The detachment principle



In recent years, I have increasingly noticed that a rare interview or meeting, especially with a youth audience, does without raising the question of money. Once I spoke on the air and the very first question they asked me was: "How did you earn your first million?" Students of the University of Arts and Culture also asked me about my first million. In general, many young people dream of power and money now. Looks like, it’s worth talking about it in detail.

I'll start with the "first million". It’s an interesting story. It was with the “first million” that I learned two important lessons: how you can make money, and how to relate to it. I earned my first million in 1989 thanks to the MGIMO hostel guard, Aunt Masha. This is my first advice: if you want to make money, try to talk more with different people, and not only with wealthy businessmen and successful managers. A five-minute conversation with a janitor can be a hundred times more useful than hearing the lectures “How to Become a Millionaire” by some visiting “coach” who is not a businessman at all, but an artist of the conversational genre.

So, while on watch, Aunt Masha used to constantly read the newspapers and did not skip the announcements. She prompted me that the Mitsubishi company announced a recruitment of specialists with knowledge of the Japanese language. And she added: "Go to the Japanese and earn a million." I immediately called them and fixed an appointment. The next day I passed the tests, and a week later I was invited to work as a manager of the company’s department.
Literally after three months of work, I became a millionaire as Aunt Masha predicted. That million came from a salary of $300 and commissions from every car sold, and I sold a lot. Moreover, I also offered to sell German cars, and we became the first official dealers of Audi and Volkswagen.
I asked for this “first million” of mine to be given to me in cash. It was my dream to become a millionaire. There was excitement, I liked making money, being a businessman. And now the dream came true. That is why I wanted to touch this money, which is impossible if it sits in some bank account. I came home, laid out those wads on the table, looked at them for a long time and thought: "This is my million dollars, so what’s next?" And I suddenly lost my excitement. I realized that making money cannot be the goal of life.
The Dalai Lama once told me an important thing. He said, looking at my beautiful house in the USA: “Listen, dear Kirsan. Don’t let yourself to get attached to anything, to any beautiful thing in this life."
Money is the energy of the material world. There is no need to deny the importance and necessity of money, but it is also not worth exaggerating its value. Without a doubt, money is a blessing, but it is just a means of living. Everyday survival is impossible without money, let alone further development. At the same time, it is a serious mistake to think that once we have a lot of money, it will solve all our problems. Perhaps the opposite is true: if someone has only money and nothing else, then such a person has nothing but problems.
The second piece of advice I got from Alexandre Dumas: “Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master. " Precise remark of the French playwright and prose writer! And Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, literally continued this thought: “If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him." However, the spenders and idle squanders of their wealth are no better, believe me!
The most important principle of Buddhism is the principle of detachment. Buddha taught that one cannot get used to anything. One should appreciate everything and not be attached to anything. Otherwise, things will go awry. I believe that regarding money, one should adhere to the principle: “It does not belong to me. I only use it. " I use it to implement new ideas, projects that interested me and which I consider important. When these projects are implemented, I feel like a happy person.
In the very centre of Elista there is a majestic temple The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni, which is also called the pearl of the Kalmyk steppes. The main and largest Buddhist temple in Europe. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama blessed its construction. I am happy to be involved in its creation. Even before the construction began, I mentally imagined this temple, it was a very vivid and beautiful vision - what is now called "dream visualization". Maybe that's why the construction took eight and a half months only. Faster than a woman bears a child.

Yes, I really did everything in my power to make the temple appear on the Kalmyk land. Funds for the construction of the temple flowed from everywhere. For the construction of the temple, many folks donated their savings, family gold and ancestral Buddhist relics passed down from generation to generation.
It should be noted that the first church that I built, as the president of Kalmykia, was the Holy Cross Church in the village of Priyutnoye. No, it was not quite like this. It was not I who built it personally, but together with the Lord God, because he probably provided money through me. There were also my personal funds involved, my family’s money and my friends’. Totally I built 22 Orthodox churches, although I am the Buddhist. Kazan Cathedral was built in Elista even earlier than the Buddhist khurul, and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II himself came to its consecration in 1997.
I remember that at the very beginning of the temple’s construction, many were furious: “Have all problems been solved in Kalmykia? Why did they start such a grandiose and expensive construction? " Roughly the same questions were asked when, in the late 90s, I began the construction of Chess City, which all tourist agents rightfully call the hallmark of Elista today. In 1998, we opened the Chess Palace, which hosted the World Chess Olympiad and the 69th FIDE Congress.

           I have always had a plenty of projects and ideas that were born as a result of communication with people, or sometimes come as a vivid image or vision, as in the case of The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni. Sometimes, it happens that I work on about twenty projects at the same time. In different countries with different goals.
Here is one of the latest one - to create an International Association of Chess Lovers and to hold the First World Chess Olympiad with the members of this new organization in Africa. I have already chosen a place for it near one of the main attractions of South Africa - Victoria Falls, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a unique place! I think that the whole world would have come there. Several thousand chess players can be safely accommodated there. Of course, some chess players may be disturbed by the noise of the waterfall, but it's such a beautiful place! Water is life and chess is intelligence. I think I will make this dream come true. And the money for its implementation will certainly be found.
Let’s talk about the upcoming global financial crisis. In my opinion, this current crisis has not economic, but mainly ideological roots. The Crisis of Human Civilization. We produce goods and consume them, while destroying ourselves and nature. But we and nature are a single whole! By destroying nature, we destroy ourselves.
Naked we came into this world, naked and we will return. No one will take neither chests of money, nor yachts, nor palaces with them to another world. Unfortunately, modern life lacks spiritual experience and suffocates in the networks of irrepressible, thoughtless consumption. As the poet Vadim Stepantsov remarkably wrote:
“Money has the ability to disappear,
Money tries to escape us like birds"...
And it surely does, believe me! Therefore, here is my third advice: love your family, friends and acquaintances. Help those near and far and everything will be fine with you. And the money is not that important. To my great regret, today money is increasingly being invested in the destruction of mankind, while it must be used for Good and Salvation.