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- 1 Broken Link
- 2 monotheistic or panentheistic??
- 3 Material deleted by Sarunfeldt from the Lead of the article. This may be re-added to the Lead of the article.
- 4 The section 'Twitchell and Kirpal Singh' deleted by Sarunfeldt is under discussion. It seems like the Twitchell article would be a much more appropriate location for this. I believe it would add unnecessary clutter and move this article further from the guidelines set by the New Religions Work Group and WikiProjects Religion. I think this is true for much of the text that appears to keep getting added back en-mass.
- 5 Material deleted by Sarunfeldt from the section 'Leaders' of the article. This may be re-added to the Lead of the article.
- 6 Leaders
Apologize this is not the correct way to do. Ref 13 link to VA is broken. New link is: http://www.cem.va.gov/hmm/emblems.asp Thanks.
monotheistic or panentheistic??
In the opening paragraph of this article is states that "Eckankar is a monotheistic religion"
As someone who has been involved in the religion for several years I have to contend that the supreme god or "Sugmad" of Eckankar is conceived far more in terms of a pantheistic deity and not strictly monotheistic. I have no clear citations to give but a cursory glance of Eckankar literature concerning the Sugmad would likely convince anyone engaged in Theology or Religious Studies that this is the conception they have of the ultimate creator. Also, there is a well known sub-deity named "Kal" who controls the "lower planes" of existence and can be compared to concepts such as Satan or the Demiurge yet is still working within the spiritual hierarchy of Eckankar and seen, largely, as lesser deity under the control of Sugmad. Eckankar scripture also affirms the existence of many gods, specifically the Hindu "triad" of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, as well as Shakti and Ganesha, and sees these as lesser sub-deities. It is therefore my contention that Eckankar cannot be properly called a "monotheistic" religion. Thank you.
Material deleted by Sarunfeldt from the Lead of the article. This may be re-added to the Lead of the article.
David Christopher Lane has written that the founder of Eckankar, Paul Twitchell, plagiarized material for his books The Far Country,The Tiger's Fang, Letters to Gail, and Shariyad-Ki-Sugmad from the writings of Julian Johnson. Lane has also stated that many of the ideas in Eckankar originate in the teachings of Kirpal Singh who had been a teacher of Paul Twitchell.
The word 'Eckankar' is believed to be derived from Ik Onkar, which is a term used in Sikhism to denote God. Since the combination of 'Ik' (meaning 'One') and 'Onkar' (meaning 'God' or 'Transcendental') to form the word 'Ekankar' had been done by Julian Johnson in his book The Path of the Masters, Twitchell's innovation is believed to have been adding a 'c' to transform the word into 'Eckankar' which enabled him to give a distinct name to his organization.
The section 'Twitchell and Kirpal Singh' deleted by Sarunfeldt is under discussion. It seems like the Twitchell article would be a much more appropriate location for this. I believe it would add unnecessary clutter and move this article further from the guidelines set by the New Religions Work Group and WikiProjects Religion. I think this is true for much of the text that appears to keep getting added back en-mass.
Twitchell and Kirpal Singh
According to David Christopher Lane, many ideas in Eckankar originate in the teachings of Kirpal Singh. "It was Kirpal Singh who, arguably, had the greatest impact on Twitchell and the theology behind Eckankar," writes Lane. In 1955 Kirpal Singh visited the US, and during this visit Twitchell was initiated by him as a disciple. Around this time (1956–1957), writes Lane, Twitchell confided in Betty Shifflet and Wave Sanderson (both disciples of Kirpal Singh) that Kirpal Singh would appear before him in his Nuri Sarup (light body) form over the week-end and dictate a book to him. In this regard, according to Lane, Kirpal Singh had commented: “Paul Twitchell used to write to me every week, ‘Master came and sat down on the chair and dictated his teachings to me. He published them in the Tiger’s Fang.’” And Twitchell had written at this time: “I have talked with and taken down the words of Kirpal Singh who appeared in my apartment in Nauri-raup [sic], his light body, although his physical body was six-thousand miles away in India.”
Between 1965 and 1967 Orion magazine published in installments Twitchell's piece The Flute of God in which he acknowledged that he had been a disciple of Kirpal Singh. However, when this book was published in book form later, Twitchell had scrubbed off any references to Kirpal Singh. The reason for Twitchell's desire to severe his ties with his former teacher, according to Lane, is that Twitchell had developed serious differences with Kirpal Singh. Twitchell's book The Tiger's Fang originally made several references to Kirpal Singh. In subsequent additions of the book, writes Lane, these were all changed and made to become references to the fictional Sudar Singh or Rebazar Tarzs depending on the context.
Lane quotes Kirpal Singh, speaking about Twitchell, and stating:
“I tell you one American was initiated by me—I’ve got the initiation report in his own handwriting.Then he wrote to me, ‘The Master’s Form appears to me inside.’ That form used to speak to him, dictate to him, inside. And all that dictation was put into a book and the manuscript was sent to me in 1963. Later he sent me another letter, “Return my book, The Tiger’s Fang.” I returned his book. That was dictated by me on the inner planes, and that’s all right. He changed that book before printing; where he mentioned my name, he changed it to another guru’s name.”
According to Lane one of Kirpal Singh's disciples, Stuart Judd, later wrote that Kirpal Singh was extremely unhappy with the books and letters he would keep receiving from Twitchell, where Twitchell was claiming that he had reached Sach Khand, and had compared Paul Twitchell with Judas.
Twitchell, meanwhile, according to Lane, had written to Kirpal Singh threatening to file a lawsuit for defamation and stating that:
I have never recognized you as a master, or that you give initiations, and that your work is not in the best interest of spirituality. Your teachings are orthodox, and as a preacher you are not capable of assisting anyone spiritually.
Lane comments that:
Twitchell genealogically dissociated himself and his group from key anchors in his past and in so doing assured that Eckankar would be autonomous. If he had not severed his ties to his former teachers, Twitchell might be viewed as merely an offshoot (of which there are many) from more orthodox Sant Mat lineages. As it stands, most Eckists do not know about Twitchell’s former spiritual teachers, and Eckankar literature purged most of their names from the official records as well.
Material deleted by Sarunfeldt from the section 'Leaders' of the article. This may be re-added to the Lead of the article.
Twitchell was succeeded by Darwin Gross as the Living Eck Master, who served in this position for ten years after which he appointed Harold Klemp as the Living Eck Master in 1981.Prior to resigning as the Living Eck Master in 1981, Gross had signed a contract with Eckankar which would:
pay him $65,000 for life, plus other perks such as use of a company automobile (and insurance), complete medical and dental coverage, entertainment expenses, and other assorted business expenses.
However, this contract was terminated in August 1983 by Eckankar after Gross's dispute with Harold Klemp.
(This material has not been deleted.)
Dispute between Darwin Gross and Harold Klemp
Two years after Darwin Gross appointed Harold Klemp as the new Living Eck Master, Klemp excommunicated Gross, banned Gross's books on Eckankar from sale, and sued Gross for copyright infringement and financial misdemeanors. In January 1984, Klemp officially wrote to Gross stating that he had been excommunicated from Eckankar. In February 1984, Gross wrote a widely circulated letter to followers of Eckankar giving his perspective on his dispute with Klemp. Writing in 2006, David Christopher Lane noted that Gross is not associated with Eckankar in any way now, and has started an Eckankar offshoot called Ancient Teachings of the Masters(ATOM).