"Out of Kundalini"
Virgo Handojo felt his spirit reenter his body. Coming out of the trance, he collected his amulets and returned them to their secure place in his bedroom. Since his initiation into Kundalini, he had learned how to communicate with the spirit world and use supernatural power for the protection and benefit of himself and others.
In his native Indonesia, nominal Islam and folk Buddhism are woven closely with strong cross-threads of animism. Virgo, although raised in a Buddhist family and baptized into Catholicism, hungered for deeper spiritual power. As a young teenager he became attracted to Kundalini, a form of mysticism rooted in both Hinduism and Javanese traditional beliefs.
During initiation rites his guru introduced him to some of the secrets of the magical arts, as well as the groups strict laws concerning their practice. Virgo knew he risked harm or death should he break Kundalinis mandates, but the superhuman abilities he began to exercise fed his craving like an addictive drug. Over the years he saw fellow Kundalini practitioners levitate, perform supernatural healing, deflect a bullet shot at their bodies and much more. Those who broke the rules died suddenly or were killed in bizarre traffic accidents.
In early 1979 Virgos friend and neighbor Tiong Gie invited him to a church rally in his hometown of Semarang in central Java. At 22 Virgo had little interest in Christianity. But he went to the rally that Friday, March 2, because a famous Indonesian singer would be performing. His heart was touched but unchanged by the Gospel message.
He returned with Tiong Gie to another church meeting the next day, hoping to make some friends. When someone prayed for him, Virgo felt a kind of electrical energy surge through his body. Still, he went home without making a commitment to Christ.
The following Monday Tiong Gie invited him to a home fellowship meeting and promised him he would meet a lot of good people. Perhaps a hundred people were expected to gather that night at the family house and backyard of Tante Ien and her sister Kiok. Virgo knew Tiong Gie had no idea of his deep involvement in Kundalini, but he saw no conflict and said yes.
Scores of young men and women packed the family room and overflowed into the hall and the outdoor covered veranda. Tante Ien, an older woman with a mothers warmth for her brood, taught briefly. Someone else led in musical worship.
What a strange group! Virgo thought as the evening went on. I've never experienced anything like this.
During the prayer and praise Virgo did not understand much. Then he heard Tante Ien speak up in a clear voice.
"I got a vision just now of God telling me theres a young man here who has black magic power," she said.
How interesting, Virgo thought, not suspecting himself. Kundalini, of course, is good white magic--totally different.
In a moment two men stood up and moved to his side.
Whats happening? Virgo wondered uneasily. Do they think Im the one or something?
They laid their hands gently on his head and began to pray.
Before he could say a word, Virgo felt another current of electricity jolt his body from head to feet. He began shaking. Then he heard the mens prayers take on more authority. One of them commanded, "Devil, come out of him now, in the name of Jesus!"
Collapsing to the floor, Virgo sensed something invisible moving out of his body through his mouth. In that instant he felt as though a black hood had been torn off of his mind. For the first time he realized that Kundalini had deceived him. His supernatural powers had come not from God but from Satan and his dark hordes.
Virgo blinked and sat up, overwhelmed like a newborn emerging into the bright lights of the delivery room. But in a moment another strong power entered his body and he was seized by a spirit of anger and frustration. He cried out, and more people gathered around him to pray and rebuke the demons. No sooner did one evil spirit leave than another took its place. For two hours several members of the group struggled to deliver him.
Finally someone asked Virgo, "Do you own any charms or amulets?"
Virgo nodded weakly. "Yes, theyre in my bedroom at home."
Tiong Gie jumped onto his motorbike and sped the mile or two to Virgos home. Soon, with Virgos assent, the people who remained at the meeting burned these charms and amulets in the backyard.
Immediately Virgo felt in his body a release from bondage. Worn out but at rest, he listened as Tante Ien and others in the group explained the power of Jesus to save.
Later that night, alone in his room, an exhausted Virgo struggling to fall asleep sensed a dark, accusing presence in his room.
You have broken the law and you are going to die, he heard. You get up and stand in that corner.
Confused and afraid, Virgo moved to the spot, feeling helpless to control his response.
Now you have to go here, another voice ordered.
Now go over there.
The tormenting spirits directed him back and forth in his room until something Tante Ien said popped to mind: "If anything happens tonight--if a demon tries to kill you or anything--just pray to Jesus and God will deliver you."
Trembling, Virgo cried out, "God, I dont know whats happening! Please help me."
Instantly the atmosphere in the room changed, and Virgo felt the peace and presence of the Lord.
His mind now clear, Virgo yearned to sleep but continued brooding over everything that had happened in the last several hours. Questions rushed at him like wild animals: Is Kundalini really from the devil, not from God? Could I have been so deceived? How did I do so much good magic, then?
Rummaging in his desk, he found a small Bible he had received at school from the Gideons some time before.
God, he prayed, I dont understand all this. Its hard to believe my guru could be so wrong. Please show me the truth.
Opening at random, he began to read from Colossians. Several passages burned into him:
Virgo lay down again, drifting in and out of sleep. Whenever his mind began wrestling with doubts, verses he had just read jumped to his memory and spoke to him, as though God Himself were answering his questions.
In the morning Virgo went to see a friend who understood Kundalini, and told him what had happened.
"The power of this group was amazing!" Virgo exclaimed. "Its as though they could see right into me!"
"How many people were at this meeting?"
"About a hundred."
"A hundred! And you were there all alone? No wonder! Of course your power was defeated--one against so many. If you got more power, or more people, then the Christians would lose."
"Hmm . . . thats--thats right," Virgo pondered, a cloud of confusion beginning once again to descend.
Through the rest of the morning the internal battle raged: Should I go back to my guru and get more power? But if I do, Ive already broken the Kundalini laws--I know I will die. I could go back to this Christian woman, but I dont know if her power is really greater.
Eventually he contorted himself into a conclusion.
Sooner or later Im going to die anyway, he reasoned. If I choose Christianity and its wrong, maybe Ill be punished less, since a lot more people are following it than Kundalini. Safer to die in ignorance, just following the crowd.
God can use even twisted logic to lead people to Himself!
Virgo went back to Tante Ien and explained his dilemma, confusion and fear.
Her answer was simple: "Come here every day and well read the Bible together."
"Thats it? Just read the Bible? Every day?"
That was it.
So every day Virgo drank deeply of the Word of God. Tante Ien and her sister Kiok pointed out its meaning. Soon Virgo committed himself wholeheartedly to Jesus. In fact, before many weeks had passed, he became involved in ministry. He linked with a friend who had also come to Christ out of Kundalini and who served with Sangkakala Mission Fellowship (the parachurch organization we encountered in the last chapter that spawned the church doing intercessory prayer drives in the prostitution district of Semarang, Indonesia).
Virgo grew as a lay leader, helped start many new churches and was ordained as a pastor in the denomination he helped found, Jemaat Kristen Indonesia (JKI). Later Virgo served as chairman of JKI International, a growing movement that now includes about fifty churches ministering to Indonesians in several countries around the world.
Virgo Handojos life was transformed by the power of the Word of God. First God singled him out with prophetic words of knowledge given to Tante Ien and the young people who came to pray for him. Then the written Word of God, living and active, answered his questions and sealed the truth to his mind and heart. Virgo discovered true spiritual power in a relationship with Christ, satisfying his deepest hunger.