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Because Eckankar is a religion that prizes the individual creation of a spiritual path, central texts play a minor role in the religion. The one critical text is called the Shariyat-Ki Sugmad, translated by ECKists to mean “Way of the Eternal” in Sanskrit. Kathleen explained the relationship between Eckankar and texts:
"There are a couple of books but the big difference between Eckankar I think and a lot of other religions is that we’re not governed by doctrine. We have a Living ECK Master that writes current material so we study the discourses [he writes and sends to the membership]. When you join Eckankar, you study discourses that are considered advanced spiritual study so they teach you and bring you into a deeper understanding about dreams, how to Soul travel. Some of them talk about how to learn about your past lives…In terms of books that have “okay here’s what we believe,” so probably the equivalent of, you know, you have the Bible in Christianity, our equivalent of the Bible would be the Shariyat Ki-Sugmad…And that was written by Paul Twitchell… And then we do have a book called the Spiritual Laws of Life, but in Eckankar, it’s more about each individual learning their own spiritual lessons."1
The 2011 Eckankar Journal contains stories and artwork by ECKists about their experiences with dreams, Soul Travel, and the Holy Spirit. The Eckankar journals are released yearly and contain stories from ECKists all over the world. The journals are sold in the Eckankar gift shop.
The big difference between Eckankar I think and a lot of other religions is that we’re not governed by doctrine. We have a Living ECK Master that writes current material so we study the discourses [he writes and sends to the membership]. —Kathleen
Interview with Eckankar Representative, May 6, 2012. ↩