The Man Who Left a Rs. 40,000 Cr Empire to Become a Monk: Embracing Fulfillment

Explore the transformative journey of Ajahn Siripanyo, from living in luxury as the son of Malaysia's third-richest man to leading a humble life as a respected Buddhist monk.

The Man Who Left a Rs. 40,000 Cr Empire to Become a Monk: Embracing Fulfillment

Tuesday January 09, 2024,

2 min Read

Ven Ajahn Siripanyo's life is a testament to the profound journey of spiritual discovery and transformation. Born in 1965 in London, he was raised in a family without religious affiliations and pursued a conventional path of education and career. He studied physics and mathematics at university and worked in the computer industry. However, in his early thirties, a deep sense of dissatisfaction with his life led him to explore various spiritual paths, including Christianity, Taoism, and ultimately Buddhism.

He found a strong connection with the teachings of the Thai forest tradition and dedicated several years to intensive practice. His commitment to this spiritual path led him to ordain as a monk in the Thai forest tradition. After spending time in Thailand learning from respected meditation masters, he returned to England to teach and lead retreats at Amaravati and its associated monasteries.

In 2004, he founded the DharmaCari monastery in Switzerland, where he continues to reside and teach, offering retreats and workshops to people worldwide. His teachings, known for their clarity and accessibility, focus on relating the ancient Buddhist teachings to contemporary life. He has also authored books on Buddhism, highlighting mindfulness and compassion as transformative practices.

His choice to become a monk marked a significant departure from a life of potential luxury and wealth. Ajahn Siripanyo is the son of Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan, who has a net worth of over US$5 billion(Rs. 40,000 Cr). He became a monk at 18 during a visit to Thailand, initially as a temporary measure, but this later evolved into a permanent way of life. Now, he is the abbot of the Dtao Dum Monastery, located on the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Adding to his unique background, Siripanyo has royal blood through his mother, who descends from the Thai royal family. Despite his ascetic lifestyle, he occasionally returns to his former life of luxury, such as traveling on a private jet to meet his father or attending retreats in locations purchased by his father.

Throughout his life, Ajahn Siripanyo has remained devoted to his spiritual practice, involving himself in various charitable, environmental, and social justice initiatives. His story is a vivid example of a life transformed, prioritising spiritual fulfillment and inner peace over material wealth and luxury​