In a talk on December 14 1957 in England, Bapak gave an explanation
about the meaning of the Subud symbol.
He said that the meaning of Subud is "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
Within the circle are also depicted seven inner circles, which illustrate
the existence of forces, or spirits (roh), which also return to
their origins. And it is these circles within the symbol, seven
in all, which depict the existence of certain forces, which are,
beginning from the material force (roh kebendaan); second, the vegetable
force (roh tumbuh-tumnuhan); third, the animal spirit (roh hewani);
fourth, the ordinary human force (roh orang); fifth, the spirit
of the perfect human being (roh rohani); sixth, the spirit of higher
than that which is called roh rahmani; and the seventh, the spirit
higher than all the rest, the roh rabani spirit.
In a talk on July 12, 1959, at the Subud North America meeting Bapak
answered some questions concerning the Subud symbol as follows:
Bapak said that the letters in the symbol are not necessary. What
is necessary are the seven circles and the seven spokes. The spokes
come together in the centre, and each spoke should be wider at the
edge than at the centre. The nearer the outside, the wider they
get. The circles get wider also as they go out; the outermost circles
being the widest. The width of the circles should be the same as
that of the spokes when they reach them.
Each circle is each plane Bapak speaks about. So the innermost circle
is the material life force, the second circle is the vegetable life
force, the third is the animal, the fourth is the human, the fifth
is the perfected human (rochani), then the roh rachmani and the
roh rabani. The spokes indicate the Holy Spirit, and the spaces
between the circles is the force of the angels, that is the roh
ulkudus; which is inside and yet outside everything. It is also
clear that the higher you go the larger is the space - so the second
circle, the vegetable life force is bigger than the material life
force and more to the outside. So the seventh circle, the roh rabbani
is the largest and most powerful life force there is. Each one of
the lines is the same thing, the Holy Spirit.
In a talk in San Francisco in 1959 Bapak also said:
The lines grow wider as they extend from the centre. The circles
grow wider in relation to their distance from the centre. Where
the lines and circles cross, the width of both is the same. The
spaces between the circles are all the same width. One of the spokes
is straight up to 12 o'clock.
The colour of the lines and the circles is gold. The colour of the
background is very dark blue.