What is Eckankar?
Question: "What is Eckankar?"
Of all the strange and bizarre belief systems in the world today, Eckankar has to be one of the strangest. Sadly, it is also one of the most dangerous. Eckankar is one of the New Age religions, founded in 1964 by Paul Twitchell, a journalist, eccentric occult dabbler, and self-proclaimed soldier of fortune. Twitchell dubbed himself the unique incarnation of God on earth, the “Living Eck Master,” insisting that only through him and his movement could an individual find truth and salvation. The following are the basic beliefs of Eckankar:
God: Impersonal, amoral, pantheistic spirit. Twitchell described God (“Sugmad”) in his book The Tiger’s Fang as ignorant, internally inconsistent, in need of wisdom and education, negative, unawakened, wondering, poor, unhappy, not content with his creation and in need of assistance. Twitchell also said, “You will never find God by searching for Him. He is here and now within you!” One can only wonder why anyone who sees God in this light would want to find Him in the first place. But there is no room for logic in Eckankar.
Sin: A false notion created by Kal (the devil) to keep the Soul ignorant of its true glory.
Salvation: “Eck is the highest of all paths to God. . . belief in anything other than the Eck is false. . . It is not possible to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven except through the teachings of Eckankar.”
Jesus Christ: Twitchell stated that “Kal is the Jehovah of the Jewish faith and the Father of the Christian teachings…Therefore, we really see Jesus as a son of Kal Niranjan, king of the lower worlds.” Thus, in Eck, the Bible, the entire structure of its moral teachings, and Jesus Christ Himself are identified with the evil power of the cosmos—in a word, with the devil!
The fall, the second coming, heaven and hell: All are Christian myths in the view of Eckankar.
The spiritual practices of Eckankar involve trance, meditation, soul travel accompanied by “spirit guides” (demons), E.S.P., telepathy, mind reading, clairvoyance, magic, plugging into the “cosmic consciousness,” telekinetic powers, alchemy, and weather control. According to Eck, the human soul is on a spiritual journey involving a series of reincarnations to discover and improve the true self, thereby realizing its own true inner divinity.
It is clear from the outset that this is a “religion” created by Satan, the father of lies. But it differs from the many other false religions in its dangerous practices of giving an opening to demonic forces. Satan is our “adversary, the devil, [who] walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). When someone gets involved in any type of occult practice, he opens the door of his soul to the devil and his demons. This is why God is adamant in His Word about not involving ourselves in these activities. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12a). Not only do such practices put us in danger of encountering demons, they are detestable to God because they replace worship of Him, the true and living God, with the worship of the self and the worship of Satan.
There is nothing new here. This New Age philosophy is nothing more than Hinduism in another package. Its real purpose is the exaltation of the self, the same old lie Satan has been propagating since the Garden of Eden when he tempted Adam and Eve by telling them "you shall be as God" (Genesis 3:5). It may appear calm and loving on the outside, but it houses occult doctrines and practices, it rejects the truth of God which He has revealed in the Bible, and it denies that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except by Me" (John 14:6).
Neighboring Faiths by Winfried Corduan and Logos Bible Software.
While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.
What is Sikhism?
What is Jainism?
What is Animism?
What is Rosicrucianism?
What is pantheism?
Questions about Cults and Religions
What is Eckankar?