I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned coke bottles for the 5 deposits to buy food with. And I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. The whole speech is an inspiring and thoughtful reflection, but it was that last bitabout depending upon the Krishna temple for his one good meal a week (and loving it)that ISKCON devotees especially latched on to. One of the most influential and admired men in the world once relished sanctified vegetarian food at a Krishna temple, and those meals played a defining role in his journey towards success against all odds. Understandably, Hare Krishna devotees were thrilled to hear him remember it fondly.

To watch Stanford commencement video click here:
http://news.iskcon.com/node/3926

Incidentally, the episode has since expanded and morphed into something of an urban legend within the ISKCON world. More colorful versions are told and re-told, in which Jobs not only ate at the temple but stayed there for some time as well. Some devotees insist that a friend-of-a-friend vividly remember washing pots with Steve each week. In one re-telling, Steves visits supposedly came to an abrupt end after a particularly fanatical brahmachari insisted that he either join the temple full-time or stop availing himself of the free food, turning the story into a parable about the dangers of chasing away guests and burning bridges.

A second connection between Steve Jobs and Krishna consciousness was Steves interest in Eastern spirituality. In 1973, Jobs traveled to India with a friend (who later would become the first Apple employee) to study with popular guru Neem Karoli Baba. Although the Baba was not a Gaudiya Vaishnava, he considered kirtan to be central to his practice and teachings. He often chanted the Hare Krishna mahamantra, and encouraged others to as well. Neem Karoli Baba passed away before Jobs could meet him and the India trip was reportedly something of a disappointment for the young seeker. Eventually, he took up the practice of Buddhist meditation instead. Still, its quite likely that during his visit to the Babas ashram, Jobs chanted Hare Krishna with the other disciples there. And, according to one biographer, he returned to the West with Eastern philosophy on his lips, and sporting a freshly shaved head and loose-fitting Indian clothesan experience that most Hare Krishna devotees can relate to all too well.

Finally, a third, more indirect, connection: Hare Krishna devotees seem to love Apple products. I am not aware of a formal poll or survey on the subject, but empirical evidence seems to suggest that devotees tend to use Apple products computers, laptops, iPods, iPads and iPhones more than they do the non-Apple equivalents. Devotee festivals and GBC meetings abound with gadgets featuring that unmistakable apple-with-a-bite logo. Maybe this is not so surprising, considering the companys emphasis on innovation and thinking differently. Taking the alternative route and not being afraid to go against the grain are hallmarks of Krishna devotees, especially the early converts to Krishna consciousness. Business experts often spoke of Steve Jobs as a charismatic guru-like figure, and used terms such as Apple devotees or the cult of Mac. In fact, author Douglas Atkin explicitly suggested that Apple and ISKCON had much in common and favorably compared the two organizations in his book The Culting of Brands. For their part, Krishna devotees seem to playfully accept that Apple products are part of the new ISKCON culture. A prominent sannyasi and GBC member even quipped to me once, Since Ive started using an Apple, I realize that all other computers are non-vegetarian.

Thanks largely to social networking sites like Facebook, ISKCON devotees have already started expressing their condolences and appreciations for Jobs. The video of the Stanford commencement speech will likely go viral again, as devotees forward it on and post it on their profiles. I hope that along with basking in the line about his trips to the temple, devotees will also take the time to attentively hear the wisdom in the rest of the speech. By all accounts Steve Jobs was a remarkable man, empowered in a certain sphere, and connected perhaps in a way that we cannot fully comprehend to the Krishna factor.

By Venkata Bhatta dasa (Vineet Chander) for ISKCON News on 7 Oct 2011
Originally at http://news.iskcon.com/node/3939/2011-10-07/steve_jobs_and_the_krishna_connection

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