Sufism is the esoteric, mystical philosophy and practice of Islam. 

Sufism is to Mohammedans as Yoga is to Hindus. The Koran is

the supreme authority to which the Sufi mystic looks for guidance

and inspiration. Hence it is a must for a sufi to study the life of

Muhammad (sira), comprehend his code of conduct (sunna), and

be intimate with the Traditions (hadith) by word of mouth or in

writing. Like Yoga, its Indian counterpart, the purpose of Sufism

is to help the seeker achieve spiritual enlightenment.

In essence Sufism teaches that God is one and that He is

omnipotent Allah, the One Lord who has no equal, and there

is no incarnate God or Saviour. However, Allah has chosen

prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, to serve as a mouthpiece

of the Divine Creator to humanity. Although the prophet

is a messenger of God, he must not be worshipped but

respected as a model of the spiritual man who enjoys the

grace and favor of Allah.

To a sufi, God’s message is totally embodied in the Koran,

a book of revelation that was dictated to Muhammad the

prophet. The impressive list of Sufi practitioners through

the centuries includes philosophers like Ghazali and Ibn Arabi,

and such famous poets as Ibn al-Faris, Rumi, Hafiz and

Omar Khayyam.

A Mystical Meeting

My initial encounter with the Indonesian Sufi master took

place in Jakarta, in 1981. At that time I was an expatriate

in Indonesia where I worked as advertising manager of P.T.

Richardson-Merrell. It was an Indonesian friend, Untung

Erlangga, who introduced me to Pak Warto, the Sufi master.

“Pak” is the contraction of the Indonesian word Bapak or father.

Indonesians, like most Filipinos, are a superstitious and mystical

lot. The majority of Indonesians believe in the existence of

supernatural forces like genies, ghosts and demons. Subod and

other mystical groups proliferate in Indonesia. Indonesian men

and women are fond of wearing rings, necklaces and pendants

with large power stones, for they believe in the magical 

properties of gems and metals.

Pak Warto, who is of medium built and height, was in his early

forties when I met him. I remember him always wearing a

batik sarong or skirt, instead of pants. The Sufi master

immediately impressed me with his casual display of psychic

powers. After telling me to stand in front of him, Pak Warto sat on

a mat and read some words of power from the Koran. Suddenly,

I felt a strong electrical current entering through the soles

of my feet and radiating to every tendril in my body.

“Don’t worry,” Pak Warto assured me in Bahasa Indonesia. 

“The energy I have just invoked will not do you any harm. It is

just strong enough to activate your psychic centers. With

your permission, I would like to open all your seven chakras

to accelerate your psychic and spiritual development.”

I eagerly nodded, which seemed to  Pak Warto. Starting

from the base of my spine to my crown chakra, the Sufi

master rubbed each psychic center with oil and uttered

more Arabic mantras. I distinctly felt a subtle energy

pervading my entire body and thought I would have an

out-of-body experience. I felt hot and sweated profusely.

To check if my psychic centers were really open, Pak

Warto got a fuse-tester, a small screwdriver with a bulb

at the end of its handle. The tip of that kind of screwdriver

is usually inserted in an electrical outlet or fuse box. If the

bulb lights up, it means that there is electricity. To my

amazement each time Pak Warto touched one of my

psychic centers with the tip of the fuse-tester, the tiny

bulb would mysteriously light up.

“See, your psychic centers are now fully open,” Pak Warto

said with pride. “Next Friday I will send give you more powers,

but you have to follow my instructions to the letter.”

On my way out of Pak Warto’s house, he reminded me to

bring three flowers of my own choice and three coconuts

with husks of a reddish tinge on the appointed night.

The Power Ritual

I arrived promptly at Pak Warto’s house at 8 p.m. that Friday.

I handed him the three flower I had bought, together with the

three peculiar coconuts that I had difficulty finding in the pasar

malam or night market. Pak Warto put the coconuts aside and

held the three exotic flowers in his right hand. Uttering a mantra,

the sufi master touched my head with the flowers. I was jolted

by an extremely powerful electrical energy that hurled me


“Are you all right?” Pak Warto asked, half jestingly.

“What happened to me?” I asked incredulously.

“Nothing. I just touched you with the flowers and you acted

as if you had just held a live wire. Now are you still willing

to undergo the power ritual or have you changed your

mind? You’re free to leave anytime.”

“No, Bapak, I’m not afraid,” I replied defensively. “You just

caught me by surprise. Let’s go on with it.”

“Better make sure,” Bapak warned. “Once we start the

power ritual and invoke the powers, there will be no

turning back.”

One way or another I was able to convince Pak Warto of

my determination to proceed with the ritual. He smiled and

looked at me with amusement.

“Here is what you must do. At exactly twelve midnight,

you should be at the old Dutch cemetery in Tanjung

Priok. Tell your driver to wait in the car. You must do the

power ritual alone. Bring a white rose and a bowl filled

with cassava juice, both of which I will give you later.

“Stand in front of any tombstone, place the rose on the

ground, take three steps bacvkward, and put the bowl

down. In a few minutes you will hear a rustling in the grass,

followed by a whistling sound.

“Soon you’ll see a snake creeping towards the flower.

If the snake sniffs the flower and drinks from the bowl,

do not touch the snake. The snake is for real and will

bite and kill you. However, if another snake comes

along, smells the flower but does not drink from the 

bowl, grab it for it is a magical snake. The magical

snake will curl around your wrist and bite you, but

don’t let go of it. Just shout the mantra I taught you

and the snake will turn into a power stone or a magical

kris dagger. Good luck! Have faith in yourself and


If it were not for my deep interest in things magical

and occult, I would have probably backed out of the 

power ritual right there and then. But I decided to

throw caution to the wind for the sake of acquiring

an intense psychic experience. Later, at around

11:30 p.m., I reminded Pak Warto that it was time

for me to go to the Dutch cemetery by the sea in

order to be there by midnight. 

To my surpirse the Sufi master grinned and told me that

he had changed his mind. It was no longer necessary

for me to proceed to the cemetery. We would just do

an alternative rtiual right in his very own house. I sighed

with relief.

At exactly midnight, Pak Warto lit some incense and

candles on his small altar, which was always decorated

with flowers. He motioned me to sit in the center of

the room with one of the coconuts that I had bought

serving as a stool. Then he produced an empty basin,

placed it between us, and sat on another coconut.

The third and the last coconut he just placed beside him.

Pak Warto commenced the ritual by uttering some

Arabic mantras. By the way, we were both naked

from the waist up and a red band was tied around

our heads like a Muslim warrior in Mindanao who is

about to run amuck. Also, both of us hand an antique

sacred kris sword tucked in the waist. Aside from this,

Pak Warto had a spare machete by his side. 

Five minutes after the ritual began, I heard a

tiger-like creature growling from behind. Pak Warto

whispered to me to remain calm and motionless no

matter what happens. Then all hell broke loose!

Plates, glasses and silverware came crashing down

the flooras if a demon was wreaking havoc in the

kitchen. I was terrified! What evil presence could

be causing such an infernal racket? It was mind-

boggling. There was nobody in the small house except

the two of us.

The growling became louder and louder. I started

to fidget while sitting precariously on the coconut.

Once more, Pak Warto signaled me to stay put and

not to look behind me. My heart pounded like a gong.

Without warning, Pak Warto began unsheathing

and sheathing his kris, producing a rhythmic,

clashing sound.

At one point, the Sufi master gestured me to do

the same. I did so without a moment’s hesitation.

The clashing of the two krises served as a dramatic

counterpoint to the monster’s growling. Gradually

the growling died down. Pak Warto smiled casually 

and started boring a hole in the third coconut.

After taking a gulp of coconut water, Pak Warto

haded the coconut to me. I took a swig from

the coconut and poured the rest of the juice in

the empty basin at his behest. As I was pouring

the coconut water, I heard the sharp, unmistakable

sound of pebbles hitting the bottom o fthe basin.

When I looked at the basin of water, I saw two

oval-shaped stones at the bottom. Pak Warto grinned

at my expression of utter surprise and told me to pick up

the two power stones. One was black and looked like an

eye with a white pupil, while the other was golden brown

and appeared like amber.

The Sufi master said that I was lucky to be gifted with

two, instead of just one stone. The black stone, which 

is called mata cucing hitam (black cat’s eye) in Bahasa

Indonesia, was for me. It was supposed to give me

psychic power, protect me from malevolent spirits,

and attract prospertiy and positive friends. The amber

stone, which was vested with the same powers, was

for my wife.

Pak Warto gave me precise instructions on how to make

magic rings, based on the horoscope charts of my wife

and mine. I thanked Pak Warto profusely for the 

spiritual tokens and the fantastic experience I had

that night. Since then I became a close disciple of

the Sufi master and attended his mystical sessions

regularly every Saturday night.