The earliest that I remember I heard of a spiritual Tribe was of the controversial mystic Osho . This was the period of hippie culture , the rebels , those that did not fit in with the crowd . I was in college at that time , I heard a few of his talks , he challenged organised religion and politics .
Osho Challenges the Status Quo
I have had a fascination for spiritual tribes and I have observed them closely , I am not talking about religion but spirituality . Osho challenged the status quo and he was the most controversial of them , Rajneesh or Osho as he was later called even criticised Mahatma Gandhi who was highly respected and the orthodoxy of mainstream religions. In advocating a more open attitude he caused controversy wherever he went. His teachings were interspersed with jokes , he delighted in engaging in behaviour that seemed entirely at odds with traditional images of enlightened individuals . He shocked and challenged the norm with his way of spiritual nirvana.
Tribes challenge the status Quo.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spreads the Art of living
Sri Sri founded the Art of Living ,initiated a series of practical and experiential courses in spirituality around the globe . He says that rhythmic breathing practice, Sudarshan Kriya , came to him during a silent 10 days meditation. The thing to note about Sri Sri is the committed Tribe of Art of Living . The entire organisation of Art of Living and its courses are run by volunteers , they are firm believers in the teachings of Gurudev as he is fondly called by the tribe. I have witnessed professionals giving up their careers to join AOL . The AOL tribe feels it is their responsibility to spread the message and get other members to join in .
Tribes spread the word and get other tribe members to join in.The tribe grows.
Ramana Maharishi asks “who am I”
At the age of 16 , he had a “death-experience” where he became aware of a “current” or “force” which he recognised as his true “I” . He attracted devotees who came to him for darshan(visit) at his ashram . His main teaching was ‘atma-vichar’ (self inquiry ) on “I-thought” . Advita is a doctrine of Non-duality , Ramana Maharishi “secularised” and “modernised” Advita . The tribe of Advita followers already existed , those that were attracted to deeper teachings of the eastern spiritual practices . Against a global outwards focused world there was a tribe that wanted to explore deeper purpose existence.
Tribe leaders are believers in a idea they want to spread
Yoga rules the world
Yoga is a group of physical , mental , and spiritual practices that originated and spread across the world , it is the Sanskrit word for union. Patanjali is often considered the father of yoga. Most people credit Swami Vivekanda with being America’s introduction to yoga with his address at the world Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 . He travelled across the states lecturing and teaching yoga to eager students . Then it was in 1920 the Paramhansa Yogananda who spread the message of kriya yoga to the West. There have been other Yoga gurus who spread their idea of Yoga to the west and made it popular globally .
A leader is needed to connect the Tribe to the idea
Jay Shetty makes spirituality Digital
Jay Shetty is a British Indian Internet personality , former monk and motivational speaker . He spent his time as a monk studying behavioural science and learning more about the human mind. Shetty turned to videos on the internet and found a ray of hope . He hit two billion views in 18 months !
Jay challenges the idea of a traditional spiritual Monk , there is a audience that seeks connection with a spiritual teacher , who is not like a ‘Guru’ but like one of them a guy next door , they relate with him .
You don’t build Tribes they already exists out there , they just need a leader who connects them.
What is Common
Spirituality gives a good glimpse of what it takes to connect a Tribe of raving fans . What applies to spirituality can be applied to Brand Tribes .
- Leaders build Tribes
- Tribes challenge status Quo
- Tribe leaders believe in an idea they want to spread
- Tribes are connected by leaders to an idea
- Tribes already exists out there , find them
- Tribe leaders are authentic , build trust by adding value
- Once trust is built not just the leader but Tribe members who are now raving fans enrol new tribe members
You too can build your Tribe ? Do you have an idea to spread ?