Sakyan or Just Modern Tattooing
Tattooing of talisman or “sak yan” originated from time immemorial and it entails special rituals of “wai kru” before it can be done. The tattooing of talisman is not mere tattooing. It is something magical and purposeful. Conventionally, the tattooing of magical talisman is performed by a handful of learned guru masters for only a selected number of their disciples mainly for strengthening of their mind and, exceptionally, for battling evil forces or as their successors. These talismans are usually representation of animism together with ancient inscriptions. Each design and form of talisman carries with it a different alchemy and it is the master who chooses the designs to be tattooed on the individual disciples and what type of mystical knowledge he will impart to the latter. Basically. the disciples do not enjoy the liberty of choice.
The Ritual of “Wai Kru” (ไหว้ครู)
The ritual of “wai kru” is a serious ceremony. It is also a grand ceremony whereby both Gods and human come together to witness the initiation process. In the presence of both the immortals and mortals, an individual begs to be accepted as a disciple and takes an oath to abide by certain rules and regulations, including the “dos and don’ts” of the specific lineage. Different masters may impose varying stipulations but those in common are as follow:
The recipient of magical tattoo will (1) observe the taboos imposed by the master; (2) adhere to canon laws; and (3) exercise self-restrain. There are also some universal taboos imposed by the various masters, amongst other things, (a) refrain from immoral practices; (b) refrain from being un-filial; (c) refrain from certain types of food, e.g. food offered in funeral; (d) refraining from walking under clothe hangers and bamboos; (e) refrain from allowing a woman to cross over the body and et cetera.
When the master agrees to accept the requestor as his disciple, he will instruct the latter to make offerings to Rheesi, the witnessing Gods and ancestors. Tributes in the process include (1) joss sticks; (2) candles; (3) flowers; (4) gold leaf foils; (5) betel nuts; (5) cigarettes; (6) liquor; (7) baisri; (8) coconut; (9) banana; (10) 7 types of fruits; (11) tea; (12) cooked and raw pig’s head; (13) cooked and raw duck; (14) cooked and raw chicken; (15) cooked and raw shrimps; (16) cooked and raw fish; (17) raw pork, heart and liver; (18) raw eggs; (19) pastries; (20) sesame seeds; and water.
Photograph extracted from http://upic.me
When this ritual of “wai kru” is completed, only then will the master tattoo for his disciple and impart to him the magical knowledge. It is important to understand that a talisman tattoo has to be in a certain position where it should be for it to produce magical effect. Tattooing a talisman in the wrong position of the body will bring about counter-effect and extreme bad luck.
The Modern Trend of “Sak Yan” (สักยันต์)
Up-to-now, the ancient tradition of “wai kru” is not and cannot be dispensed with if the “sak yan” process is to be meaningful and useful. However, many laypeople, both men and women, are having their bodies tattooed but few actually went through the process of “wai kru” least being taught the secrets of activating the power of those talismans tattooed.
People nowadays went on tattooing talisman for a variety of reasons, ranging from the desire of wealth and invincibility to melancholic craving for love and sexual attraction. They choose their own tattoo designs and where they want them to be tattooed. They have very little knowledge and understanding of the tradition of “sak yan” (although many pretended as if they know a lot!).
What Happened to the Power of Invincibility?
Photograph extracted from www.dailynews.co.th
Furthermore, most secular or individual who perform popular tattooing of talisman without due consideration for the traditions is not a real master. Such individuals are at best tattoo artists who allows clients to choose their own designs and where they want the talismans to be tattooed. Both the tattoo artist and clients are eager to build a reciprocal relationship without the onus of rituals of “wai kru” and the precepts flowing there-from. Therefore, at the end of the day, the tattoo artist gets paid for his work and his clients get the required symbol tattoo on the surface of their skin.
Although this revelation may be crude but take a look around you and analyze your observation critically. How many of those who had had their bodies inked with talisman through the modern process have prospered, gained social acceptance, charmed others, and are really invincible? Or has the ink appearing on their bodies, especially their necks, hands, and legs projected them negatively and impressing on the general public a subculture of hooliganism that is being frowned upon?
Does She Look More Attractive with Tattooed Talismans?
Photograph extracted from โพสท์จัง Webboard
Traditionally, talisman tattoos are supposed to help an individual avoid danger or difficult situation and bestow mental strength and stability but if it, on the contrary, causes one to slip into a subculture of tattoo superstition then the puzzle really needs to be reworked with a little more intelligence.