A recent well-known survey revealed that the English, Welsh and Scottish people in England eat individually ten kilogrammes of chocolate every year. Their cravings for the mouth-watering, cacao tree derivative amounts to the consumption of about four billion kilogrammes of chocolate each year. One can imagine the elation felt by the dentists of the region.
Amongst all of these chocolates that are consumed, the survey revealed that Kit Kat is the most eaten around the world. Fourteen of that red-wrapper, two-barred chocolate that we’ve come to love during our maturing years, are eaten every second. Not only that, but it is known as the ‘happy drug’. Researchers have found that whenever there is an economic depression in the country, sales of Kit Kat have surprisingly gone up.
The reason behind this success is the lure of its simple, yet effective marketing. Its catchy phrase consisting of the six simple yet potent words: “Have a break, have a Kit Kat,” is familiar to many and brings to mind the rhythmic tune to which it is almost continuously recited in its advertisement. This message has caused it to not only double its production in the last ten years, but also to continue dominating the market. It is the only message in the corporate world that, since its inception in 1937, has never had to change.
Marketing strategists have revealed that so long as this message, “Have a break, have a Kit Kat,” lives in the minds of people, its sales will continue to dominate the chocolate industry and bring water and smiles to mouths. However, the day that it dies, Kit Kat will die.
Similarly, about 230 years ago, Shriji Maharaj came to this earth with certain messages. They carried this Sampradaya through its growing pains, resulted in its spectacular growth, and formed its bedrock and identity. One can also say, that so long as these principles live in the minds of its devotees, this Sampradaya will continue to flourish.
Among the many messages that Shriji Maharaj revealed, the principles of dharma, jnan, vairagya, bhakti, swarupnishtha, and samp, suhrudbhav and ekta are messages that lie at its foundation. These lay the foundation of this Sampradaya. Of these principles we will focus our attention on samp, suhrudbhav, and ekta in this article.
The message of samp is not new to us. We have heard of the tremendous power generated by working together. Breaking one arrow as opposed to a bundle, the force of a falling droplet of water compared to a stone-cutting waterfall, and the strength of a piece of string and many pieces wound together are all analogies used to demonstrate nature’s lesson of samp. Even history has attested to the significance of such power to accomplish seemingly impossible goals. Everything from Gandhi’s proclaimed salt march to the French bourgeoisie’s revolution against its aristocratic government was consequent of the power of working together.
However, is working together enough? The same people who walked besides each other on their march towards revolution in countless nations were later found at one another’s throats. Sometimes we equate unity with simply being or working together; but, this is not the case. Samp, suhrudbhav, and ekta require something more. The 1998 World Expo in Portugal serves as a reminder that samp is not as simple as we often believe. The theme of the exposition was “Our Heritage of the Future.” In its preparation, a new complex was constructed in Lisbon to house vivid exhibits of the world. It was an exhibition of the wonderful innovations, contributions and peculiarities of the world. In the centre of the complex, a large aquarium was constructed consisting of thousands of fish and ocean life from around the word to represent the rich diversity of our world. Surprisingly, the aquarium also housed many sharks – carnivores that eat other fish. When a guide was questioned, “You have sharks in this aquarium, but don’t these sharks attack the other fish?” The guide gave an intriguing answer, “These predators are fed regularly!”
There’s a similarity between sharks and humans. We work and live together with each other and seem to have unity with one another. However, just as there can be unity in disparity, there can be disparity in what seems like unity. Unity lasts as long as we are fed, that is, given our share of respect, praise and appreciation, among other things. Although we may live, work and even fight alongside with each other, the potential to attack one another and to lose our integrity remains. It is circumstance that brings out the predator in us. When our food becomes compromised, when we lose the bread and butter that makes us tick, we begin feeding.
The real-life TV show, Survivor, which several years ago topped the charts for many months, bears testament to the birth of this aggressive nature of normal people when placed in abnormal circumstances. In the show, a group of people were placed on an island or some remote location and asked to perform certain tasks. Among the many activities, every night all of the members of the group would gather to present the work that they had accomplished, express their successes and grievances, and vote for one of the members of the team to be removed. The person who received the most votes was asked to leave the show, and in effect lost his chance to cash in on the winning prize. After the show ran its course, the last remaining person would be hailed as the survivor and was generously gifted by the producers of the show.