A poem received and written down in High Javanese
and Kawi, and later rendered into Indonesian by



‘… may those who are on this way follow the training of the inner feeling diligently; and may they also be able to receive the grace of Almighty God,’

1 That being so, you will soon gain ability and skills within your work that are in tune with your soul; and, because these will stem or grow from your human soul, which brings your whole inner feeling to life, this will certainly make your life happy. That is how it is, my children; so you will always have enthusiasm for your work, and your development and progress in it will not be disappointing.

2 That is what can truly be called culture, because its source is the human soul and it is received in an inner feeling that has awakened, free of the influence of its companion forces. It is a culture filled with a life force that never stops; and that is why the work you do will be a means for you to worship the Almighty.

3 Seen from an ordinary or outer viewpoint, the nature of your work will not differ from that of normal work, but in reality it will be far different. For ordinary work and skill are acquired by learning from someone else, or through associating with others, and as yet one cannot be sure whether or not these are in harmony with one’s individuality. But the work skills that you will acquire are of a quality whose source, as previously explained, is the human soul.



 These days when Indonesia seems to be facing so many problems, it is worth remembering the work of Pak Subuh, who was born 107 years ago having passed away in 1987. He was the most remarkable Indonesian of this time, not much understood at home yet greatly revered by people all over the world. Pak Subuh travelled the world from the age of 56 onwards, spreading Subud which has since taken root in over 80 countries.

Pak Subuh said of himself that he was an ordinary man. He received at a young age spontaneous movements which arose from within himself, from the power of Almighty God. After a while he became aware that this was not for him alone but that others could be ‘opened’, awakening the path for spiritual development through what is known in Bahasa Indonesia as the ‘ latihan kejiwaan ‘. Within Indonesia, where spiritual movements are to be found everywhere, most people either have not heard of Subud or they confuse it with other practices. However, Pak Subuh’s explanations about the power of Almighty God, about mankind’s twin obligations to worship Almighty God and to develop the world they live in and about the gift of the latihan kejiwaan are like a hidden treasure.

One of the first Westerners to discover Pak Subuh was Hussein Rofe. Hussein invited Pak Subuh to travel overseas in 1957 which resulted in Pak Subuh being welcomed in England, in a place called Coombe Springs just outside London, by adherents of another movement. They saw in Pak Subuh a man of exceptional wisdom and understanding, with not only a message that united all religions but also with a living experience – the latihan kejiwaan – through which each individual can begin a process of self purification from the sins of their ancestors, from their own mistakes and which also helps their descendents, so deep is the penetration of the latihan kejiwaan. After that Subud spread to North and South America, to Western Europe, Japan and the rest of Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, to the middle East and after the end of the cold war to Russia and most of Eastern Europe. Pak Subuh made thirteen world journeys, giving explanations about the latihan kejiwaan, answering countless questions and giving guidance to individuals and families. Almost all of his talks were recorded – several thousand of them – some on video. These have and are still being translated into the world’s major languages. Comprehensive archives of his work are kept for posterity.

Considering the depth and universal importance of the message brought by Pak Subuh, it seems almost irrelevant where Pak Subuh came from. Yet the fact is that he was born in Indonesia ( of  Javanese parents, in a rather humble village called Kedung Jati, about an hour’s drive from Semarang ). Maybe after all this has some significance, considering it is Indonesia that is the focus of so much attention in recent years – significant also considering that many of the problems faced in, but not unique to Indonesia, including religious diversity, could be resolved through the latihan kejiwaan of Subud. Indonesians receive much advice from others about the importance of institution building, care for the environment and so forth, yet mankind’s problems have their roots in the hearts and minds of individuals themselves. Cure that and the solutions are without limit. A new age would be born. Pak Subuh helped people, including atheists, how to worship Almighty God, how to purify and understand themselves through the latihan kejiwaan. In places all over the world where Subud members meet one finds people of all religions, even people with no religion, worshipping together. That is a start. The seed has been planted far and wide.

What courage it must have taken Pak Subuh to spread this message into a world where only a few had interest in it.

Writted by Leonard van Hien




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