Alfred Ford is also known as Ambarish Das (converted to Hinduism). How many of us know that he is the heir to the Ford family fortune. He is a great-grandson of legendary business magnate Henry Ford – the founder of the Ford Motor Company.
Alfred Ford, the great grandson of automobile legend Henry Ford, straddles spirituality and corporate world with aplomb. But he is more comfortable chanting mantra in his Krishna temple at US mansion ( two hours daily) than talking automobile in the Ford’s corporate house.
“The company is basically looked after by my cousin. I am just a member of the Founder Trust,” middle-aged Alfred says. A vegetarian, teetotaller and a staunch devotee of Krishna, Ford, aka Ambarish Das in the ISKCON community, has an Indian wife from West Bengal.
“I had all the material comforts that one could think of but still, I found something amiss, an emptiness. Lord Krishna filled the void in my life.”
He recalls how while studying religion in college in USA in 1974 he came in contact with devotees of Lord Krishna. “I started reading books and chanced upon translated version of Swami Prabhupada. The book changed entire meaning of life for me,” Ford said.
He came to India first time in 1975 and experienced the vast spiritual trove India is bestowed with. It is said that he once donated approximately Rs 200 crore to Mayapur Chandrodaya temple.
Ford appealed to the people of West Bengal to participate in the “Square Foot Campaign” for constructing the Chandrodaya temple in Mayapur in Nadia district of West Bengal.
“The project does not belong to any community or individual, but rather to the entire human race. So every individual should participate in the campaign,” he said.
He said he would like “Mayapur to be a place where people would come for a spiritual experience and to listen to discourses on philosophy. It will be a gateway to the spiritual world.”
Ford has been involved in numerous ISKCON projects around the world including the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center in Detroit, the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies at Oxford University, and Srila Prabhupada’s Pushpa Samadhi in Sridham Mayapur.