I am twenty-four years old and have grown up in ECKANKAR. Recently I have been a part of a Satsang class, but sometimes I felt frustrated in the class. Maybe it was because I felt that I was learning the same things I learned as a child, so it didn’t seem as relevant to who I am today. What can I do to keep my ECK Satsang class experience vital and uplifting for myself and others?
The Arahata was not following guidelines in the ECK Arahata Book. Any ECK chela may obtain this handy book to verify that an ECK Arahata is leading a class in a proper manner.
A boring class is a sure sign of room for improvement.
Four areas are key to a vibrant class:
- The Arahata and class members alike are to prepare inwardly and outwardly for class, because the ECK teachings are both outer and inner ones.
- Outer preparation. Go over the lesson days ahead of the next class.
- Inner preparation. It is this part that gives life to the class, when coupled with the outer preparation.
- More discussion and participation will naturally enter the class, because all have done their homework. The ECK Satsang class will be lively and a spiritual plus to all in it.
The last thing to do before stepping out your door on the way to class is a spiritual exercise. It is the master key.
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You once said it’s important to make sure there’s a “happy correspondence between the Vahanas and Spiritual Services. To make sure that this same understanding of people’s spiritual needs—that the Vahanas have reached in meeting people and in telling them about ECK—carries through into the Satsang class.”
What could be an effective way to foster this crucial process of integration? Is there a concept or dynamic structure, similar to the Vahana team, that could help bring new growth and creativity to the Spiritual Services area?
Vahanas and Arahatas are ideally people who like people. They belong to the same team, the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ, the Living ECK Master’s team.
Their aim is to convey a sense of love and community to all who wish to learn the ECK teachings.
In your case, the Vahana teams are seeing success. So it is necessary to upgrade the Arahatas too. Now is the time to listen, to Arahatas and class members. Ask which methods work. Which methods need polishing.
An uninspired Arahata is a real problem. People will drift away from the class. Observe the practices of good ECK teachers, many of which are offered in the ECK Arahata Book. Try to pass them on to a struggling Arahata.
If at all possible, stick with that Arahata to the end of the class term. Should he or she fail to improve by then, find some other ECK duty for that individual. The teacher’s well-being is important, but so, too, is that of every class participant.
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The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad is our ECK bible, our holy book. Do we take the words literally, or do we go by the spirit of the words? At places within the Shariyat, it sometimes seems to contradict itself, or it seems to express a different view than you give us, as the latest word from the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ, the Living ECK Master.
I have felt that some sections are meant literally, while other areas of the Shariyat are meant figuratively. Can you please share your view on this?
Also, do we first look to the words of the Shariyat, or do we first look to the most current guidance from the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ, the Living ECK Master?
Parts of the Shariyat are literal; others, allegorical; some, figurative. So we first need to define terms.
“Literal” means just what it says. An example is the existence of the ECK Masters, their histories, and the Temples of Golden Wisdom in which they serve. Those are facts.
“Allegorical” refers to a hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a sacred text. Frankly, it’s hard to give an example. Text that is crystal clear to one person is murky to a second. We’re talking about different states of consciousness.
“Figurative” is saying a thing in a way that usually refers to something it is similar to. Consider, perhaps, Adom the Rabi and Ede, his companion. They’re like the Adam and Eve of the Christian Bible, which counts them as the parents of the human race.
Human consciousness is all over the place, allowing no simple answer to your question.
Yet there is! Heed the words of the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ, the Living ECK Master. He is the Living Word.
—Sri Harold Klemp
Every Second Initiate and above is an ECK Arahata, a teacher. You can teach others the way of ECK simply by how you live your life.
This week, put your love into action. Look for ways to convey a sense of love and community to any Soul who may be seeking the Living Word. Trust your natural talents!