This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" by Robin Sharma. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari characters do you need to know? What do each of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari offer for the story?
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari characters include the protagonist Julian Mantle and his friend John. The other people on this character list are Julian’s teachers in India.
Keep reading for a list of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari characters.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Characters: Julian and John
Julian Mantle is a very successful, famous, and wealthy lawyer. He seems to have it all: a mansion, expensive Armani suits, a private island, and his prized red Ferrari.
However, the stress of Julian’s job wears him down. One day, Julian has a heart attack and collapses mid-trial. While in the hospital, he decides that he no longer wants to practice law. After recovering, Julian sells off most of his material goods for a fraction of their value. He takes what little he has left and goes to India to look for guidance in his life.
Julian is away for over three years, and he makes no contact with his old associates during that time, including John. Of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari characters, John is the one that learns from Julian.
While he’s gone, John gets older and more jaded. He develops a nasty temper and a habit of worrying about things he can’t change. In spite of that, he settles into a decent middle-class life; not as extravagant as Julian’s old life, but comfortable.
John’s great love in life are his children. He says that, after having kids, the way he viewed the world and his place in it changed—his secure, middle-class life wasn’t enough anymore. John began to search for meaning in his own life, but without much success.
After Julian’s final lesson, Julian embraces John and walks out into the morning sun.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Characters From India
Within the Julian-John story is another layer about Julian’s time in India, where he studied with the Sages of Sivana and learned the secrets of enlightenment. On the list of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari characters in India are the Sages of Sivana.
The Sages are a near-mythological group of monks who are supposed to have the keys to health, longevity, and happiness. They live high in the Himalayas, where it is dangerous for even experienced climbers to explore, and many people have died trying to find them. Krishnan would have gone himself to look, but by the time he learned about them he was too old to make the climb.
Krishnan was another former lawyer who got tired of the constant stress and overwork. Much like Julian, he gave up everything to seek new meaning in life. Eventually, Krishnan realized that his purpose is to serve others and make the world better. He was now the caretaker of a small local temple, where he had come to know himself and his place in the world.
After a week traveling alone through the mountains, Julian found another traveler dressed in a strange red robe with a blue hood. The man was at least as old as Julian, but his skin was perfectly smooth and he had the energy of a man half his age. His eyes were especially striking, so clear and penetrating that Julian couldn’t meet them.
Julian suspected that this stranger was a Sage of Sivana. He repeated the same things about himself that he had told Krishnan the week before. He ended by saying that he was looking for inner harmony and peace.
The man finally replied that he was indeed a Sage, and that they could teach Julian. He added that nobody had found the Sages in many years, and praised Julian’s tenacity. He invited Julian to come back with him, as a guest and a student.
However, the monk said they would teach Julian on one condition: He must take what he learns back to his homeland and share it with as many people as possible. The monk introduced himself as Yogi Raman and brought Julian to Sivana, a small village hidden in the mountains. On the list of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari characters, Yogi Raman is the one with the most direct impact on Julian’s life.
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