The monk who sold his ferrari

Monk at Dharamshala Mcleod Ganj

Monk at Dharamshala Mcleod Ganj

How does one leave all possessions to live a simple spiritual life. As I look into the eyes of this monk, I see someone at peace with himself. But my peace is got to me by my latest electronic gadgets, be it a mobile, an ipod, speakers or an LCD TV. Do I envy this man? No, even though I know he is happy, I cannot leave my Ferrari to swim in the sea of non possession. Jainism also preaches 10 important principles out of which “Aparigraha” (which means “Non-possession”,  to detach from people,
places, and material things) is suppose to be the toughest of all the principles. Why did some of us feel the need of such a principle? Why should we detach? Isn’t socialising one of the most important principles of a society. The 21st century has seen more unique ways of socially connecting like Facebook etc. Will I be sad if I have few friends I can trust, or if I have the latest google android phone. I don’t think the want for possessions is wrong or should be frowned upon. At every stage what was luxury at a certain stage is slowly becoming a necessity. Right from mobile phones, to computers its all an important, an essential part of life now. Knowing that someone can renounce this is a shocker for me. I am no Christopher McCandless.


Many who renounced their possessions were from rich well to do families, Bhagwan Mahaveer, Gautam Buddha, Ashoka, Gandhi were are rich. Remember the movie “Hazaron Khawishen Aisi” where contrast (between the rich mans son who wanted to give up everything for social cause and the poor mans son would do anything to become rich) was so strong. Its perhaps when you have everything that you feel the need to give it all up. I have not yet reached that stage I guess. Its perhaps like what the lawyer felt in “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov.


“I sold my most valuable possession, but I knew that because I worked at Hewlett Packard, I could buy the next model calculator the very next month for a lower price than I sold the older one for!”


 Steve Wozniak, co-founder Apple.


This snap was clicked at Dharamshala in a monastery. Most of the young monks had a expressionless face, while the older ones like in this snap had a calm, smiling content face.

4 thoughts on “The monk who sold his ferrari

  1. Hi Anurag,
    a nice article written by yourself ,made a lot of sense and sometimes we are driven by the consumerist soceity we live in.Good food for thought.
    Nice one !!

  2. Hi Lavoisier,
    Met a guy from USA during my visit to Dharamshala who converted to a monk 4 years ago. Could not understand why. The article was basically written keeping him in mind.
    Cheers Anurag

  3. Hi Rohit,
    The irony of this topic is perhaps best explained by Gaius Plinius Secundus

    “An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.”

    Its probably in lines with the modern “the journey towards the goal is more interesting than the goal itself” I was craving for a car for 3 years, especially in the rains I would curse myself after being drenched, and promised myself to buy a car next year. And ever subsequent year I would land up buying a better raincoat as its a lot cheaper than a car. When I finally bought the car, the charm and the craving was lost, and I dont think its anything special now, I have a new craving: a better DSLR camera.
    Cheers Anurag

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