Meet Alfred Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and a Gainesville resident

Meet Alfred Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and a Gainesville resident
When most individuals hear the title “Ford,” they consider automobiles. But one inheritor to the corporate wished to alter that in his personal life.He’s doing so from his residence in Gainesville.

Alfred Ford, 71, is the great-grandson of American industrialist and founding father of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1950 to Josephine Ford, the one granddaughter of Henry. That was three years after Henry died in 1947.

The concept of working for the household firm by no means appealed to Alfred Ford as he was rising up, although family members, similar to his grandfather, Edsel Ford, gave their lives to the enterprise.

“I used to be all the time within the greater questions. Who am I? Why am I right here? How huge is the universe? What’s on the opposite aspect of the universe? Who was God? What is my relationship with God?” Ford mentioned.

He mentioned he didn’t hear a whole lot of tales about his late great-grandfather. However, he did know one factor.

“Henry Ford form of had two totally different sides to him,” his great-grandson mentioned. “One of them was a genius, engineer and businessman. And the opposite one was a searcher after the reality and varied spiritual paths. So I took after that aspect of it.”

Alfred Ford, 71, is the great-grandson of American industrialist and founding father of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford. (Photo courtesy of Alfred Ford)

And so Alfred Ford did that by becoming a member of the Hare Krishna motion.

The Hare Krishna motion, formally generally known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), was based in 1966. It now has 500 main facilities world wide for its thousands and thousands of members. According to the official web site of the Hare Krishna motion, the motion “belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya, a monotheistic custom throughout the Vedic or Hindu tradition. Philosophically it’s based mostly on the Sanskrit texts Bhagavad-gita and the Bhagavat Purana, or Srimad Bhagavatam.”

Alfred Ford first got interested within the motion when he was 23 years outdated after seeing devotees chanting on the campus of Tulane University, the place he studied.

“Immediately, the philosophy was very engaging to me,” Alfred Ford mentioned.

Two years later, in 1975, he was initiated. Compared to his upbringing, which included boarding college at age 15, the Hare Krishna life-style was very totally different for him —a lot that his religious grasp didn’t count on him to surrender the whole lot.

“He knew that I used to be accustomed to a sure life-style. And once you turn out to be a Hare Krishna, you don’t essentially have to surrender the whole lot…you make the most of what it’s important to serve,” he mentioned. “It’s quite simple.”

Now, Alfred Ford and his spouse of 37 years, Sharmila, are using the household title to “assist push ahead the motion,” each in Gainesville and overseas. Since 2004, the couple has lived in Gainesville, and their two daughters, Anisha and Amrita, went to Oak Hall School.

One 12 months after he was initiated into the motion, Ford had a dialog with the founding father of the Hare Krishna motion, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in Detroit. They talked about Prabhupada’s plans to construct an enormous temple in Mayapur, which is the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, an incarnation of Krishna.

Ford mentioned the dialog planted a seed in his coronary heart to take up the problem. But it wasn’t till 2009 that building began on the Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir – Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. As chairman of the challenge, Ford has needed to take care of a number of challenges through the years, similar to a scarcity of cooperation from the communist authorities in West Bengal and, extra not too long ago, the pandemic.

“I put in fairly a little bit of seed cash and that bought the challenge off the bottom,” he mentioned. “I’m one of many individuals driving the agenda there, so it’s been an exquisite journey.”

Despite all the delays and difficulties, Ford hopes the temple opens by 2024 or 2025.

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“Where I see the opening as being is when the deities, which is a type of Krishna that’s within the temple that we provide our worship to, after they’re moved into the brand new temple from the place they’re now, I’ll contemplate that to be a grand opening,” Ford mentioned. “I’m trying ahead to that.”

Although Ford mentioned most of his consideration and power is targeted on the development of the temple in India, he and his spouse have stayed linked with the native Hare Krishna group in North Central Florida, which is likely one of the largest within the U.S.

“I simply suppose that this group is great, Gainesville and Alachua,” Ford mentioned. “The individuals listed below are very lucky to have such an exquisite temple and so many devotees which are doing outreach. If I used to be rising up right here, I might really feel very fortunate to have so many alternatives to turn out to be enlightened.”



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