The Subud Symbol

The Subud symbol consists of seven concentric circles and seven spokes, which represent seven levels of life forces as well as the Great Life Force that connects them. Each level is a world of life - a world of life forces.

The innermost circle is the material world, the second circle is the vegetable and the third is the animal. The fourth is the human, after that is the fifth, the perfect human (referred to as rohani), then higher life forces known as the rachmani and the roh rabbani. The spokes indicate the Holy Spirit. The spaces between the circles is the force of the angels; that is, the roh el kudus, which is inside and outside everything. It is also clear that the higher you go the larger the space - so the second circle, the vegetable life force, is bigger and the vegetable world larger than the material world, and more to the outside. So the seventh circle, the roh rabbani, is the largest and most powerful life force there is.

Although Subud is an acronym derived from the initial letters of Susila Budhi Dharma, it also has a meaning of its own. The meaning of ‘Subud’ is ‘Originating in God and returning to God’ or ‘Originating from its source and returning to the same source.’ And this is represented in the Subud symbol as something round, a circle, meaning, ‘Limitless and forever returning to its origin.’ And in this symbol something else is represented as well: that we do not stop on the way, but rather we go on without limit. This means we do not hold anything back, but everything is for God, from God.