APPENDIX 

EMPIRICAL CORRELATIONS #1:

The Influence of a Radhasoami Text on Paul Twitchell

and Eckankar

 

 

In Chapter Three comparisons were made between Eckankar's most sacred writings, The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book One and Book Two, both published in the early seventies, and portions of Julian Johnson's The Path of the Masters, which was first published in 1939. Here I offer over twenty more examples, illustrating not only the extent to which Twitchell was influenced by Radhasoami but also how through slight changes in his writing he developed Eckankar as a distinct religion apart from its Indian predecessor.

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Example One

These two accounts of the guru are almost identical, yet Twitchell adds the term ECK within it twice. He also refers to disciples as chelas, a term found in some Radhasoami literature but rarely in Johnson's material.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

(Fifteenth Edition)

p. 182

__________

In the realm of religion, the Master is a paradox. He has no theology, teaches none, yet he is the most religious man on earth. His system is not a religion, yet it leads to the most complete religious experience, and the most happy. He is absolutely universal in all his teachings. He has no creed, yet he never antagonizes any creed, sect or institution. He never condemns any man or any system. He finds no fault with anybody or anything, yet he draws the sharpest lines between the good and the bad...To correct faults in the disciples, he simply points out the opposite virtues.

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad,

Book I

p. 81

__________

In the realm of religion the Mahanta is a paradox. He has no theology. He teaches none, yet he is the greatest religious leader on earth. The system of ECK, which he teaches, is not a religion although it leads to the most complete and enlightening religious experience. He is universal in all the teachings of ECK. Not having a creed-like religion, he never deliberately antagonizes any creed, sect, or religious institution. He never finds fault with anyone, but draws the line sharply between God and Kal. To correct errors in the chelas the Mahanta often points out the opposite virtues.

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Example Two

Initiation by a living (and not a past) teacher is emphasized in both these passages. While the similarities are strong in the writings, one can see how Twitchell attempts in parts to add a bit of his own style. He uses the term chela to refer to the disciple while Johnson uses the personal pronoun"you" here. Twitchell also intermixes Mahanta and Master when referring to the spiritual teacher and Johnson simply uses the latter.

 

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 192

__________

There is a vital difference--you cannot simply follow the departed Master--not at all. Neither can he initiate you on the spiritual path.Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

pp. 81-82

__________

A vital difference exists between a Mahanta and a departed Master. The chela cannot follow a Master who has left this plane...The departed one cannot initiate anyone on the spiritual path.

 

 

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Example Three

Compare how Twitchell speaks of Kal, an Indian term which in this context refers to the controller of the perishable world, in nearly the same terms that Johnson uses to describe anger, one of the five recognized ills or passions of humanity according to Indian philosophy.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 294

__________

This disease [of anger] manifests itself by the following set of symptoms: thinking ill of others, taking offense easily, criticizing the actions of others, lecturing or discoursing on the mistakes of others either to the person himself or to others about him, chronic fault-finding..., scolding, nagging or haranguing others, habitually blaming others for all that goes wrong, vile abuse and curing others, actual fighting, quarreling or trying to inflict injury upon others.

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 140

_________

He [Kal] encourages...thinking ill of others, taking offense easily, criticizing the actions of others, lecturing on mistakes of others, chronic fault-finding, scolding, nagging or blaming others for things that go wrong, vile abuse, cursing others, fighting, quarreling, or trying to inflict injury of others.

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Example Four

 

In comparing the two accounts Twitchell describes Kal very similar to how Johnson describes greed.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 296

__________

Lobh [greed] has many minor phases, such as: miserliness, falsehood, hypocrisy, perjury, misrepresentation, robbery, bribery, trickery of all sorts.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 140

__________

He [Kal] also encourages miserliness, hypocrisy, perjury, mispresentation, robbery, bribery, trickery...

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Example Five

 

In this example notice how Twitchell applies Johnson's description for vanity to Kal.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

pp. 301-02

__________

The minor phases of ahankar [vanity] are: bigotry, self-assertion..., it makes obtrusive show of wealth or power, it is gaudy in dress, exhibits a domineering attitude...dearly loves titles, honors, college degrees...

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 140

_________

He [Kal] also encourages... bigotry, self-assertion, a show of wealth and power, gaudiness in dress and the exhibition of a domineering attitude. He dearly loves titles, honors, degrees...

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Example Six

 

There is very little difference between these two pieces of literature: both describe the role of the guru. Yet instead of referring to the guru as a Master as the Radhasoamis do, Twitchell here calls him a Mahanta.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 181

__________

He [the Master] generally is a family man, though not always. He is no ascetic and does not encourage austerities. He does not consider it a sin to keep the body comfortable, well fed and healthy; in fact, he says that it is a duty. The Master lives in the world though he is not of it. He enters the stream of human life to help others, yet he himself stands aloof from the waves of human passion. He has attainted all virtues...He believes in developing the highest possible degree of strength, yet that strength must never be separated from moral qualities. Strength minus love and humility produces a brute. The Master has become strong, stronger than any giant of body or intellect--for he has unlimited power, yet he combines with that strength the noblest virtues of the humble and gentle...All people find in him inspiration for the building of noble character.

 

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

pp. 80-81

__________

The Mahanta is generally a family man--he is never an ascetic nor does he ever encourage austerities. He will advocate keeping the body healthy as it is his duty to serve the world. The Mahanta, the living ECK Master, lives in the world although he is not of it. He has come to help all those who desire it, and enters the stream of humanity to give his help. Yet he himself stands aloof from the waves of human passions. He has attained all virtues. He believes in the highest degrees of strength; spiritual strength which cannot be separated from the moral qualities of mankind. This strength is the strength of love. He is stronger than any man in intellect or spirit, for he has unlimited power, and yet this strength combined with the noble virtues of the humble and gentle. All people find him inspiration for the development of noble character.

 

 

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Example Seven

Johnson is equating a Master with being a son of God. While Twitchell delineates the same message almost verbatim, he deviates a bit when he refers to the Supreme (or the all-embracing Father as Johnson writes) as either Sugmad, the all-embracing ECK, or IT.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 191

___________

In the process of their development, all Masters simply expand the godlike qualities with which they, in common with all other men, were born. Any true Master is a divine man, a real son of God. Moreover, every man has in him the latent possibilities of such expansions to become a son of God. He only requires a living Master to help him develop it. He needs but the flames of mastership in another man to light the fires in himself. When any Master attains sainthood, he gains conscious oneness with the Supreme...The real Master is conscious of it. That is one of the distinguishing qualities of a Master. He knows the relationship with the supreme Oversoul and is consciously able to exercise his powers and prerogatives as a son of God...Partaking of his qualities...he is literally part of the all-embracing Father...

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 81

__________

In the process of the development of the Mahanta, all living ECK Masters, in their days on Earth, wore the mantle of the Mahanta and expanded their God-like qualities in common with all men. The living ECK Master is, therefore, the divine man; a real son of God. Yet every man has in him the latent possibilities for the same expansion to mastership. He only requires the living ECK Master to help develop it. When the Master gains Mahantaship he attains conscious oneness with the SUGMAD. This is the distinguishing quality of the ECK Master. He knows the relationship with the SUGMAD, and is able to consciously exercise his powers as a son of God. He is literally part of the all-embracing ECK, partaking of ITS qualities...

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Example Eight

 

When discussing the necessity of a living guru, Twitchell utilizes Johnson's examples of a child needing a living mother and a sick man requiring a fully functioning doctor. Yet, Twitchell does leave out the reference to the impossibility of a "dead jurist" trying a case, which demonstrates how he makes subtle changes. He also makes plural the word Master, whereas Johnson does not. Perhaps this is an attempt simply to distinguish his passage a bit more from Johnson's.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 193

__________

A child cannot get nourishment or learn vital lessons from a dead mother. A sick man cannot obtain medicine from a dead doctor; neither can a dead jurist try a case at law. The Master of past ages has gone from this field of action, and thus he has finished his work here.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I p. 82

__________

A child cannot get nourishment from a deceased mother, not a sick man from a departed doctor. The Masters of the past ages have left this field of action and so their work here is finished.

 

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Example Nine

 

That the guru gives a precise method to experience higher states of consciousness is the topic here. When adopting this section from The Path of the Masters, Twitchell excludes about ten sentences. I too have omitted them so that the parallel in writings is obvious. But what is interesting is how Twitchell selects certain portions and leaves out others, perhaps to present the writing as original. He also makes slight changes, such as substituting Mahanta for wise man.

 

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 195

_________

All men will recognize, if they think of the matter at all, that feelings are not proof in religious matters...The wise man will learn to discount feelings as proofs of religious dogmas...He [the Master] offers you a definite method by which you can prove things for yourself, not by feeling but by sight and hearing.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 82

__________

Men must recognize that feelings provide no proof in religious matters. The Mahanta will try to teach the chela to discount feelings as proofs of religious dogma. Only the living ECK Master can offer the chela a definite method by which he can prove all things for himself.

 

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Example Ten

 

On one's spiritual journey the radiant form of the guru should appear, so indicates the passages below. Twitchell borrows this basic theme from Johnson's book but changes the wording somewhat. This illustrates not only how Twitchell adopts ideas but also how he creatively re-states them.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 197

__________

And yet all of these things are not conclusive proofs. There is but one way to know beyond all peradventure that a man is a Master--that is to see him on some higher plane, where deception is impossible...If you see the Master there in his radiant form, you have nothing more to worry about...

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 82

__________

There is one way to know if the living ECK Master is authentic. That is to see him on some higher plane where assumption is impossible. If the Mahanta is seen in his radiant form, the chela will know this is the true Master of ECKANKAR...

 

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Example Eleven

While these passages are very alike, both petitioning one to have faith in the teacher and to hold steadfast when problems manifest in one's life, Twitchell incorporates a few subtle changes. For instance, he uses the term "karma" instead of "problem," as Johnson does. And Twitchell suggests that the Master will resolve any questions, while Johnson does not mention the Master in this particular context.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 198

__________

Having now found the Master, what next? Follow him with unwavering faith and determination. In other words, after you have once accepted a man as a Master, accept his formula also and work it out with absolute fidelity. If you run up against many problems which cause your boat to rock, hold a steady hand upon the oars of self-mastery and wait while you work. At first there may be puzzling questions...Do not jump to conclusions. Let them come to you. Wait and work. By and by, your questions will answer themselves; you will be surprised how very easily. When the light becomes strong, the darkness vanishes.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

pp. 82-83

__________

Whenever the chela finds the living ECK Master he should follow him with unwavering faith and determination and accept him wholeheartedly. If the chela runs up against karma and burdens, he must hold a steady hand on himself and wait while these are being worked out by the ECK Master. Hold all and wait. The questions that are in one's mind will be worked out eventually without a word for the Master. The light becomes stronger and the darkness vanishes...

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Example Twelve

 

Both of these writings speak of a common theme: living in the world and performing one's duties but not being of the world. There is very little deviation between them.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 383

__________

One may love while keeping his own independence...A man must remain in the world so long as he has a single duty to perform, but he is not to love the world. He must not become so bound up with duties, family, or worldly interests that he forgets his more important interests. He should never forget that one day he has to leave family, friends and all possessions. And he knows not what day he will be called upon to leave.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 114

__________

He who is fortunate to gain the attitude of true love shall have independence. Man must remain in this world as long as he has a single duty to perform, but he is not to love the world. He must not become so bound up with duties or family or worldly interests that he forgets his most important interests. He must never forget that one day he will leave friends and all possessions, and he never knows what day he shall be called upon to leave them.

 

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Example Thirteen

 

The message of Johnson's passage is that one should not be attached to material things, since they are ultimately temporary. Twitchell reiterates almost the exact same message but makes an interpolation when he says that the material world is the property of Kal Niranjan.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 383

__________

He must leave not only his wealth and loved ones but he must leave his own body. Material things and people all belong to the passing show. They all have but a temporary interest. They are not his own, and his attachment to them is only temporary. He must never regard them as his own but as loaned to him for the day, the moment, that he may both serve them and use them. This is vairagya in the real sense of the term.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 114

_________

Not only does he leave his own body. He can take nothing with him except his inner possessions. All material things and people belong to the passing show on earth, for they have only a temporary interest. These material possessions are not his own. They have never been, nor ever will be. They are the properties of Kal Niranjan, the king of the negative worlds, and man's attachment to them is only temporary. He must never regard them as his own, but as a loan to him for Kal Niranjan for the day, the moment that he may both serve them and use them. When he comes to this attitude he has reached the Vairag.

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Example Fourteen

 

While this is a very small example it is, I believe, an enlightening one. Twitchell borrows one of the last sentences of Johnson's book and applies it in an entirely different context than Johnson. When Johnson writes of the importance of love he is explaining what makes for a civilized world instead of a degenerate one. Twitchell, on the other hand, is concerned here with the method of how the "chela" enters into the inner spiritual regions. Thus, Twitchell, it seems, is prone to adopt certain passages and then re-work them into different themes.

 

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 452

__________

Love alone makes civilization, and love is the essence of pure spirit.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 118

_________

It is love that makes civilization of this Earth plane, and that love is the essence of pure spirit.

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Example Fifteen

When speaking of samadhi, both agree that the highest form is nirvikalpa. For Johnson this occurs in the third spiritual region, where the disciples "behold themselves as pure spirit." But for Twitchell nirvikalpa is attained in the fifth region, where the "seeker of God cannot distinguish himself from the ECK ITSELF." Also, a modification appears near the end of Twitchell's passage: whereas Johnson asserts that Shabd is the necessary ingredient to advance spiritually, Twitchell suggests that spiritual growth depends upon having a "Living Eck Master."

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

pp. 441-42

_________

All of these things enumerated above lead one up to samadhi, to actually going inside and stepping out upon the astral regions, as suggested above. The highest form of samadhi is nirvikalpa. This is gained by disciples of the Master when they enter the third region. It is there that they behold themselves as pure spirit, after leaving behind all material coverings...But the most important thing about all yogic systems is the complete absence in them of all knowledge of the Shabd and reliance upon it for entering the higher religions. Without it, no one can advance very far on the inner path.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

pp. 117-18

__________

This leads the seeker of God up to Samadhi, to the actual going inside and stepping out onto the astral planes where he meets with the Mahanta in the Nuri-Sarup. The highest form of Samadhi is the Nirvikalpa, in which the seeker of God cannot distinguish himself from the ECK ITSELF. This is gained when the chela enters the fifth plane (the Soul region) with the Mahanta. It is here that he beholds himself as pure Soul after leaving behind his material sheaths. Few, if any, can attain this state without traveling the path of ECK in the company of the Mahanta. No one can get his release from the net of karma without the living ECK Master.

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Example Sixteen

Both accounts deal with the disciples encounter with the "radiant form" of the guru. Besides a few word changes (like Master to ECK Master or Mahanta, and disciple to chela), these passages are almost the same.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

pp. 438-39

_________

At a point between the sun-worlds and the moon-worlds and the pure astral zone, the disciple of the Master enters a zone called Ashtadal Kanwal. At that place something happens which changes the whole course of his life and also his method of procedure from that point on. It is the meeting with his own Master in his radiant form. This is the Master's nuri sarup or "light form. It is the Master, his own Master, appearing just as he does in physical life, except that his body is now much more beautiful and full of light, brilliantly illumined. The radiant Master then and there receives his disciple with much love, to the great joy of the disciple. From that moment on, the two are never separated throughout the journey to still higher regions. Of course, this form is always with the disciple from the moment of his initiation, but the disciple cannot see him. But from here on, the disciple can see the Master on the inner planes as well as the outer.

 

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

pp. 115-16

__________

When one reaches this stage of spiritual development he finds the living ECK Master always in his inner vision waiting to meet him at a point between the sun worlds and the moon worlds. This is the pure astral zone, where the lover of God enters a zone called the Ashta-dal-Kanwal. At this point the whole course of his life is changed. It is the meeting with the living ECK Master in his radiant body. This is the Mahanta's Nuri-Sarup, or Light form. It is the living ECK Master appearing just as he does in this physical life, except that now his body is more beautiful and filled with a brilliantly illuminated light. The radiant ECK Master greets the chela with much love and from there on the two are never separated throughout the journey to still higher regions and eventually to God. This inner form of the Mahanta is always with the chela from the moment of his initiation, but the chela cannot see him. Yet from this moment on, the chela can see and communicate with the living ECK Master on the inner places as well as the outer ones.

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Example Seventeen

 

One must practice the dharma, rightful duty, if one is to progress spiritually, so says Johnson and Twitchell. Dharma in this context seems to be referring to dedication to the spiritual life. These writings are very close, except Twitchell does add a few Eckankar terms, such as ECK and ECK chela.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

p. 441

__________

All of this is take for granted, even before one starts on the path of the Masters. Of course, every student must be well grounded in the fundamental laws of righteousness. He must also practice the real dharma in all his life. Without it, he cannot even make a start.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book I

p. 117

__________

One takes for granted before he starts on the path of ECK that he is to become well grounded in the fundamentals of righteousness. He must practice the Dharma, the law of life itself, in all aspects of his life. This means doing what one ought to do while an ECK chela. Without doing this he cannot make a start in life.

 

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Example Eighteen

In comparing these passages, which deal with the creative powers that make up the world, we clearly can witness the influence of Radhasoami text on Twitchell's thinking. Twitchell does make a few adjustments though, such as replacing the term supreme power with SUGMAD and on one occasion substituting the name Niranjan with Brahm. And, interestingly, Twitchell places man not at the "very (lowest) foot of the grand hierarchy," as Johnson does, but gives him the status of an "in-between being."

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

pp. 260-61

__________

They are the famous Hindu trinity--Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva. These are called sons of Kal Niranjan...The female counterpart of Kal Niranjan is Shakti, who in fact represents another creative current. Out of the union of these two great currents, three subordinate currents flow into the lower worlds, and to these are attributed the creation of all lower worlds. These three became creators, lords and governors of the lower worlds under their father, Niranjan, and their mother, Shakti. There are said to be more directly under the supervision of their mother. In fact, these three represent creative currents; they carry the creative impulses from the greater powers above. But they have been given these individual names as persons. It is well to remember that all creative currents may become personal, that is, take individual form and assume individual duties. Now these three have generally been accepted as the Hindu trinity of gods...Millions worship them in spite of their subordinate position. They each perform a certain function in carrying on the work of the world, in producing human bodies, and in keeping those bodies going. They are agents of the supreme power in serving mankind.they are not gods to be worshipped.Who will worship his servants? They are subordinates in the grand hierarchy. But each of them has certain powers and prerogatives, and within his own sphere he is all-powerful. He carries on according to definite laws and rules laid down for his government. These again are laws of nature. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva may be regarded as servants of the negative power...Still lower than these three, there is another current or god or power who is also one of the working forces, helping to carry on the administration of the physical universe. His name is Ganesh. He stands practically at the foot of the list of subordinates whose business it is to serve mankind and help to carry on the work of this world. In the subtle regions close to the earth, there is a great host of beings called devas, devtas, spirits, etc....They are somewhat above ordinary men and help to serve man in many ways. They have great power and are quite willing to serve people who live in harmony with them. Last of all is humanity itself, at the very foot of the grand hierarchy. If man works in harmony with all those powers above him, he will surely receive help and will eventually rise to the position where he will find a Master and then accomplish his final return home.

 

 

 

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book II

p. 138

__________

Orientals know them as the Hindu trinity; Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. These are the sons of Kal Niranjan, the kings of the lower worlds. The female counterpart of Kal Niranjan is Shakti, who represents a minor creative current. Out of the union of these two great currents...the three subordinate currents flow into the lower worlds, and to these are attributed the creation of all the lower worlds. These three became creators, lords, and governors of the lower worlds under their father, Brahm, and mother, Shakti. They are more directly under the supervision of Shakti, their mother. They represent the creative powers of the Kal, for they carry the creative power from the greater powers above. These negative, creative powers become personal, take individual form and assume individual duties. These three have been accepted since ancient times as the Hindu trinity of gods...These negative powers, however, are only servants to man, although millions worship them in spite of their subordinate position. They each perform a certain function in carrying on the work of the world, in producing human bodies and in keeping there bodies going. They are only the agents of the SUGMAD, and not gods to be worshipped. They are almost menials in the grand spiritual hierarchy, but each has certain power and prerogatives, and within his own sphere he is all powerful. Each must carry on according to the definite laws and rules which are laid down for his government. These are laws of nature, and the trinity, no matter what religion it may be represented as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, may be regarded as servants of the Kal Niranjan, the negative power. Lower than these three, there is another current of power, or god, who is the working force helping to carry on the administration of the physical universe. His Hindu name is Ganesh, but other religions give him different names. He stands almost at the foot of the ladder of subordinate whose business is to serve mankind and help carry on the work of the world...These great hosts of beings are called devas, devtas, bhuts, prets, and by other names. They are beings somewhat above the ordinary man, and they help to serve man in many ways. They have great power and are quite willing to help those individuals who are in harmony with them. Man is the in-between being, between the spiritual hierarchy and the lowest of beings...But if he works in harmony with all of those powers above him, he will surely receive their help and will eventually rise to the position where he will meet with the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, and then succeed in returning to the heavenly world, his true home.

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Example Nineteen

 

Both Johnson and Twitchell argue that the teachings of the Masters are the oldest known. Yet, Twitchell does make one obvious alteration in his passage when he refers to the mastership as "The Vairagi, the Ancient Order of the Adepts of ECK Masters."

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

pp. 262-63

__________

This psychology of the Masters is both the oldest and the newest psychology known. It is the oldest because its main points have been known and taught by the Masters ever since they began to instruct students on this planet. That was so long ago that no historians can even attempt to trace it. It was old ages before the Vedas were ever heard of, and it was only when the pure teachings of the saints began to be obscured and corrupted that the Vedas came. It was long before the Chinese sages began to speculate upon the abstruse and the unknown, the occult and the mystical. It was old long before the great cataclysm change the face of the continents and raised the Himalayan mountains to their present height. It was old when the first known empire, stretching back into Sat Yuga, the Golden Age, built its civilization upon the great plateau which is now Tibet and the Gobi desert. It was old before the Sanskrit language was spoken in that central empire of prehistoric civilization; for the Master's system has watched the decline of Sanskrit and the simultaneous decline of all known civilizations. It must be remembered that mastership is not a product of modern civilization. It has been the chief factor in producing all civilizations, including the modern one. Masters have existed in this creation for millions of years. Always during prehistoric eras, while the majority of the race was on the decline, descending toward what we now call primitive savagery, the Masters held aloft the torch of spiritual truth, pointing for all who had eyes to see it

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book II

pp. 140-41

__________

The teachings of the works of ECK is at once, therefore, both the oldest and the newest known. It is the oldest and the purest of the known works of God since its revelation...The ECK Masers have instructed the devotees of this spiritual works so long ago, that historians of the human race cannot attempt to trace it on this planet. It was ages old before the Vedas of the Hindus were ever heard of, and it was only when the pure teachings of the ECK Masters began to be obscured and corrupted that the Vedas arrived here in this world. ECK was taught to those who were receptive long before the Chinese sages started to speculate upon the abstruse and the unknown God. It was old long before the great cataclysm changed the face of continents and raised the Himalayan Mountains to their present magnificent heights. It was old, of course, when the first known empire stretched back into the Satya Yuga, the golden age, and built its civilization of the great plateau which is not Tibet and the Gobi desert. Naturally it was old when the Sanskrit language came into existence in the central empire of the prehistoric civilization known as the great Uighur empire. The Vairagi, the Ancient Order of Adepts of ECK Masters...has watched the decline of all known civilization. The Mahanta, the Living ECK Maser, is therefore not a product of modern civilization as many believe. He has been, as well as the Order of the Vairagi, the chief factor in producing all civilizations, including the present modern civilization. The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, has existed in this world for millions of years...As always, during prehistoric periods when the human race was on the decline in descent toward savagery, the ECK Masters have held up the spiritual truths as a torch lighting the way for all those who had eyes to see.

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Example Twenty

Both writers here are presenting their tradition as something special. But Twitchell seems to go a step further and argue that all religions originally came from his tradition, Eckankar. Also, while Johnson compares Sant Mat with other Hindu systems, Twitchell avoids reference to any

Indian philosophy, Hindu, Sant Mat, or otherwise.

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Masters

pp. 263-64

__________

The real science of the Masters, as presented in this book, must never be confused with the various Hindu systems, philosophies or religions. IT is none of them...Hindu philosophies have many features in common with Sant Mat; but the most essential elements of this science are quite unique and not widely known in India among the vast majority of Indian scholars. This is because the Hindu pundits have been so preoccupied with their own systems of learning that they have never taken the trouble to investigate the real science of the Masters.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book II

pp. 140-41

__________

The works of ECK must never be confused with the various systems of philosophies and religions, for the ECK is neither a philosophy not a religion. Many of the world religions and philosophies have features which are similar to ECKANKAR, but the most essential point to make here is that the reason for this is that all religions and philosophies are the offspring of ECK. It is the fountainhead of all life; therefore, all other things are the children of ECK. It is for this very reason that so many preoccupied with their own systems of religions and philosophies seem to find something in ECK which appears to be like their own. It is because their founders have taken from ECKANKAR...

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Example Twenty One

Bad karma, described in these passages as sin or evil, is said to impede one's spiritual growth. While various religious books and teachers have attempted to delineate exactly what constitutes sin, Johnson and Twitchell claim that only a Master can do so. There are other strong similarities: Twitchell fully embraces Johnson's position that if the mind is pulled upward toward spirituality then this is good and if it is pulled downward via the "five evil passions" it is bad. In addition, Twitchell adopts Johnson's dislike for utilitarian ethics. Although the messages are basically the same, there are a few slight variations between Johnson's and Twitchell's writings. For instance, when Johnson makes reference to Indian literature, Twitchell leaves this out (but he feels free to use Indian terms like dharma). Also, for Johnson the cure for evil is spiritual "light" experienced during meditation, whereas for Twitchell it is both "light and sound."

 

Radhasoami Literature:

The Path of the Master

pp. 338-41

__________

Karma is bound up with all forms of sin and evil, as well as righteousness. These three cannot be separated. Both sin and righteousness create karma. In the sacred literature of India, dharma, "righteousness," is doing right, obeying the law, and this means doing "what is to be done" But nowhere is it told exactly what sin and righteousness are, per se. And that is because all people go by a book of laws. No one except the Masters has attempted to tell what the substance of evil is or the essential conduct of doing right...Religious leaders simply write down their commandments in a book and assign penalties for their violation. Nearly all of them sum up the matter by saying: "Do the will of God." And when we come to a little closer investigation of the matter, we find that the commands of the lawgiver are assumed to be the will of God. Who is to tell us what the will of God is? Of course, the priests and the prophets and the kings. But if we challenge their credentials to speak for God, they call us bad names...What constitutes bad actions? No clear conception of the fundamental nature of these transactions can be gathered literature from the literature... It [a fundamental principle] is as follows: Whatever bears the quality or character of any of the five evil passions, or in any way hinders or delays the soul in its progress toward spiritual freedom, is wrong. Whatever raises the consciousness is right...Another guiding principle is: To keep on the path of spiritual progress, the mind must be maintained at its center behind the eyes; any action pulling it down from there retards progress and can, therefore, be called wrongdoing...The simple sum of the matter is that no one is to be impeded on his way to the light. Any given act that has the effect of helping another party in his spiritual progress is to be considered good. The ultimate effect upon the higher interest of all concerned must be the prime consideration. Do not be misled by that old but erroneous maxim: the greatest god for the greatest number... That saying has been used for centuries to justify murder in the name of society. Nothing can be moral or good if a single individual has to be sacrificed to gain it...the cure for evil is unobstructed light. When this occurs, as in the case of the Master, then all evil vanished as darkness disappears in the perfect sunlight.

 

Eckankar Literature:

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book II

pp. 69-70

__________

Karma, of course, is bound up with reincarnation. It is separated into two parts; cause and righteousness, which are the basic factors that create karma. It is the disobedience of the Law of Dharma, which is rightness or righteousness, the law of life or what ought to be done, that brings about karma for the individual or groups. But nowhere does anyone tell you exactly what cause or righteousness might be which causes the karmic forced to enter into the life of man. This is because all people go by the laws of God. Nearly all commandments say "do right," but few know what is being said here except the Living ECK Master who gets to the heart of the problem. Most religion, instead, write down their laws in a book and assign penalties for their violations. Nearly all of them sum up the matter by saying, "Do the will of God." When this statement is investigates it's found that the commands of the law-giver are assumed to be the Will of God. Those who are and have been responsible for the Will of God statements have been the priests, prophets and kings and, of course, the dictators. Once their credentials are challenged they are upset and quote their authority from some religious writings. They have no understanding of what constitutes good or bad conduct...The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, says that whatever bears the quality or character of nay of the five mental passions, or in any way hinders or delays Soul in progress and unfoldment toward spiritual freedom, is wrong and brings karma. Therefore, whatever creates good karma is right and whatever creates bad karma is wrong. If a certain act has the effect to delay any one else on the path of spiritual liberation then that course of action must be considered wrong. No one is to be impeded on his way to God-Realization. But if any given act has the effect of helping another party in his spiritual progress, then that is to be considered good...The ultimate effect upon the higher interest of all concerned must be the prime consideration. The old slogan "the greatest good to the greatest number" is unfortunate for it is utterly misleading. Sometimes it is used to justify murder in the name of society, but nothing can be morally good if a single individual had "TO BE SACRIFICED TO GAIN IT." Therefore, the cure for evil is the unobstructed sound and light. When this occurs, as in the case of the Living ECK Master, then all darkness and evil vanishes as does the night disappear when the sun rises.