Calcutta, India -- Alfred B. Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, announced Sunday a donation of 500 million rupees (US$10.2 million) to a Hare Krishna project in eastern India, hoping to make it a center of spiritual excellence.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, widely known as the Hare Krishna movement, plans to build a US$100 million sprawling complex at its headquarters in Mayapur town in the West Bengal state.
"I would like Mayapur to be to its followers what the Vatican is to Catholics,'' Alfred Ford told reporters in Calcutta, the state capital about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Mayapur. "I would like Mayapur to be a place where people would come for a spiritual experience and to listen to discourses on philosophy.''
Alfred B. Ford inaugurated a Krishna temple in Calcutta on Sunday. Ford converted to Hinduism and joined the Krishna movement after he met the founder of the faith, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in the United States in 1975. Ford later set up Hindu temples in the United States.
Founded in 1966, the Krishna movement has more than 400 centers around the world.