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Millionaire to Monk
Lankanews, September 9, 2001

Sydney -- Why a croquet - loving playboy gave it all up to seek enlightenment. A month ago, Jose Sanz owned a million dollar mansion and three other exclusive properties, wined and dined Sydney's social elite and was the heir to a multi-million-dollar tobacco dynasty.

Today, the former Sydney obstetrician and university lecturer will get out of bed at 5.30 am and dress in literally the only clothes he has left on his back - a four piece brown and orange robe set, his last remaining asset.

Dr Sanz - now known as the Venarable Yanatharo - has given away his personal fortune of more than 5 million in a bid to find spiritual harmony as a buddhist monk in a temple in Sydney's west.

The respected doctor, croquet champion and founder of the Double Bay Bridge Club now spend 12 hours a day.

Meditating and praying at the Watt Phrayorthker Laotian temple at Edensor Park, (NSW 2176). His new life also sees him working with underprivileged youth in Cabaramatta and day release prisoners.

The monk's personal wealth -more than $5 million in houses, cars and cash-went to his children, who he claims are angry at his decision. Dr Sans, 55, ha also passed to his sister, his multi million dollar inheritance---a 3000 ah tobacco plantation in Argentina which has been his family since 1580.

"I don't have any idea (exactly how much it is worth) and I don't care." He said.

"We struggle for our house, our cars, our money, I want away with it all. I walked out of the house and gave my children the key. They're staunch Roman Catholics and they thought I had been taken by a cult." The devout Buddhism of 15 years was allowed to become a Latin monk after proving he had no debts and responsibilities to other people after the death of his wife 18 months ago.

"I miss my beer with the guys after a game" he said.

"I miss going to the pub and meeting girls. I gave up four bulldogs- the loves of my life-because I was not allowed to keep them. We must have complete detachment, but I still miss my dogs, my car-but not my family."

Cammeray Croquet Club Secretary Mila Kotala said Dr Sanz left behind a budding career in sports. "He was very much admired for his croquet in N.S.W." she said. "He was a very outgoing, very happy bachelor."

Dr Sanz's life involves the daily studies of Buddhist parables and hours of meditation.

The Buddhist philosophy has allowed some room for new technology. Dr Sanz can't watch TV but he can study over the internet with spiritual leaders in Laos.

"I try to concentrate but my mind goes everywhere.

We can't change the past the future is uncertain so we live in the present, We try to do our best, we try to build good karma"


Updated: 10-9-2001

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