On Sufi Night in International Bali Meditator’s Festival (IBMF) 2009 — 15th of November 2009 — , at Bale Banjar, Ubud-Bali, Spiritualist Anand Krishna explained that Sufis had been running away from life because of trauma that had occurred after Mansyur Al-Hallaj was prosecuted in Baghdad, in 922 M.

Unlike his fellows, Al-Hallaj was Sufi master who shared his vision of God with the masses in his writings and through his teachings. Sometimes, by occasions, Al-Hallaj would fall into traces, which one of the traces, he would utterred “Ana-l-Haqq” (meaning : I am The Truth). Since Al-Haqq (The Truth) was one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah, he was accused to claim to be God. His controversial statement led him to gallows, and death.
Ever since sufis have been running away from crowd. Al-Gazali was also considered as a great sufi, but he had to compromise with the government to stay alive.

The word Sufi is derived from Greek word which means God in femine form. Sufi also mean the one who followed God. But, what’s the most important is our faith. We have to become a man of faith, with or without God.

Buddha never said anything about God. When he was about to visit a village, his followers would warn villagers of not asking Buddha talking about God. Otherwise, Buddha would sit silently during his visit. In this country, Indonesia, Buddhists had to have God because the laws required them to do so. If not, the state would not recognized Buddha as one of state’s recognized religions, and that would cause a lot of unnecessary administrative problem for Indonesian, since the identity card still had a religion column. That’s why atheists would have a tough time living in Jakarta although it might not be a case in Bali.

Parents of Mr. Anand Krishna came from Sindh (Indus), now known as Pakistan. When Pakistan declaring its independence on Aug 14, 1947, his father flew back to his hometown and saw things had been changing differently. Walls had been erected inside a family compound since one of his cousin was Sikh and another one was Muslim.

His father, Tolaram (Tola is a persian word for unit of gold. Ram is the name of God the same as the city’s name of Ram-allah or Baghdad derived from the word Bhagavan meaning God) was very sad because his family’s house was divided due to politics. He was warned by his muslim cousin to leave the country because his life was threatened. He left Pakistan with broken heart and decided not to go to India because the same condition was also happening in India. Although, he had an opportunity to apply for British Citizen, he then decided to go Indonesia because in this country, he didn’t have to be as Hindu, Buddhist, Muslims, etc. He just could be a man of faith … at the time.

Nowdays, Indonesian should choose one of religions recognized by the government. Even, our law on national education system has divided students according to their own religions in religion class as young as primary school. Maybe, the only universal place in Indonesia is public toilet, but recently there is a notion to build public toilet according to certain religion believers.

A crisis of identity is happening in Aceh which is already torn between its own cultural and religious identities. Aceh had been a peaceful and prosperus time when ruled by the daughter of Sultan Iskandar Muda, Sultana Taj’ul Alam. And, also three other sultanas succeeded her. But, then an influential group of Arab traders opposed this female government and since then, Aceh had turned into a land of sufferings and misery.

In a Conference on Sufi Movements in Contemporary Islam, organized by National University of Singapore and Institute of South East Asia Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore Aug 14-15, 2008, Mr. Anand Krishna told audiences that he had raised his objection to the idea that Sufis had to go back to hermitage. His introduction of Sufism from his master Sheikh Baba who working as an ice vendor and living in the marketplace, but spreading the sufi wisdom to surroundings has taught him that Sufis have to go down from their reclusion to help world solving the problems occured. The Sufis have to make sure that politicians, restaurant owners, economists, teachers, officers of law, journalists, dancers, etc having a sufi heart. The Sufis should be around in marketplaces, in crowds so they can live within society to serve it. That’s Sufi Solutions to World’s Problems.