A Meeting with an ECK Master
One evening while a friend and I stowed away in her bedroom to confide in one another away from her children, our light conversation turned to serious philosophical matters. We opened our hearts and divulged many secret thoughts and goals. One of mine, I told her, was to experience gracewhatever that truly meant.
She smiled and leaned across her bed to pull a book from the shelf. As she handed it to me, I remember feeling as if the exchange was taking place in slow motion.
The words on the cover sank into my heart: The Flute of God by Paul Twitchell.
She didn't say much except that the book was written by the man who founded a teaching called Eckankar. He was a spiritual master she had met once in a dream. She also said she had read the book no less than twenty times over the years, and each time she read it, its words ran deeper and more profound.
As soon as I got home, I opened the book. Each paragraph was so meaningful and so right; I would reread them two, three, and four times. It was less that I was learning something and more that the book confirmed what I'd always thought, felt, and known to be true. I must have exclaimed, "Yes!" out loud a hundred times in the first few days of poring over that little book.
During my twelve-hour workdays not much else was on my mind except The Flute of God. In the third week after receiving this spiritual gift, something extraordinary happened.
It was 7:00 a.m., and I was standing on a New York subway platform. I hoped to get a seat on the train so I could read in comfort all the way to Wall Street. I jumped on the subway and saw one seat. But I decided to relinquish it to another person who was competing for it and opted instead to lean against the dirty end-door of the car.
Once under way, I wedged my briefcase between my feet and pulled out my treasured Flute of God.
Several minutes later, I looked up for no particular reason. I found myself staring directly into the eyes of a man standing two feet in front of me. At that moment time ceased to exist.
Gazing into his eyes, I was engulfed by all-consuming love. I cannot describe the feeling. It was actually far more than a feeling. It was a knowing, deep and complete. I felt as if I'd come home. Perceptions were passed to me, all truths of some kind, but I couldn't articulate them to another person because they could not be separated into thoughts. There was a wholeness about this knowing.
The next moment was overwhelming. I became aware that we shared a bond in an all-consuming love that was unspeakably deep.
That scared me, and instantly I was back on the subwaystaring at a stranger. I must be out of my mind for staring back at this guy, I thought. He's probably some kind of weirdo. I tore my gaze away, noticing that I was physically very warm. But I had an overwhelming urge to return to his eyes, so I glanced back up.
Again, perceptions flowed quickly before I tore myself away. I settled for looking at his hand instead, which rested on the handrail overhead. He had grasped the handrail of the subway car to steady himself.
When I felt I could take no more, I said so. Bending my head low, staring into The Flute of God, I said inside myself, "Look, I can't take this anymore, please go. And please don't go suddenly, because if I look up and you aren't there and the subway hasn't even stopped to let you off like a normal person, I'll really freak out. So I'll wait until the next stop, and when the subway doors have opened giving you time to leave, I'll look up."
So I waited. And when the subway doors had opened and began to close again I looked up. He was gone.
Later that evening I met my friend who'd given me the book and her daughter. The first thing I said to them was, "You guys! I met someone today. I mean I really met someone today."
They looked at me curiously and somehow grasped what I meant. (They'd been members of Eckankar for years, though I didn't know it at the time.) The first question the daughter asked me was, "What did he look like?"
Look like? I hadn't thought about it. Stumbling, I told her he looked Indian. Not American Indian but like someone from India. His skin was a deep tan color. And as I thought about it, his presence had been almost too vivid, like in a dream. He had a dark black beard, but it was cropped really close to his face, giving a clean-cut impression.
The daughter got all excited and impatiently asked me what he was wearing. Again, I had to think. "Well, you know it's strange; he wore a three-piece suit. It had a vest (an outdated style), and the color was odd too. It was a dark red or maroon and seemed to be made of a heavy wool."
At this, both of my friends became highly excited. The daughter was yelling, "You met Rebazar Tarzs!" Rebazar who? I had no idea who they were talking about. (Even though I'd seen the name in The Flute of God, I had mispronounced it.) But I knew I'd met a spiritual teacher of some kind.
When she said, "Rebazar Tarzs" aloud, my whole being was shaken to the core.
They asked if there was anything else about him, and I said that the most important feature was his eyes. They were a deep chocolate brown, and his gaze was so intense it was indescribable.
At that, the daughter said I had to go to their house that night, to look at some pictures she had of the ECK Masters.
It would be two hours before we could leave for their house due to a meeting we were hosting. I felt elated and scared. I was sad that I hadn't shown this being more respect somehow, and I walked around thanking him inwardly a hundred times for taking the time to visit me. I knew that it was the most real thing that had ever happened to me.
Later that evening I stood in my friend's house looking through her pictures of ECK Masters. We came across a black-and-white sketch of a man I instantly identified as the person I'd met on the subway.
She smiled and said, "Yes, that is Rebazar Tarzs."
Excerpted from the 1997 Eckankar Journal, copyright © 1996 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.