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Why do we need Gurus – self appointed men and women who act as agents for God? Why do we allow organized religion to brow beat us with the threat of hell and damnation if we don’t follow the precepts laid down through the ages? Why rituals? Why ceremonies? Why have faith in a Power that never shows its face, one that is intangible instead of a living, breathing entity that we can touch and converse with? Why believe in God when the earth bleeds with racism, fundamentalism of all forms and extreme cruelty fueled by greed and an insatiable hunger for power? Why live on earth if it’s so wretched? Let us all commit mass suicide like lemmings do every year by simply running off a cliff and plunging to our death.
This does not happen because many of us have Faith. Faith in God. Faith in karma. Faith in one another.
And above all the power to love, forgive and rise up phoenix like from impossible situations.
Where does all this Faith come from?
Many months ago during a discussion on Faith with Marian Hjelm a veteran of India, she mentioned to this writer about the Guru of the Art of Shaking.
It didn’t take much convincing on her part for him to follow in her footsteps to the ashram door of Ratu Bagus on the slopes of the sacred Mount Agung. Having grown up on the cusp of a chillum and rock music, the writer needed a pathfinder to show him where he was at and a hint of the elusive future.
Entering through the ashram’s impressive gate, he was confronted with India; shades of Bhagawan Rajneesh, Maharishi Yogi and memories of his stay at Parasnath. And when he met Ratujee he genuflected and touched the Guru’s feet because that is what his culture had taught him, respect for holy persons.
Ratujee asked a few questions and then pointed to a building that housed a large hall and from which emanated pulsating dance music.
Entering the hall and witnessing people of all ages and nationalities, vibrating, twisting crying, shouting, Shaking and laughing before a display of holy objects and a large portrait of him that had written across it in bold letters Om Swastiastu Ratu Bagus. The electrifying energy was like none he had encountered before. He wanted to flee.
The Guru gently guided him to the front of the Shakers and showed him the posture to take for Shaking. He instructed the scribe to concentrate on the large portrait of him on the wall and chant Om Swastiastu Ratu Bagus. Then without a word he left the hall.
Legs slightly apart, feet firmly on the floor and palms clasped and extended like a namasker, he slowly began to move to the music, glancing around self consciously to see if anyone was watching him.
In minutes his body grew warm then hot with beads of sweat racing down it. The lungs, the heart and all the other abused parts of his anatomy cried out for relief…then the pain seeped in, into sinews closely followed by deep sadness. He stopped and sat down breathless. Something inside him had stirred… another being… his soul? He wanted to run from himself.
Just then Ratujee walked in and placed his hands on the scribe’s head motioning him to rise and continue. And continue he did for a while before leaving the place for the dining hall and water and food and silence… humbled by the energy he had encountered that was within, around and emanating from the Guru.
So who is Ratu Bagus?
A former executive in a transport company in Jakarta, a former aspiring young man who wanted to join the army but failed, a Balinese born in Gianyar, Bali, in November 1949, into a poor family of nine children and named I Ketut Widnya, a farmer from Muncan Village (the site of his ashram) till a Divine visitor gave him the name Ratu Bagus Jaya Kesuma Kawi and directed him to go forth and help humanity as he had been born with the gift to transmit pure light/energy.
At that time, there lived many poor people in the surrounding villages. He moved around these villages dispensing spiritual and material aid. In time people began to arrive from all over the island for guidance from this Guru. For the last 30 years he has been healing, teaching and training people in his ashram at Muncan. Every year he conducts large retreats in Europe and Australia.
In 2006 he became a Brahmin of high stature and is frequently called upon to perform religious ceremonies in Bali. His title is Ida Pandita Mpu Parama Daksa Nata Ratu Bagus.
Sometime ago, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of The Art of Living Foundation on a visit to Bali referred to him as the Chief Priest of Bali.
So why Shake? Why not go to the gym or for long walks or indulge in regular (daily) sex which is said to be the ultimate exercise for body and soul?
According to the Guru we are created by energy. Therefore, when we practice this ancient form of healing (Shaking) we tap into this sacred energy which is within us and this transforms our physical and mental being. There are many independently recorded cases where he has healed mentally and/or physically ill people by transmitting pure light/energy to the patient; and imparting the technique of Shaking which peels away the repressed feelings and replaces it with spontaneity; sadness to happiness (laughter); releases pent up emotions through crying and shouting even screaming for hours at a stretch.
The Art of Shaking is not mumbo jumbo. If one trains for a few months under his benign tutelage one can plug into the reservoir of sacred energy that is within all of us. This energy comes to the surface with rigorous Shaking. Heat is generated. This heat races through the body attacking the physical afflictions within. In essence the body heals itself through this process. It also realigns the mind, assisting it on focusing on positive rhythms thereby creating a feeling of wellbeing in the person and extruding the same.
Shaking is a bio-energy that transforms a human being from a negative force into one that radiates energy and brings light wherever he or she goes.
Addiction to alcohol, drugs and smoking can be overcome through Shaking. The ashram has some followers who have been former addicts and who now live reformed lives and are an asset to their community.
The technique to get the energy flowing inside the body is to surrender to the energy and accept it with a smile.
But to Shake one needs proper guidance; Technique, Concentration and Discipline. That is why it is essential to spend sufficient time at the ashram to learn the basics and then with regular daily practice wherever one is on this earth, can begin to reach the source of the energy within thereby connecting to the soul. It is this process that teaches the follower to love oneself. When this is achieved life becomes a joyous experience,” says Ratujee.
In the words of Lucy Williams from the U.K., “Shaking creates the opportunity to exist free from pain, free from the negative thoughts and patterns that may have controlled our lives in the past and it creates the opportunity to live to our greatest potential; to feel life, to feel love and to feel the light. It is a re-awakening of the soul, a chance to remember who we really are and a chance to be alive. The simplicity of it all is mind boggling; you can train anywhere at any time, you don’t have to get on a plane, you don’t have to make an appointment, you just stay true to yourself, train regularly and keep Ratu in your heart always”.
The writer spoke to a number of local Balinese as well as those from other parts of the island who had come with sick family members, to Shake or to meet the Guru for a hearing of their problems and possible solutions. Their opinion is that the he is one of them: A true son of Bali: A holy man who has been sent to help them spiritually and economically.
The ashram has set up a Koperasi that assists in education, healthcare, micro financing etc. for Balinese farmers and fringe folk of the island.
Those who have sought refuge in Bali in a bid to find themselves should visit the ashram of Ida Pandita Mpu Parama Daksa Nata Ratu Bagus, for it is here that the Guru will teach one how to reconnect with one’s soul through the Art of Shaking.
For over a year, the ashram has witnessed numerous manifestations of energy orbs that have been caught on video and still cameras, though unseen to the naked eye. These energy balls move at different angles across the screen during the Guru’s discourses. This phenomenon, which has been reported by many independent sources, appears to be manifesting itself with increasing regularity. It is believed that he is the source of such energy and that this is a clear indication of the power of his Faith and that of his followers.
Om Swastiastu Ratu Bagus