An extremely interesting form of tattoo design is “Sak Yant Tattoo”. You could also hear the name a “bamboo tattoo” or “Thailand tattoo”. Many South Asian cultures such as: Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand have been using such a tattoo for a long time. People belive that Yantra tattoos are magic and bestow mystical powers, protection, or good luck.
Sak – meaning “to tap” or, “to tattoo”, and Yant – meaning “Yantra”. Originally derived from the Sanskrit word “Yantra”. A Yant is a Sacred geometrical design that provide powers of protection and various blessings through Buddhist psalms and magical formulas. It also protect against negative energies. Sak Yant is a form of tattooing using Indian yantra designs. In short this designs involving sacred geometrical, animal and deity designs. In addition, it is like a personal Talisman for creating change in personality, life circumstances and achievement of goals.
There are several Yant shapes:
- A round or circular Yant indicates the face of Lord Buddha. This originates from Brahminism.
- Four-sided or square Yant signifies the four elements, earth, wind, fire, and water.
- Three-sided or triangular Yant means Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.
- Yants are images and that represent various mythical figures and animal types.
- The ‘Ong Phra’ (Buddha’s body) (องค์พระ) is a symbol of Lord Buddha. This shape is common in Yants. This is usually a series of oval shapes arranged on top of 1 another, starting from large to small. It forms the idea of the many sacred Yants.
- Half-moon or crescent shape indicates the illumination of darkness as we make our way through this life.
- Similar small shape symbolizes the Sun that lights up our way ahead.
- In case the circle is above the most Yant, then this suggests the celebs within the sky and indeed all celestial beings. This is often common in many pictorial Yants.
- The ever-decreasing spirals as in Gao Yod (nine spirals) (เก้ายอด) signify the wavering that this earthly life bestows upon us. The 9 peaks represent the mythical Mount Meru. People belive it is the center of the universe. Gao Yord it is like “Ha Taew” plus, with more magical benefits including authority and popularity. It is also one of the three most commonly-administered Sak Yants for beginners.
If you want to get a Sak Yant, you must know that it is not only a simple tattoo. It is akin to going through a magic or spiritual ritual. The Sak Yant is a combination of tattoo design, prayers administered as the tattoo is being made. It ends with a final blessing to charge and activate it with the power of the Sak Yant Masters. It takes Sak Yant Masters years of training in the magical art’s and living a good and Spiritual life to gain the knowledge and power to create these personal charms. For a Sak Yant to be real they must be done by a spiritual trained and qualified Sak Yant Master.
Overtime Sak Yants have become fashion statements. Some see it as nothing more than body art or a permanent Thai souvenir to bring back home. Some tattoo purists feel that the significance of Sak Yant is lost as more and more people are getting them. Unfortunately, people often follow fashion without understanding the spiritual meaning or following the necessary codes of conduct required of a Sak Yant wearer.