Soenarto Mertowardojo was born on the 21st of April in 1899 in a village called Simo, Boyolali District, Surakarta, as the sixth child out of eight siblings from the father who was named Raden Soemowardojo. The father worked as a staff salesman.
As a staff salesman with just enough income, it became a heavy burden for Soemowardojo to raise eight children. Yet however, he still wanted his eight children to receive good education. For this reason, when Soenarto was seven years old it was time for him to go to school, and he was fostered by either his father or mother’s sibling who lived in the city for him to go to school, because at the time in the village of Simo there was no school.
It was at this time young Soenarto had to be separated from his parents to be fostered by others in order to pursue knowledge. All of which was traversed with the basis of obedient to the command of his parents. During the journey of his fostered life for fifteen years with moving from places to places was hard for a small child. Yet however, such life was accepted with sincere and patience, he never complained to his parents like what other children would do. He never felt like he had to sacrifice his childhood and his self-worth. It was during this moment, that the feeling of yearning towards God began to grow. He wanted to meet with God, asking for Its-fairness.
As Soenarto grew into young adult, his desire to seek God became bigger. Such condition did not permit him to dig deeper into knowledge of religion in a formal way. He was only able to receive knowledge of religion when he was small and growing up in the Simo village, and dhaim salat (muslim prayer) that were taught by his mother.
In wanting to know about God or truest of life Soenarto discipled to people who were not meant to become guru (teacher), for reason because they lead to stray path with secretive peculiar (cultist) methods. Eventually, he became conscious and decided not to ever again seek occult teacher because he realised it was not yet his time to receive true knowledge.
Soenarto promised to not ever discipled again, on top of having lost money, he still had to be forced into doing all kinds of actions which were irrational.
Eventually, Soenarto concluded: “According to my thought, the only correct action is asking the blessing will of God, who truly is Generous, Nurturing and Fair. I am sure I will be given illumination, if I truly ask with sincerity. Does true knowledge explain about the afterlife, that is life after death? What is the meaning of heaven and hell? Then, if they really exist, where is the place?”
After Soenarto concluded in which the only way of obtaining an answer regarding of what is called true knowledge and meaning of heaven and hell is only through asking towards God, henceforth he underwent dhaim salat (muslim prayer) from his mother’s gift. This event occurred on the 14th of February in 1932 at 5:30 pm in his place of residence in Kampung Widuran, Solo.
Within his salat (salah) Soenarto entered inside condition of stillness and what has become his question during this time was answered from inside the core of his heart in the form of word as in the following.
“Acknowledge, what is called True Knowledge is direction (instruction) that is real, that is direction (instruction) which shows the correct path, path which reaches to the origin and destination of life.”
The moment Soenarto received the first word, inside the heart was as if a flow of cold water absorbing the position of the heart, the body felt cold, the heart feels bright like as if covered by the light of the full moon. He was stunned and said inside the heart.
“Who on earth spoke that word?”
No more than a minute later the word inside the central heart continued as in the following.
“I am Suksma Sejati, who creates and sustains the universe, enthroned in all kinds of living nature. I am the Messenger of God who is eternal, who becomes Example, Guidance, Your Teacher who is True who is the World’s Teacher. I come to bestow the blessing grace of God towards you in the form of illumination and guidance, accept it with looking up, which means to bow, kneel in My-front.
In which the nature of life originates from Suksma Kawekas, God of the whole universe, place of worship that is true who is Life Source who will return towards-It.
The truest of Life is one, that is eternal in its condition, covering the whole of the universe.”
This answer becomes enlightenment (illumination) for Soenarto and gave him a feeling of calmness, serene and joy that has never been experienced before. However, this sudden occurrence which causes the feeling of joy changed to feeling of being moved after which he then weep with praising worship of gratefulness towards God, because he feels he is not pure but full of sin yet was blessed by the illumination. Afterward, he plea to be cleansed from the filth (dirt) of the world and be purged of all his sins, as well as request to be given the strength to received God’s blessing will and Its-justice.
Afterwards, he entered inside the condition of stillness again and received the continued word explaining in which:
- Who holds the measurement of purity is Suksma Sejati/God’s Eternal Messenger.
- Do not be small hearted, pain hearted, suspicious and worry if there is one who does not believe.
- Suksma Sejati protects and guides servant who walk the Foremost Path.
- This gives command to Soenarto to spread the illumination of Suksma Sejati who can be received to anyone who needs it without coercion and reward, to be undergone with sincerity, patient and sacrifice.
- Acknowledging that there will be two people who will help him in spreading the illumination, who were: Hardjoprakoso and Soemodihardjo.
After the word of Suksma Sejati/Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher) on the 14th of February in 1932 was received by Soenarto, on the 27th of May in 1932 afternoon Soenarto, Hardjoprakoso and Soemodihardjo as witnesses and transcribe the teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher) that was received by Soenarto.
Afterwards, the said written teaching was printed to become seven compiled books, which are: Hasta Sila (Eight Principles), Paliwara (Prohibitions), Brightly Made Stars, One Word, Foremost Path, Foreseeable Fate and Prayer.
The said books were spread by these three in their own communities. To those who are attracted and wants to study (learn) it, they all gathered with the three men in the residential place of Hardjoprakoso or others. Each day more people came to seek in learning the teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher).
Paguyuban Ngesti Tunggal (Pangestu) was founded on the 20th of May in 1949 in the city of Solo, so that the disciples of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher) become cohesive (united). Reason being that seventeen years ago (in 1932) there was no formal organisation/group for the disciples together with Soenarto Mertowardojo to study and fulfill the teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher), that was received by Soenarto from the 14th of February 1932 to January 1933.
On the 20th of May in 1949 it happened the occurrence of seven men to meet for an innercise meeting to discuss the teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher). At that moment, Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher) deign to give word to Its-disciple, in which for Its-disciples to become unified and cohesive must be intended to be tied into one formal gathering. Afterwards, they formed a temporary management for organisation and elected Goenawan as their head. Then in July 1949 during a temporary management meeting, there was another election and elected Soetrasman as head of organisation and Goenawan as secretary. During that meeting they also discussed the name for the organisation. Eventually, Soenarto gave the name Paguyuban Ngesti Tunggal (Pangestu). In December 1949 Soetrasman received a call of duty to Surabaya, thus the head of Pangestu was absent and was temporarily replaced by Trihardono Soemodihardjo until the year 1950. Aterwards, Goenawan was appointed as head of central honour management until December 1954.
The first five years of Pangestu that is in 1954, four branches have been established outside the city of Solo, and it was the first time Pangestu had a congress I. During the Pangestu congress fellow branch staff of Pangestu listened to the guidance and content directly from Soenarto in which at that moment received that nickname “Uncle Narto” from fellow Pangestu members.
Soenarto is the first and foremost advisor (intermediary) in Paguyuban Ngesti Tunggal (Pangestu) until the year 1965, all the while Uncle Narto was still alive, Pangestu has made four congresses. First congress (1954) appointed by Uncle Narto, Martosoedigdo as Head of Pangestu Central Management during era of devotion between 1954 – 1959. Afterwards, on the second congress (1959) as appointed by Uncle Narto, it was Soemantri Hardjoprakoso as Head of Pangestu Central Management in the era of devotion between 1959 – 1970.
The last congress Uncle Narto attended to before he died on 16th August 1965 which was Congress IV on the year 1964 was accompanied by representatives from ninety-six Pangestu Branch Staff.
After Uncle Narto died, Pangestu congress was led by Head of Pangestu Central Management, who was Prof. Dr. Soemantri Hardjoprakoso.
During the period under the management of Dr. Soemantri, who died on the 11th of December 1971, Pangestu made two congresses, in the year 1967 and 1970. In the year 1970 it was Pangestu Congress VI, which consisted of 111 branches.
During Pangestu Congress VI (1970) Dr Soedjarwo was elected as Head of Pangestu Central Management. He was elected from Congress VI until Congress XIV, and he died on the 12th of January 2004 before Congress XV. In the year 2004 – 2005 until 2015 congress, Mr. Harsadi Darsokoesoemo was appointed as temporary Head of Pangestu Central Management. During Congress XV, who was attended by representatives from 196 Pangestu Branch Staff, resulted in the election of Dr. Budi Darmadi to become Head of Pangestu Central Management.
In Pangestu management period from 2005 to 2020 there has been three congresses, took place in the year 2010, 2015 and 2020, and within these congresses Dr Budi Darmadi was repeatedly elected to become Head of Pangestu Central Management.
In the year 2020 when the whole world was struck by the pandemic of Covid-19, the government regulated laws to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus, henceforth Pangestu Congress XVIII (2020) was done through online method and was attended by Central Management and representatives of Branch Management from 184 branches. This resulted in the election of Dr. Budi Darmadi as Head of Pangestu Central Management for the devotional year of 2020 to 2025, because he was still trusted by Pangestu members to nurture fellow Pangestu members.
The construction of the museum was founded in 1925. Formerly the building was used to be the residential home of Soeratman and his family. The Pangestu museum location is in III/3a Rajawali street, Manahan Surakarta, Central Java, with land area of 1083 squared metre.
Number of museum collections: 114 items.
The collections are based on objects which has been inherited by the Pangestu pioneer family who has put significant effort to spread the teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher).
The objective/aim of establishing the Pangestu museum is for the following:
- To store, maintain and preserve the collection age that are of historical value from the pioneers since the establishment of Pangestu in 1949.
- Furthermore, to increase the knowledge of visitors regarding what and who is Pangestu and its pioneers.
- As a place to attain information about the teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher) that was received by Soenarto Mertowardojo in the year 1932. The teaching of Sang Guru Sejati (The True Teacher) is a mean to cultivate the heart and thought cognition for those who wants to meet with their true guidance, in the centre of their inner heart.