Chapter Nine - VISIONS OF THE SUGMAD

By Paul Twitchell

Within the visions of the SUGMAD are the followers of ECKANKAR who in some way or other betray the living ECK Master.

Many in their finite consciousness fail to recognize the Master's true nature and thus cannot understand nor con- trol themselves in allowing their tongues and deeds to react to the Mahanta and his words. Being in the flesh they look upon him as man; but in spirit, as the living ECK Master, he knows all that goes on within each of the ECK chelas although he never says anything. He knows how each will end his life upon this earth, whether he will stray from the path or will be critical, upset and unhappy with the Master and whether he will betray the Master during his sojourn as an ECK chela.

The living ECK Master knows everything about the chela as well as his reactions to the tests and trials given him. The Master is never surprised when a chela leaves, giving up in a quandry and unhappy because the Mahanta has not given him the desires of his heart. He knows the suffering that each chela may have during these periods when~separat- ed from the living ECK Master.

The Mahanta is not concerned with what either the chela or the public thinks about him. He expects misunderstand- ings to arise or the masses to attack him, and he knows that some chelas, regardless of how much love is poured upon them, will betray him because of their lack of self- honesty. Those who quarrel with the principles of ECK, or the knowledge of whom and what the living Master is to this world, had best examine themselves.

When one tries to correct the Master's works by suggestion or argument he should take interest in what he is doing rather than accept these extremes. Often the living ECK

Master establishes certain forms of speech or written phrases which baffle the chela completely. But if the chela is open to what is being said, there is nothing which is perplexing. These are the tests of the ECK Master to see what the chela will take. If the chela accepts it for what it is then the test is passed. It does not matter how the word is given as long as it is given out to the chelas.

The intellectual purists will never be able to advance on the path of ECKANKAR. He is so busy trying to find mis- takes and errors in the sacred writings of ECK as well as others, that he overlooks what is necessary for his spiritual growth and defeats himself.

There are many ECK chelas who will complain and work up unhappy attitudes to compensate their egos. What they do not understand is that this is a destructive attitude and they are defeating themselves. The Mahanta will never speak out to them to correct this attitude but will quietly and with- out notice pull away from them. There is no way in which they can pull the Mahanta down to their level of conscious- ness. This is the very thing they wish to do.

It is self-defeating to deride the works of ECKANKAR, to try to defy the spiritual influence of the ECK or look upon the SUGMAD and the living ECK Master negatively, or with the eyes of Kal. The ECK Master has always been a figure of controversy in the materialistic world and will always be, for he is a spiritual giant in the flesh. He could bring peace and happiness to this world, but it is not his purpose. The races and people of the earth are willing agents of the Kal power. They perform his duties to keep any spiri- tual influence out of this materialistic world, including that of the living ECK Master if at all possible.

The mission of every living ECK Master is to find those who have a deep desire to prepare for returning to their true spiritual home, the Ocean of Love and Mercy where they will become a co-worker with God to prepare as many as possible during their earthly lifetime to become a _ channel, an instrument, for the divine power. This will give them the opportunity to be able to assist the living ECK Master in his work and to lift others in spirit, to help him prepare them for their ascent into the Ocean of Love and Mercy.

Since it is the mind which creates the human body and controls it, it follows that the more it reflects and is filled with the body of the ECK, the more it will be able to influence and transform the physical body. This transformation brings about perfection in greater abundance in daily living. Not the abundance of materialistic life but in the fulfillment of spirit. It gives perfection in spirit and in love for the chela who is able to reflect this to all with whom he comes in contact.

When the chela reaches this vastly important state of transformation he is able to see the illusory body (often called the phantom body, a concept of the physical body which is as misleading as the maya illusion belief). Many define this world as maya, but the ECK chela should not think that the world is deprived of all reality - only that it is not what it appears to us. Its reality is only relative. It represents a reality of a lesser degree which, when com- pared with the highest reality, the Ocean of Love and Mercy, has no more existence than the objects of a dream or a cloud formation. Only the ECK Masters, the perfectly en- lightened ones, have access to these higher worlds to make such comparisons.

Bodies are the expressions of an inherent law whose reality is undeniable, even though they are products of the Universal Mind power, known as the Kal force. Though the body and mind are products of these worlds, and the indi- vidual personality is both mind made and illusory, it does not mean that they are unreal. The mind that creates them has made them real in this world for they are necessary for Soul to use as an instrument while here.

The body and personality do not disappear the moment we become aware of either as products of the mind, nor when we become tired of either. As soon as these products of the mind take material shape they must obey the laws of matter, energy, space, and time. No Master, regardless of his degree of spiritual unfoldment, can arbitrarily change or annihilate the material properties and functions of the body. He can only transform them step by step, by control- ling them in their initial individual states until he has reached a certain level of spiritual perfection.

The living ECK Master reaches this state in time to take over his position as the spiritual emissary of his times. He is not restrained to any particular place. The ECK Mas- ters who have received the rod of power only relate to those in this world who will listen to the true path and to those who come seeking true knowledge.

The ECK Masters are not linked with any religious cause or dress. They are free personalities, for they are neither a party to one nor a foe to the other. They only impart knowledge of the way to reach God. Those who apply them- selves to the path of ECKANKAR will succeed and those who keep themselves aloof and far away from ECK will not succeed to the higher levels of the spiritual worlds.

The mission of true spirituality can only be carried on successfully by the living ECK Master. It cannot be en- trusted to those who have not reached the worlds above the Atma Lok. Whosoever attempts to reach God can only go through the Mahanta and not through those who are seeking the possession of the world. Be not deceived by such people. Do the spiritual exercises of ECK and meet the Mahanta in the other worlds.

To be with the Mahanta inwardly and enjoy his talk, his blessings - to see the ECK power working in the mortal coil - is an ultimate experience. The ECK Master's connec- tion with his chelas is eternal, unshakeable and loving. He desires to see all chelas rise to spiritual heights and con- tinually pours his love, protection and grace upon them, making them more receptive to the ECK.

The understanding of survival in the higher spiritual states of existence is linked with certain esoteric experiences, which are so basic in nature that they can neither be ex- plained nor described. They are so subtle there is nothing to which they can be compared; nothing to which thought or imagination can cling. Yet such experiences are more real than anything else in this physical world. More real than anything that the senses of the human consciousness can experience, touch, taste, hear or smell because they are concerned with that which precedes and includes all other sensations; and mainly because reason, logic and intellect cannot be identified with any of them.

The ECK follower knows that it is only by the means of symbols that such experiences may be somewhat expressed to the world. These symbols can only be hinted at and are not invented. They are spontaneous expressions which break through the deepest regions of the inner self and are brought forth outwardly.

The forms of divine life in the universe break forth from the seer as vision, from the mystic as light, and in the ECK initiates up to the Fourth Circle as sound. But the Mahdis, the Initiates of the Fifth Circle, have vision, light and sound. The higher each goes on the planes of the worlds of true spirit, the greater the vision, light and sound become.

Therefore, the chela now understands that sounds coming from the mouth of the living ECK Master are not ordinary words but the true Word, the mantra, the ability to create an image in its pure essence. All that he says becomes knowledge, the truth of being which is beyond right and wrong; it is real being beyond thinking and reflecting. It is the ECK force speaking through the living ECK Master. It is beyond true contemplation as every Mahdis, the Initiate of the Fifth Circle will come to know. It is the simultaneous awareness of the knower and the known.

A personal mantra, the secret word which fits each initi- ate, is an instrument for linking up with the ECK. With its sound it brings forth its content into a state of immediate reality. The Word is the ECK power, not merely speech. The mind can neither evade nor contradict it, and will often wrestle to keep from accepting it. But whatever the Word expresses, by its very sound it exists - and will come to pass in each of those who use it. The Word is action, a deed immediately calling forth reality. It is not merely a sound, but an action of the ECK in motion upon whatever plane the initiate is performing.

The secret of the hidden power of the ECK - sound or vibration - forms the key to the riddle of the universe and creativeness. It reveals the nature of God and the pheno- mena of life understood by the ECK Masters throughout the ages. The very sounds of the vibrating form a univer- sal harmony in each element throughout the whole world.

The knowledge of the creative Word lives deeply within

the heart of every ECK initiate. Each learns early in his study of the spiritual works of ECKANKAR for it is the very heart of all life. He who has the true knowledge knows that in the lower worlds there exist both creative sounds and destructive sounds, and that he who can produce both can, at will, create or destroy. But only the living ECK Master has this power for it is given to him who will sus- tain life for all.

The holy ECK, or the Word, must be practiced in silence. Only those who have received the Word in initiation can be given the blessings of the SUGMAD through the Mahanta. The practice of the personal secret word of each initiate shall be done vocally when alone or silently while in public. He shall practice not only the Kamit, the law of silence with his secret word but shall practice the silence in his own affairs with ECK, and whatever is given him in the secret teachings.

Whatever the Mahanta, the Inner Master, gives him in secret through the channels of the inward self, he shall keep secret and not speak of to anyone else. He shall prac- tice this law of silence with others who are not to be told any of the deep secrets of ECK. He will not speak about the Mahanta and their inner relationships, nor of his affairs in the works of ECKANKAR. Those who do are violating the very heart of the works and shall have to pay in some manner or other.

One may discuss the other works of ECK with those who are interested and seeking spiritual security. He may dis- cuss the outer works for those who want to learn more in order to take up ECK as a chela and follow the pure path into the heavenly world. However, one shall never give open- ly the esoteric or the secret works of ECK, especially those who have become initiates in ECKANKAR.

Every chela will at some time or other be confronted with the riddle of faith. Each will in turn be attacked by the Kal in some manner or other because of his relationship with the ECK. This faith will be tested by the pseudo-masters and the false prophets. Many will speak to the chelas, in the name of another religion, as a master, or what they call the true faith. Some will speak in the name of the Mahanta

and ECK Master. But they speak with false tongues for none but the living ECK Master has the authority to speak in the name of the SUGMAD.

Anyone, from a king to a barber, who wishes to listen to the teachings of ECK from the Mahanta, follow him in his missionary wanderings, or join the ECK-Satsang (the formal fellowship of ECK disciples) is free to do so. But in all the original transgression in ECK is ignorance. This is not merely an absence of knowledge, but the wrongness of at- titude. The approach of the ECKist to God is through the Mahanta, with the attitude of separation of Soul free from the lower selves.

Soul must be freed of all skandhas. These are ideas, wishes, dreams, and consciousness of the lower self which creates attachments to the physical realm. When Soul ap- proaches God with only love to give, then it is accepted into the heavenly realm. All the riches and wealth of the earth and its companion planets cannot get a single Soul into the heavenly worlds. The way is love, nothing else. This is the only path an ECKist travels.

Love comes through the practice of the Kamit which is the law of silence. No one can enter into the state of love until he knows loyalty, devotion and love for the ECK. Until he surrenders to the Mahanta, giving up everything to gain love, his life shall be narrow and selfish. His loyalty, faith and devotion are his survival factors, both in the world of human consciousness and the worlds of the psychic senses. No physical survival factors are concerned when the body is destroyed through accident, bullets or disease. But much can be accomplished in saving the body and repairing it if disease or war brings injury to it and it can safely pass from the cradle to death without any harm or injury. Yet many men are taken away due to such factors as stupidity, mental instability, and lack of faith, devotion and loyalty to the ECK.

The initiates, mainly of the Fifth Circle, do not suffer from insanity, instability, neurosis or worry. They can stand up under the sufferings which the Kal force tries to inflict upon them. Resistance to disease, accidents, and other poor physical survival factors are common to these spiritual ECK

initiates. The higher one goes in the initiations the greater become his survival factors, both in the psychic and the Spiritual worlds.

It is quite wrong to think there is no personal self, that is, a human consciousness. When one rises above the human consciousness and its states of mind passions, then It dwells in the spiritual states. But Soul is never without having to live within the human consciousness as long as It has a physical body and must dwell in this world. This means that survival is in the Soul state and not in the human conscious- ness.

The chela does not annihilate the human self but takes it as part of the whole being until it is eliminated by physi- cal death. It must never leave the physical body while the body is still alive and try to stay in the other worlds perma- nently. It must learn to live in the two worlds at the same time, knowing that the death wish is only in the human consciousness and never in the spiritual self.

The death wish is instilled in the human consciousness. It is there because nothing gives happiness and, therefore, it is impossible to ever meet with any spiritual success. Those living in the human consciousness will seek happiness through orthodox means which the religions and philosophies of the world teach. Neither are of any value to the chela who wants to get into the heavenly kingdom.

Religions represent the human and astral states of con- sciousness while worldly philosophies are concerned only with the intellectual or the mental plane. All these are only of the psychic world and give only the teachings of these planes which are under the Kal Niranjan. It is his desire that all who live in the human body have the wish of self- destruction implanted within them. This keeps Soul trapped in the lower worlds under his rule. It is his duty to see that all Souls are kept here. Therefore he must resist the ECK from taking them out of his domain.

It is also his duty to see that man is filled with woes and miseries. It is part of his plan to see to it that as many as possible in the human state of consciousness hinder the work of the living ECK Master and all those who follow him in the lower worlds. This is the way the Kal works, although

he has little success when he attempts to interfere with the living ECK Master and his mission.

The Kal encourages suicides, self-destruction, unhappiness, apathy, discontent, disruption of communities, and com- plaints. He encourages lust, anger, greed, attachment to material things, vanity, abnormal sex activity, craving for drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gluttony, gossip, obscene literature, useless card games, laziness, 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 on others.

He also encourages miserliness, hypocrisy, perjury, mis- representation, robbery, bribery, trickery, bigotry, self-as- sertion, a show of wealth and power, gaudiness in dress and the exhibition of a domineering attitude. He dearly loves titles, honors, degrees, procrastination, worry and anxieties, divorce, controlling others, mob actions, decep- tion, ridicule, resentment, murder, tyranny, boasting and exaggeration. Kal assumes great intellectual knowledge, long and unnecessary periods of meditation, shabby beards and hair and untidy dress.

These are among the many things which the Kal power will try to encourage in any chela. It will even try to bring about a break between the chela and the Mahanta. It will create all sorts of doubt in the chela's mind as to what the Mahanta is doing and why it is being done. It will bring about an estrangement between the ECK Master and the chela. But at no time will the living ECK Master ever be disturbed at such foolishness for he can see through the illusions which the Kal establishes for anyone who falls into such traps.

The chela who allows himself to be persuaded by the Kal power is only adding to his karma. He should not let him- self fall into slovenliness of appearance or mind. This adds to the karma of whoever does it. He should know that any of these patterns of physical, psychic and other lower plane habits are only karmic in nature, and often considered overt acts against others.

Those who fail to give dignity and respect to their neigh- bors, elders and loved ones, will have to suffer the conse- quences. Those who fail to love and try to understand the Mahanta are placed in a long series of incarnations until they come to this state in some future life.

All the works of ECK, therefore, are based upon three tenets. First, it forms a nucleus of the universality of life through the spiritual hierarchy of the ECK Masters. Second, it promotes an opportunity for all those who desire to earn their way past all karmic burdens and enter into heaven for eternity on passing from this lifetime through death. Third, it will prove to all persons that survival throughout eternity is possible through experiences under the guidance of the living ECK Master, here and now.

Therefore, one has to think about life as being just IT. There are no disclosures given in what are called the right views or understanding: right purpose or aspiration, right speech, right conduct, right vocation, right effort, such as the Buddhists give. What the chela is seeking is simply one thing. This is the Truth, and once this happens he will find that nothing else matters. The eight steps of Buddhism are concerned with the mental regions which have always been under the control of the Kal forces. Therefore, the ECK chela cannot afford to put his mind on the lower elements but must at all times receive the guidance of the living ECK Master who eventually will separate knowledge from truth for him and show him the gap between them.

Knowledge lies in the lower worlds. It is the bane of the seeker after God, and no chela has much interest in this quality of the psychic world. Of course, it is of immense value in the lower world kingdom, but at the same time it has little value in the true spiritual worlds. Most chelas will go through this phase of unfoldment and think of titles and knowledge as the ultimate. But this is wrong as neither have anything to do with the true value of life. One chela who is completely ignorant of any academic knowledge and psychic erudition or wisdom, can be great in divine wisdom because of his ability to contact the world of God.

He knows without having gone into the art of study. This knowing holds a strange quality that no wisdom of life

in the lower worlds can furnish. It is something that reaches out and tries to touch each individual, if such Souls have readied themselves for it. It will make no effort to enter the consciousness of the individual unless that Soul is ready and willing to accept the higher understanding of life. Thus it is said that the ECK only accepts those who are willing and ready for ITS divine gifts.

The insistence in ECK on the proper use of will and mind in the lower worlds is part of the need for living in both the physical and spiritual realms at the same time. The psychic world was purposely left out because it is the mental area and included in what is termed the physical and spiritual realms. Actually, the chela lives in three worlds: the human consciousness, psychic consciousness, and the spiritual con- sciousness simultaneously and singularly.

This is the explanation of Soul Travel, but too many think of it in terms of phenomena. It is not psychic pheno- mena, but that one can inwardly see the living ECK Master and hear him talk; can see him walking on the street through the inner eyes and can hear him talking with the inner ears. One can visit the worlds beyond the physical body with the Mahanta, the living ECK Master, through this inner vision. It is inner travel; the moving of one's consciousness from one state to another.

When the chela's spiritual eyes are open he sees the living ECK Master, talks with him in the non-verbal tongue and listens to the secret teachings with non-physical ears. Many are not able to do this because they do not believe; others cannot do this because they allow their little selves to get in the way; another group cannot do it because they are depending on psychic phenomena and if they have no abilities in this field they will fail completely.

When one contacts the living ECK Master in the other worlds he is doing it personally. It is not something psychic but something deeply spiritual. It is beyond conception or understanding. It is Soul movement from one plane to another, not the movement of the various bodies of man, which is dangerous.

No entity can take possession of anyone's body when he is Soul Traveling. He has no need of the silver cord for it

is dropped when he enters the Atma plane (Soul region) and picked up again when he descends to the body. He gathers up the profound teachings of ECK as he moves about the realms of the upper worlds, the true universes of God.

Those who need the living ECK Master will always stay with him, but those who feel that they are beyond this are wrong in their thinking. They have not examined the truth, and will go afoul of the illusions established by the Kal. They will find that nothing can revive them except the fresh spirit of ECK, the winds from heaven. They cannot hear the true melody of the ECK, nor hear the living ECK Mas- ter's words inwardly or outwardly. They can neither under- stand nor grasp the true nature of the works of ECK. Neither can they find the Mahanta within them at all times. They will see him occasionally and have a revival of faith but then it will leave because this is impermanent.

To have permanency the chela must have faith and live in the presence of the living ECK Master, whether or not he can see him with the inner eyes or hear him with the Spiritual ears. It is always true that the living ECK Master never leaves anyone with whom he has established his love. He gives of himself and does not neglect the chela and his affairs.

The secret word which the initiate receives during the initiations of the different circles (planes) are not merely sounds to be repeated to one's self but powerful expressions of the ECK power. Such words do not act of themselves but through the inner self which experiences them. They do not have any power of their own; they are only the means of concentrating already existing forces. They are like a magni- fying glass; it contains no heat of its own but concentrates the rays of the sun. It transforms these rays from a mild warmth into a burning heat. The same applies to the secret word of the initiate. His word transforms him from the con- fused doubtful seeker into the incandescent lover of God.

Those who confuse the hidden knowledge of their personal word are like the primitives who believe in sorcery. Scholars who try to discover the nature of these words with their philological knowledge often come to the conclusion that such words are meaningless. Yet it is known that those who

have received a personal secret word in their ECK initiation have gained in their unfoldment. This is a tradition among the followers of ECK over the past centuries that has proven to be an expression of the deepest knowledge and experience in the realm of spiritual life.

Those who have received a personal secret word from the Mahanta whether it is through one of the Mahdis( ini- tiates of the Fifth Circle who can give lower initiations), or from the Mahanta in person (outwardly or inwardly), shall never reveal their word to another without permission. It brings the spiritual unfoldment of the chela to a halt. He will not have any more advancement until given another secret mantra to replace the other.

The philosophy of the secret teachings is built around this phase of ECKANKAR. In ancient times the ECK Masters, as members of the Order of the Vairagi, taught orally and inwardly. The teachings were rarely, if ever, put in writing. The teachings were therefore given mainly in the inner sanctum, meaning that all were given individually to the chelas through the inner channels.

This meant then that the chelas were chosen by the Ma- hanta, as they are today. Every living ECK Master chooses his chelas and few are let go. If they do wish to go, it means they leave voluntarily and it is mutually agreed upon. If a chela decides to leave the living ECK Master on his own without first discussing it, then he has problems to face which are more severe than ever. He has left the ECK Mas- ter and gone into the wilderness alone to face the wild beasts which will devour him. It is typical of the vain chela to announce that he is leaving without asking permission.

No chela who has asked permission to leave the Master's care has been refused, for the Mahanta gives him freedom to do as he wishes. He does not warn him against the dan- gers that the chela will face after leaving the protection of the ECK Master. Neither will the ECK Master refuse to take him back should the chela wish to return to the fold of ECKANKAR.

If a chela decides to leave the living ECK Master, the Master will not punish nor will he give any indication of what might happen to the chela. This is for the chela to

learn on his own, for the experiences he meets are his own. It is when the chela leaves the protection and guidance of the living ECK Master that Kal Niranjan will pounce upon him and start his negative works.

The specific qualifications for the initiate are: a basic knowledge of the main tenets of the sacred scriptures of ECKANKAR, a readiness to devote a certain number of years to the study of the spiritual works of ECK, and practice of the inner teachings under the guidance of the living ECK Master. Thus the initiate will find that the esoteric know- ledge is open to all who are willing to exert themselves sincerely and who have the capacity to learn with an open mind.

Just as those who are admitted for higher education in academic institutions in this world must have the necessary gifts and qualifications, so have the living ECK Masters of all times also demanded certain qualifications from their followers before they initiated them into the inner teachings of ECK. Nothing is more dangerous than _ half-knowledge, or knowledge which has only theoretical value. This is why the SUGMAD has placed within the worlds a living rep- resentative of ITSELF.

The experiences of Soul in realization of Itself and Its mission can only be acquired under the guidance of the living ECK Master and by constant practice. After such preparation, the individual secret word is used and all the accumulated forces of Its incarnations are aroused in the initiate. This produces the conditions and power for which the word is intended. The uninitiated may utter any specific word or mantra as often as he likes but it will not produce anything for him.

The secret of the special individual word for each initiate is something not intentionally hidden. But it has been ac- quired by self-discipline, concentration, inner experience and insight. Like everything of value and every form of spiritual knowledge, it cannot be gained without effort. In this sense it is like profound wisdom that does not reveal itself at first glance because it is not a matter of surface-knowledge, but a deep realization of the inner self.

This is also true of divine love. One does not see and grasp it at first glance but it grows within him like the acorn of the oak in the earth. Gradually it opens the con- sciousness of the receiver and flows through to the world, changing all about it.