From "Soul Travelers of the Far Country," (c) 1987 Eckankar, by Harold Klemp:
"Is the Mahanta, the Inner Master, just another mediator between God and man? Is the Mahanta a latent state of consciousness inside a person that can be tapped at will? Even by one still under the control of the five passions of the mind?
It is not. The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book Two, makes it very clear what the role of the Mahanta is in the seeker's life. It says:
"If there were power alone in the name of the SUGMAD, or in his secret name, surely those who know would have great influence. But this proves that power alone does not lie in the Word; it is in the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master."
Q: "Can you tell me more about the Mahanta? Is it a universal force or a person? I am new to the teachings of ECK and thinking of becoming a member."
A: "I greatly appreciate your letter that showed interest in ECKANKAR. About the Mahanta, it is best if you make up your mind yourself in this matter. I suggest light research in The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, as well as The Spiritual Notebook by Paul Twitchell."
"The topic to put attention on is the Rod of ECK Power. Take what you find into contemplation in a gentle way."
"You may develop an understanding of who the Mahanta is for you; a more direct answer will come in the dream state."(Perhaps...with a psychic visitation by Harold, since the seeker has been told to issue an invitation to the LEM/M.)
"You must remember that your relationship with the Mahanta is for you alone. It really doesn't matter if another person sees your reality the way you do or not. It is easier to follow the dictates of your own truth by adhering to the Law of Silence, which is known as Kamit."
"Most of your questions will be answered in time if you continue with the spiritual exercises."
"If the course is right, you will feel good inside about it. That is one of the best tests of truth that I can give you."
The following passage shows even the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master,
is still a bit confused about who/what the Mahanta is...AND, the comparison
to the "consciousness" of the position of President of the US vs. the PERSON
of the Prez doesn't work if you think about it rationally...and don't just
try to cram it into your head after a seminar talk...I've been there, done
that...and yes, you can hypnotize & memorize this cutesy nonsense...but it
just ain't true...the Mahanta/Living Eck Master are ONE! And the Shariyat
and Spiritual Notebook are just two eckbooks that make this clear....
From "Be The Hu," a compilation of Klemp's seminar talks to "Initiates of the Second Circle and Above" ... neither the talks or the books are available to the public. . .
"Life will teach us if we will but listen. We say we listen. We say we listen to the Mahanta, but actually often we only think we listen to the Mahanta. We think we're hearing. Then, when things get worse and worse, you have to say, "Wait a minute. Let me reexamine the premise for my life and actions. Am I really being guided by the spiritual principles of ECK, or am I running under the motivation of "my own inner master"?"
I'm making a distinction here between the Mahanta and what people call "my own inner master." People assume when they say, "my own inner master," they mean the Mahanta. But by the way they act toward themselves and others, it is clear to me that they aren't getting the message from me on the inner. So who is their inner master?" (pp.272-73)
The first paragraph implies that if you're listening to the Mahanta, your
life should get "better and better" ...
In the context of this paragraph, "Am I really being guided by the spiritual
principles of ECK, or am I running under the motivation of 'my own inner
master'?" subtly leads the reader to equate "spiritual principles of ECK"
with "the Mahanta."
The second paragraph quite clearly states that the Mahanta is indeed the
person of Harold Klemp, MAHANTA, Living ECK Master ... that the Mahanta is
NOT a "consciousness" ... with the words "But by the way they act toward
themselves and others it is clear to me that they aren't getting the message
from ME on the inner. So who is their inner master?"
Passages such as these inextricably entwine and identify the person of Harold
Klemp with Eckankar's "Mahanta" consciousness ... a bit more subtly than
Twitchell, but the message is the same ... and it encourages and implants
even more deeply the subconscious beliefs that lead to dependency on and
deification of the man who holds the "Rod of Power" in Eckankar.
Official Cult Definition of "Mahanta," from "A Cosmic Sea of Words: The Eckankar Lexicon,"
Harold Klemp, (c) 1998 Eckankar
Mahanta, mah-HAHN-tah The INITIATE of the Fourteenth Circle; the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master; the full force of the Rod of ECK Power and the Mantle of the Mahanta are embodied directly in him; all those who come to him in the present age have been with him since their advent into the world; the body of the Mahanta is the ECK, which is the ESSENCE of God flowing out from the OCEAN OF LOVE AND MERCY, sustaining all life and tying together all life forms; an expression of the Spirit of God that is always with you; the LIVING WORD; the VI-GURU, the LIGHT GIVER; a state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS which is beyond the titles given in religions which designate states of CONSCIOUSNESS; the sublime ECK in expression at the highest level. This special incarnation of the SUGMAD makes an appearance but once every five to a thousand or more years, depending upon the part he is to play in a major upliftment of consciousness on every plane.
Just for fun...note the order of each definition, then count how many say "Mahanta" is a person,
compared to how many refer to a "consciousness!"
Now, let's see how "Living ECK Master" is defined. . .
The spiritual leader of ECKANKAR. The VI-GURU, the GODMAN; the ECK personified, the true and competent Master who works for the freedom of enslaved SOULS, leading them beyond and our of the LOWER PLANES of existence into SELF-REALIZATION; the LIVING WORD; the living embodiment of all that is religious, the spirit of life lying dormant in others; the AWAKENED SOUL, transcending time and space and CAUSATION, holding the past, present, and future in the palm of his hand. Appointed to his high position, he is expected to defend the God power, the works of ECK, and the CHELAS who have put their interest and trust in the ECK. He is not allowed to retire from his field of action in this life until another is ready and trained to replace him; *when his position is attacked by revolt or dissatisfaction among the followers of ECK, he will be defended from the inner planes by means of the ECK; those who attack the Master will receive the swiftest retribution, which does not come from the Master himself, but from the ECK. All Living ECK Masters have descended from the first ECK Master, Gakko, who came into this world about six million years ago; some have been married, others are single; they serve the ECK faithfully, giving their lives to It. see also MAHANTA
Living Word. The ECK; the MAHANTA; the Living ECK Master. All are an expression of the Word of God.
* Take note of the "fear and threat" message; it's still Twitchell's Eckankar!!