Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dalam Kenangan Abadi

Mbah Sartono
08/1937 - 04/2008

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of a most honored elder as we near the anniversary of his passing, Mbah Sulieman Sartono. I was blessed to meet him in Central Java in the fall of 2000, and was most fortunate to be able to accompany him on an eventful pilgrimage to several holy sites in Mataram (along with Mas Martin Lubis, Mas Agus Hiriyadi, and Mas Gus Fud). There in Central Java, Mbah Sartono gave me a gift that I will “carry within” for as long as I live. After I returned to the United States, we continued a long correspondence via mail. I’m thinking one day it might be a good idea to publish some of the wisdom that came through those letters (that is if my friend 'Kancil' will help me with some translation).

Mbah Sartono was wise, kind, and soft-spoken, with sincere Javanese nobility. He was a man of keen perception, with the ability to fathom secrets beyond our physical world. He was well known as an expert in the traditional Javanese spiritual disciplines. Even now, so many years later I often find myself listening to the recordings I made of his melodious voice reciting prayers, stories, and history in old Javanese.

I made a promise to his family that I would always remember this great man - and indeed – his memory inspires me until today.