Friday, February 17, 2012

A Buddhist monk invented the popular 5-Hour Energy drink

               Good Day Humboldt County!

Today’s road leads us past the path to enlightenment, and turns off into a less heavenly highway lined with greenbacks.   

Since those wild sixties, when I experimented with every popular drug out there, I’ve been fascinated with oriental religions. In particular, I thought Buddhist monks were totally cool back in the day.  

  During the seventies, I was a die-hard “Kung Fu” fan (the series ran from 1972-75) and loved watching David Carradine play the wise Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine.

Caine/Carradine traveled through the American Old West armed only with his spiritual training and his skill in martial arts, as he sought his half-brother, Danny Caine. Along the way, he kicks numerous asses and imparts his unique wisdom in less violent moments.

Which leads me to another Buddhist monk today. You might say, a guy for our times. Michigan resident Manoj Bhargava, 58,  a former member of the Hanslok Ashram order and who lived the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk for 12 years, invented the 5-Hour Energy drink!

No kidding.Forbes reporter Clare O'Conner discovered that's exactly who is behind the phenomenon that has a 90%-near monopoly of the energy shot market.

I have to admit that I’m puzzled. Guess I’m not sure how Bhargava's billion-dollar energy drink invention ties in with the teachings of Confucius. In a recent interview he said that his “5-Hour Energy” is not a energy drink… it’s a focus drink.

Now that sounds Buddhist-like and mysterious to me. Apparently the FDA doesn’t like him using the word “focus” and he lamented that fact. “I have no idea why,” he told the Forbes reporter.

Bhargava is no Kwai Chang Caine. This guy pops up in the morning takes a pull of his 5-Hour Energy beverage and spends the rest of the time comparing himself to Matt Damon's character in Good Will Hunting. He refers to himself as "the richest Indian in America," and hasn't been shy about taking out the competition, filing 91 lawsuits.

A case of capitalism overcoming religion? Perhaps a case of a new religion? What do you think?

Time for me to walk on down the road…


old school friend said...

Truly enjoyed the article Dave!

Not knowing the individual myself, it is impossible to say if capitalism overcame personal spiritual perspectives. Taking your read at face value though certainly does invoke a feeling of a dichotomous oxymoron, does it not?

ImBlogCrazy said...

I wish I knew which old school friend you are.

You can always email me at if you'd like to chat or catch up on old times.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.