Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Of Pati Geni and Ilmu Putih

A Story of the Supernatural Kind; Of Pati Geni and Ilmu Putih

Definition: I know, my definition is useless, because basically I know nothing about any of these..

Pati Geni: An old Javanese Hindu origin knowledge and building of inner strength through fasting and staying still… Read article from Ahmad Zain An Najah, MA
Ilmu Putih:as opposed to Ilmu Hitam..black magic.

Continuing from previous posting..
Back in the early 70’s, this friend was young man. His older brother was working as a caretaker at Masjid Abu Bakar in Johor Baharu. So he used to stay at the mosque, and in the old days, mosque was a haven for poor travellers and the homeless. There was one old man who was a bit different that the others. He had long hair and dressed like the legendary warrior Hang Tuah in the Malay movies. At night, after Isha, the main prayer hall and the offices are usually locked. The travellers are allowed to sleep at the veranda and the outer section of the mosque. Every morning just before subuh, the caretaker notice that this old man came down from the minaret, whereas that section was locked. Still the caretaker didn’t ask or say anything, just make sure that the next night is not inside the main prayer hall or offices.
One night after Isha they were invited for kenduri at someone house, so everyone went there. The caretaker makes sure that the mosque is empty and then padlocked the main gate. But when they got back from kenduri, the caretaker notice that he forgot to bring the key, so they were locked out of the mosque compound.
“What happen?” the old man enquired.
“We forgot the key” the caretaker said.
The old man came in from the rear, and without anyone realising, he pushed a bit the caretaker, and suddenly the caretaker was inside the mosque compound. He was dumbfounded, how on earth did he get in?
“Aha, you are inside, so go get the keys then” he said.

One time this friend and his brother the caretaker wanted to go to Singapore. The old man wanted to came along.
“Uncle needs to have a passport to go to Singapore” my friend said.
“Its okay, I can handle it” the old man said
So they drove to Singapore across the causeway, going through immigration checkpoint and the old man seem to pass through okay, the officers seem not to notice him at all.

Being a curious young man, my friend asked the old warrior what kind of ilmu that he practice? The old warrior told him that he originally came from Muar, Johor. He went to Java travelling and seeing places, until he met a teacher who taught him pati geni. My friend said that a man who practice pati geni only eat a handful of rice a day. The rice must be done in a special way. Boil rice in a pot, when its just boiling, grab a handful in your hand and hold it until it cools down. That rice should do for your breakfast sahur before fajar and breakfast at sunset. You are supposed to fast during daylight hours.

The first time I heard of this word pati geni was last year, during rambling conversation with a Sarawakian of Javanese descent. Apparently the fasting whereby you only eat a handful of rice is called poso mutih (spiritual body cleansing), which normally has to be done for 40 days consecutively. Hence ilmu putih.
I have heard of this kind of fasting when I was a teenager, when my late father told me his story of what happened back in 1969. Not only you have to eat only plain white rice, but you can only drink air putih, plain clear water. You also cannot sleep at night, so to keep awake, you have to walk around…
I remember my late father told me that near the end of his forty days fasting, he saw a tiger, a huge snake and a beautiful maiden. No, not at the same time, and only fleeting.
Apparently this is what the old warrior was practising, eat only sparingly and keep awake all night reciting zikrullah.

My Sarawakian friend once told me that his uncle could see places thousands of kilometres away and describe whats going on as well as the situation of the place (whether the pace is spooky/keras or not) if you tell him the address.

So my friend and his group started learning things from the old warrior.
Being knowledgeable in religion, the old warrior also taught Quran and Fiqh and over the years Majlis Agama Islam Johor hauled the old warrior to the Shariah Court for teaching Islam without credentials and accusing him of being deviant. But the prison means nothing to him, he still turn up at his Quran class to teach as usual, while at the same time residing in prison. Towards the end of his life he built a small hut in the forest near Mersing. My friend visited him once; he saw tiger marks around the compound.
“Living in the forest? So who uruskan jenazah when he died?” I asked, perplexed, for an old man living alone in the forest, what happen when he died, I thought.
“He call his anak murid, disciples before he died” my friend said.

No comments: