he said tea or me / she said tea
the title tea or me comes from a story about the founder-acarya of the international society for krishna consciousness, a.c. bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada. before he was a swami, prabhupada was abhaya charan de, married to radharani de. long story short, mrs. de had a penchant for english tea and biscuits. one day she didn't have enough money to buy her supply and so she traded abhaya's srimad bhagavatam in order to get her fix. naturally, abhaya wasn't too pleased, as krishna was the center of his life. and so with little left to do, he gave her the ultimatum: tea or me. she chose the tea.
spiritual life is simple. spiritual life is complex. it can be the epitome of extremes. there is grey area. most of us live there. tea or me strives to help artists express in the grey area - the place of indirect sincere loving service. by being able to reach down and scrape off all of the things clouding the heart, we are then able to see god more clearly.
mostly krishna-bhakti is black and white. we fall in the in-between. "tea or me" is the ultimate metaphor for choosing between the extremes. we want to choose what is right - but often we crave what isn't. or perhaps we are covered by it. but do we always have to choose? srila prabhupada often spoke about "dove-tailing" one's talents and abilities in krishna's service. we hope to help dove-tail without conditions - to allow our writers and artists to speak the truth of their hearts, so that we can all come a little closer to the supreme.
giving in charity
Stephen Knapp writes in his book Vedic Culture: The Difference It Can Make In Your Life: "Giving to others recognizes that they deserve the same as us. It is a statement of human equality and a way of detaching ourselves from our external labors. Giving up something that is dear to us (like wealth) is also a recognition that we come and go in this world without our possessions. Giving to others, especially those who cannot help themselves, is an activity that works with the karmic laws to return positive action of a charitable gift in many ways. [...] The giving and receiving of charity is a selfless activity. [...] In traditional cultures the giving and receiving of gifts is an important part of the social exchange, and is, most effectively, carried out in a humble and unpretentious manner. [...] It is about being a part of the world, not about the world revolving around us."
at tea or me, we aim to give back. we give in charity with each sale. each author determines what percentage of each sale to give and to whom the donation is made. for the purposes of transparency, each product lists the percentage and the recipient.