Eckankar was founded by Paul Twitchell (1909–1971) in California in the mid-1960s. Although the Hindi/Punjabi term Ek Onkar (lit. “one God/Power”) was most likely derived from Guru Nanak's Japjī (the first set of hymns in the Sikh holy book, Gurū Granth Sāhib), Twitchell altered its original phonetic spelling and definition, claiming that Eckankar was a Tibetan-Pali word meaning “coworker with God.” According to Twitchell, Eckankar was an ancient spiritual path with a lineage of 970 “Eck” Masters who trace back to Gakko, who brought the true teachings of soul travel from the city of Retz on the planet Venus. Twitchell alleged that through this bilocation philosophy, a neophtye can leave his or her body via an inner light and sound and soul-travel to higher regions ...

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