The ECK teachings have been here since the earliest times that man inhabited this planet. . . . The Living ECK Master of any era wants only to lead the individual to look within to the source of all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding: the place where one can move toward Self- and God-Realization.
The Founding of Eckankar as a Modern-Day Religion
Although the ECK teachings have ancient roots, Eckankar was introduced as a modern-day religion in 1965 by Paul Twitchell.
A seeker from an early age, he was introduced to a group of spiritual masters who would change the course of his life. These were the ECK Masters. While they trained Paul to become the Living ECK Master, he explored a wide range of spiritual traditions under different teachers.
The high teachings of ECK had been scattered to the four corners of the world. Paul gathered these golden teachings of Light and Sound and made them readily available to us. By 1965, Paul was offering Soul Travel workshops to the public. He wrote many books on Eckankar and the Light and Sound of God.
Since 1981, the spiritual leader of Eckankar has been Sri Harold Klemp, whose spiritual title is the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master.
Today, Eckankar is a nonprofit religious organization and church which has members in over one hundred countries. The spiritual home of Eckankar is the Temple of ECK. The Eckankar Spiritual Center houses administrative offices. Both are located on the Eckankar Spiritual Campus in Chanhassen, Minnesota, USA.
Basic beliefs of Eckankar
Harold Klemp, the spiritual leader of Eckankar, describes the basic beliefs of Eckankar as follows:
The teachings of ECK define the nature of Soul more carefully than do other current religions. Each person is Soul, a particle of God sent into the lower worlds (including earth) to gain spiritual experience. Purified by the spiritual exercises, he comes into contact with the Holy Spirit. His goal is spiritual freedom in this lifetime, after which he becomes a Co-worker with God, both here and in the next world. Karma and reincarnation are primary beliefs.
Key to the ECK teachings is the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master. He has the special ability to act as both Inner and Outer Master for ECK students. He is the prophet of Eckankar, given respect but not worship. He teaches the sacred name of God, HU, which lifts one spiritually into the Light and Sound of God, the ECK.
The ECK (the Holy Spirit) purifies one of karma (sin), making it possible for him to accept the full love of God in this lifetime. Then he gains wisdom, charity, and freedom.
Personal experience with the Light and Sound of God is the cornerstone of Eckankar. Of all the religions on earth today, Eckankar offers the most direct teachings on the Light and Sound of God. These twin pillars are missing in whole or in part from the rest. People who truly find these two aspects of God undergo a complete spiritual change. Life becomes fresh and new again, as it was in early childhood.
Eckankar teaches . . .
*Soul is eternal.
* Soul exists because God loves It.
*Soul is on a journey of Self- and God-Realization.
* Spiritual unfoldment can be accelerated through conscious contact with the ECK, Divine Spirit.
*This contact can be made via the Spiritual Exercises of ECK and the guidance of the Living ECK Master.
*You can actively explore the spiritual worlds through Soul Travel, dreams, and other spiritual techniques.
*Spiritual experience and liberation in this lifetime are available to all.—Eckankar.org