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A Reporter in Subud

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One of the best books ever written about the Subud experience.


This unique quartet is one of the best books ever written about the Subud experience – full of amusing stories, anecdotes, wisdom  and the valuable lessons Varindra Vittachi learned from Bapak Muhammad Subuh and through the Subud latihan.


The sheer quality of the story-telling and the author’s reflections about our age and the meaning of life, makes this an ideal book for anyone interested in Subud.

A Reporter in Subud

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Varindra ‘Tarzie’ Vittachi was for most of his working life a hardbitten news reporter who gained a world reputation for his fearless campaigning against injustice, and his championing of issues of world poverty and its ecological consequences. He was deeply concerned with the need for change at all levels in human life: political, economic, social and, in particular, spiritual.

He was born in 1921 into a Buddhist family in a village near Colombo, Sri Lanka. His natural curiosity, courage and scepticism, combined with a scintillating pen, led him into journalism in 1947. Six years later he was winning renown as the feared and fearless editor of the Ceylon Observer, exposing injustice and pomposity. His anti-racist stance during the bloody nots of 1958 led to threats on his life and he escaped into exile.

With close colleagues he started the Press Association of Asia, invented 'development journalism' and edited his own world-class newpaper in Hong Kong, helping to bring about a post-colonial Asian consciousness. He was invited to join the UN in 1972 and rose in Unicef to become Assistant Secretary General.

With his great communication skills and his passionate wish to help the poor of the world he was a prime exponent of ‘social advocacy’, which changed Unicef into a fully-fledged welfare and development agency. With a vastly increased budget it soon had the highest profile of any UN body.

He was a man who spoke to and for millions. His style was irreverent, witty and inspirational. He was a great teller of stories and made people laugh. He worked tirelessly to better the condition of the poor and the oppressed, and for new values in global affairs. He was for 30 years the chairman of the World Subud Association.

Directly and indirectly he touched and changed innumerable lives. At the end of his life he said, in typically earthy language, that he believed he had 'left behind some fruitful droppings.'

After his death in 1993, The Guardian called Varindra a ‘Genius of Communication and Nobility’. A good part of what he tried to communicate can be found in this book.

 CONTENTS: Preface

BOOK I - A Reporter in Subud

BOOK 2 - Assignment Subud

BOOK 3 - A Memoir of Subud

BOOK 4 - Fruitful Droppings