Sak yant in Bangkok
An alternative for your sak yant tattoo in Bangkok is to this is a visit to an ajarn, a master sak yant artist who was previously a monk. In a blessed studio space and by prior appointment (rather than queuing at the temple) you can undergo a similar treatment.
The cost of your sak yant tattoo in Bangkok may be higher, but the ajarn will often talk with the customer and get their views on which sak yant they would like or think best for them.
Another advantage of visiting an ajarn is the standards of hygiene put in place. In the temple the monk will often use the same ink well for multiple people and the steel tips are either just wiped or dipped in alcohol between sessions. The ajarn will use a new steel tip for each session and change the ink, which can be a mitigating factor in peoples’ decision to pay the extra for a private session with a higher standard of service.
Either way the ajarn will also bless the sak yant tattoo by breathing upon it and therefore protect the wearer from harm or bestow power.
Sak yant tattoo rules ?!
For those looking to receive a sak yant tattoo in Bangkok and blessing from either a monk or ajarn should know there are sak yant tattoo rules you must follow.
There are five main sak yant tattoo rules to follow after the tattoo and blessing has been performed (for a monk there can be as many as one hundred). Failure to follow these simple rules will result in the loss of any spiritual power attached by the blessing to the wear. The sak yant tattoo rules are as follows.
1. Do not kill another living creature
This includes any sentient being from a human all the way down to the smallest of insects. It does not however prevent a person from the consumption of meat dispatched by another.
2. Do not steal or lie
Fairly self-explanatory and really it relates back to the first rule in not doing harm to others. The lying part can be difficult to uphold in some cases as we sometimes lie to protect others feelings, but if you truly want the blessing to stay with you for life then the rules must be obeyed at all times.
3. Do not be unfaithful
This third sak yant tattoo rules includes avoiding marital affairs, cheating on partners or loved ones and even the avoidance of desirous thoughts. Only two unattached people should want or connect with one another.
4. Do not become intoxicated.
No one said these sak yant tattoo rules were going to be easy, but they are somewhat open to interpretation. Most ajarn won’t expect you to remain sober for life in order to retain the power of a sak yant’s blessing. Instead this rule represents the need to avoid losing control of oneself. A drink in itself is ok, being drunk (and certainly being uncontrollably drunk) is not. You have been warned!
5. Do not speak ill of your family.
The last of the sak yant tattoo rules are about family. Family is of the utmost importance in Thai culture. Most children do not leave the family home until they are married, with many staying at home well into adulthood. Having respect, particularly for one’s parents and elders is imperative. You must not speak ill of or to those you love and are closest to.
The monk or ajarn who performs your sak yant tattoo in Bangkok may ask that you uphold any other rules he wishes and/or that may be of relevance to the properties of the sak yant you have received.
This can include, but is certainly not limited to – do not commit evil deeds, do not make claims for or tell others about the magical properties of the tattoo you have received, do not boast, do not have feelings of superiority, but stay humble, do not fight or be violent toward others, do not take drugs, be charitable and giving toward those less fortunate than yourself, do not be jealous and covetous or possessive of another among many more.
But the five sak yant tattoo rules as stated above are mandatory for any and all sak yant tattoos. What you may be about to embark upon is not just a tattoo, but a spiritual mark connected to a specific aspect of one’s life. It is therefore taken seriously by all followers of the Buddhist faith who undergo the procedure and should be by you.