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Sak Yant Tattoo Meanings of the Traditional Thai Designs
Understand the Sak Yant Meanings of Thai Tattoo Designs as described by Sak Yant Tattoo Masters. This is often difficult to find out after the fact for a variety of reasons. In the following article we will discuss some of the more common Sak Yant Tattoo meanings of various Designs.
Table of Contents
A real Sak Yant uses the basic Sak Yant Design as a template and then the Sak Yant Master modifies the Sak Yant meaning by changing the spell to suit the individual specific wishes and desires. This is why you can not get an Authentic Sak Yant from a Tattoo artist; who can not read the incorrect magical script and just copy someone else’s design and magical spells from online. Obviously you do not want to walk around with a Tattoo that says you want to recovery from drug addiction, control anger, or have increased sexual potency – unless this is why you got your Sak Yant.
This is also a reason why you should have a Thai speaking person to help communicate your desires to a non English speaking Sak Yant Master. If you do not play a part in choosing your design and magical spell with assistance from someone who can explain it too you – discovering the mean can be difficult after the event.
Apart from the Sak Yant Tattoo from a Tattoo studio having no meaning…. there are many reasons why people have difficulty finding out what a Sak Yant Tattoo means, however we hope the following helps
Understanding the Sak Yant Designs and Meanings requires many years of training and knowledge. Knowledge of magical languages, symbolism of the Sak Yant Designs and the appropriate Sak Yant blessings associated with each Sak Yant Tattoo design. It is very difficult for the Sak Yant Master to express this knowledge concisely, especially if you are unable to understand the Thai Language.
You can avoid this by making sure you have an English speaking Master (very rare) or take a Thai speaking person along with you.
There are different traditions of Sak Yant, each with their own unique Sak Yant Tattoo design and meanings. Some Sak Yant Masters do their best to learn about other styles, and some stick within their own school of training.
A slight adjustment of any of the text, or change in position of a Sak Yant design component can change the meaning. It can be difficult for even a very knowledgeable Master to know the meaning of a Sak Yant Tattoo Meaning from another Master. As they all add their own personalized knowledge to make each Sak Yant Designs have unique and personal Meanings
The Sak Yant Designs you (and Tattoo shops) find online are purposely created wrong! Sak Yant’s masters have skill that requires years of training to create magical texts and charge them with magical power. The Sak Yant Masters can spot the mistakes in text and correct it to provide a Sak Yant that has a Meaning.
If you received a Sak Yant design from a tattoo shop there is no meaning for your Thai tattoo, as most of the text in the design is purposely corrupted and unable to be corrected by a Tattoo Artist.
While it is a common to read online that Monks and Sak Yant Ajarns will choose your design for you – this only happens when you lack the preparation to chose it yourself. You can discuss options with the Monks if you wish but overall, you can decide what design of Sak Yant you want. After all the decision to get a Sak Yant tattoo is going to last a life time.
You are also able to request the location of where on your body the Sak Yant will go. Although certain Yantra designs are restricted in placement on the body and must go in certain places.
For a detailed explanation read: What is a Sak Yant Tattoo
Typically your first Sak Yant will be one of Master Yant’s. These come (being master Yants) with a wide range of blessings that cover 95% of peoples desires .. are the
1) Hah Taew (Five Line)
2) Gao Yord (Buddha Peaks)
3) Paed Tidt (8 Direction)
Other, more complex and complicated Sak Yant designs such as animals and sacred geometry are seen as advanced talismans for more serious and dedicated believers. If you are a westerner who is looking for your first Sak Yant, 95% of the time it will be one of these 3 Sak Yant Tattoo designs. Because the purpose and meaning of these Sak Yant Tattoo’s are universal and all encompassing
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The Sak Yant Tattoo Meaning and Designs
The lines drawn in the Yant represent the Umbilical Cord of the Buddha, and are traditionally known as 'The Bones of the Yant'. There are many varied forms of Yantra, it appears, such as; Round Yant, Triangular Yant, Four - Sided Yant, and even Pictorial ones. .
Represents the Face of the Buddha (Pra Pakt Khong Pra Putta Jao) in Brahmin Tradition, Brahma is applied as the meaning.
Represents the Triple Gem of the Buddha Dharma and Sangha (Pra Put, Pra Tamm, Pra Songk). In Brahmin Tradition the three Lords of Heaven are applied as the meaning (Shiva Brahma, Vishnu)
Represents the Four Elements / Continents (Earth, Water, Air and Fire)
(Animistic) – represents various Angels, People, and Mythical Animals (Sathw Himapant)
Represents The Buddha Himself.
Symbol to be seen above “Onk Pra” so often represents the Moon Illuminating the way for us in the Dark Hours
(Sun Symbol) to be seen above many Yant means the Sun lighting way in the daytime; and that all Humans and Living beings exist under the influences of the stars and Planets, and that these forces enable us to develop and brings Changes.
Spiral line on the top of each Yant is called Unaalome. Unaalome represents the Saints who have attained the status of Enlightened beings. The Fetters of desire have been disentangled and discarded. These beings do not waver on their path as normal Humans do (Note the end of the zig zag evolves into a straight line, meaning that he has ceased to enter into diversion and is on a straight, direct path to Nirvana.
The spiral in the middle represents the Crown of the Head of the Buddha. The Line of the Unaalome is straight and unwavering – Perfect and complete.
Meanings of different styles of the 5 Line Sak Yant Tattoo
The Sak Yant Hah Taew dates its origin back over 700 years to the ancient Kingdom of Lanna which is now known as Northern Thailand. The Buddhist Monk credited with the design of the Hah Taew 5 Lines Sak Yant is Kruba Kam of Wat Ton Pin, a Buddhist Temple in Chiang Mai, which unfortunately no longer exists today. Kruba Kam designed the Hah Taew at around the time King Mengrai founded the city of Chiang Mai in 1296.
Over the centuries, either by accident or design, the original 5 lines of script which were written in Khom, an ancient Khmer language, underwent several changes and in recent years, several Sak Yant Ajarns have completely replaced the original 5 lines of script with lines of their own.
The 5 lines of script (transcribed) used in the original Hah Taew design are:
1. i ra cha ka ta ra sa
2. ti hang ja toh loh ti nang
3. soh ma na ga ri tah toh
4. pi sam lah loh pu sa pu
5. ka pu bam too tahm wa ka
Hah Taew, represents 5 yants or magical spells. Each one will be done individually and the following magical spells have been cast to do as described below.
The Gao Yord is the “Yant Kru” or Master Yant and is a most sacred Buddhist tattoo with very wide ranging powers of protection and is quite possibly the most important of all the available Sak Yant designs. Many people will choose the Gao Yord as their first Sak Yant because of its universal powers and later add other Sak Yant designs of their choice.
The basic design of the Gao Yord represents the nine peaks of the mythical mountain of the Gods, Mount Meru. According to Hindu mythology, Mount Meru is the abode of the Lord Brahma as well as other Deities. In Buddhist mythology, Mount Meru is known as Sumeru.
The set of 3 ovals are a representation of the Lord Buddha and this grouping of 3 ovals can be seen in many other Sak Yant designs. The Gao Yord Yant has 9 Buddhas represented, with each Buddha bestowing special powers or spells. In some versions of the Gao Yord, there is a Mantra or Katha tattooed at the base of the design. The script used is Khom, an ancient Khmer script, and gives the abbreviation for the names of these nine Buddhas as follows;
A, Sang, Wi, Su, Loe, Pu, Sa, Pu, Pa
In the centre of the Gao Yord design is a patchwork of small squares, the magic box, (although in some designs the outlines are not shown but only the contents), each square containing an abbreviation (in Khom) for the names of all the protection spells that this Yant will bestow. The exact number of these small squares can vary according to the design but the powers granted to the wearer will always include the following.
The Sak Yant design ‘Paed Tidt’ or Eight Direction Yant is a sacred Geometric Yant containing eight Mantras written in 2 concentric circles in the center of the design. The design of the Paed Tidt Yant also incorporates eight representations of the Buddha. These are the groups of 3 ovals each increasing in size from the top.
In Thailand, there is a Buddha image, each one in a different pose, for every day of the week. (On Wednesdays there are 2 Buddhas, one for the morning and one for the evening) and these 8 Buddha Images can be seen in many Thai temples, usually surrounding a Chedi.
The Paed Tidt Yant will give you protection in whichever direction you are traveling and ward off evil spirits. The script used on the Paed Tidt Yant is an ancient Khmer script known as Khom. The Mantras written in the Paed Tidt Yant and which should be chanted when going out to give further protection are as follows.
Hanuman is the Hindu mythical Monkey God in the time of Rama and is invincible and has powers far greater than humans, including the ability to fly. In Thai culture Hanuman leads a monkey army to rid the world of unwanted spirits. His main traits were humility and bravery, he was looked upon as hope for humanity, demonstrating to man that a mortal being can in fact rise above the shallowness of our worldly plain.
There are different variations of Sak Yants with Hanuman. It is obtained and used to bestow the wearer with the qualities of protection from danger as well as becoming fearless in the face of adversity. Hanuman also helps to strengthen self-confidence and can influence people on your behalf. It is also said to help one stay focused and gives the determination needed to see something through to a successful conclusion.
The following Blessings come with the Hanuman Sak Yant
The Twin Tiger Sak Yant Tattoo is common among Thai people with dangerous occupations and Muay Thai Fighters. The Tiger represents strength, power, protection and conviction, as well as authority over ones subordinates.
The tiger also offer help in business dealings and used by entrepreneurs to find the strength and mental resolve to find success in business. Twin tigers represent more power, as would two tigers in reality. This one is a favorite for those seeking extra power in their lives.
The Twin Tiger Sak Yant is very popular with military personnel, police, businessmen and politicians.
Tiger Looking Back Sak Yant Meaning
Suea Hiaw lang, or “tiger looking back” represents protection from behind, having the Tiger watching your back. Most of the animal Yants have the attributes of that animal, the tiger has stealth, speed and power.
This Yant is suitable for people with authority and respect. As well as giving the bearer a fearful aura, it also represents compassion and kindness. This Yant is said to be helpful in business negotiations, managing employees, finances and helps develop communication skills.
It is said that the tiger looking back is best suited to those who are highly respected in the community. This Yant requires that the wearer must be a responsible and caring person and use their authority in a positive way.
This is a popular Yant design. Ganesh, also known to Hindus as Vinayaka or Ganapati, has an elephant head. He has been worshiped for centuries in the Hindu religion. There are several versions of how Ganesh came to be, some believe that Ganesh was a child conceived by Shiva and Parvati while others say that the Goddess Parvati made Ganesh because she was unhappy because her husband, Shiva would not allow her any privacy. She breathed life into an effigy and called it Ganesh, her son, instructing him to block the path of anyone who tried to enter her chambers.
Later when Shiva approached his house, he noticed the boy Ganesh and thought he was spying on his wife. Outraged, he produced a sword and lopped off Ganesh’s head. Parvati was heartbroken and ordered her husband to cut off the head of the first living thing he saw and attach it to Ganesh. It so happened that the first living thing Shiva encountered was an elephant. Another says that Ganesh was born by the elephant headed goddess Malini after she drank some of Parvati’s bath water. This design is popular with people connected to the arts such as singers, actors and musicians. It is associated with material wealth and also guarding valuable assets.
This Soy sung warn (Necklace) Sak Yant Meaning represents invulnerability and is similar in design to a necklace.
It is believed to be especially powerful in ensuring that no weapon would be able to harm the wearer’s body when protected by this magic. Especially blows to the neck.
In ancient times warriors would wear this across their chest to protect them from danger and harm.
Warriors also believed that no weapon could harm their bodies if they wore this sacred Yant.
This is a particularly popular Sak Yant design for soldiers and Muay Thai fighters in current times.
It provides the wearer with:
Protection from weapons Harm
The Hong Ku Sak Yant Meaning (The Golden Swan) – There are traditional tales stating that during one of the Lord Buddha’s many lives he came to earth as a magical Golden Swan and lived in the forest.
So spectacular was he that every other bird in the forest revered him as their charismatic leader.
On the day the Golden Swan met his final moments by swimming into a trap he did not panic nor scream for help. Instead he calmly warned others not to swim in the trapped pool and urged them to fly as far away as possible.
This act of brave, unselfish conviction saw the Golden Swan gladly sacrifice himself so many others could be saved from his fate.
Wearers of the Hong Ku Yant are granted the gift of:
Observational powers & the ability to associate with virtues of self-sacrifice & kindness
The Phra Ra Hu Ohm Chan or Lord of darkness/Moon Eater Sak Yant tattoo meaning
In Thailand, belief in Rahu is influenced by Hinduism combined with Buddhism and also local faiths. Rahu assumes the image of the villain. Rahu is a symbol of evil omen or bad luck and is usually related to undesirable
Thai society recognizes Rahu as the asura who has a black half body and is often depicted as swallowing the sun or the moon.
Represents protection, To prevent harm harms and dangers. To reflect away all bad things.
Yantra Rahu Om Chan Help protect against all dangers. dispel bad luck help support the destiny lighten the heavy burden Turn bad things into good ones.
Prachao Ha Praong Sak Yant Design can be translated as “The 5 Blessings of Buddha” which are chanted as ‘Na-Mo-Put-Ta-Ya’.
Although less known it is considered as one of the “Yant Kru” (fundamental Yant). These sacred utterances (Mantras) are usually pronounced over and over by Buddhist monks, in order to enter a high level of meditation. They can be found in many Buddhist representations.
While this design is less well known to the general public it is considered to be a fundamental Yant (“Yant Kru) for Sak Yant disciples and are to be found regularly in Buddhist representations.
Wearing this design is said to bring:
Protection from any potential surrounding bad spirits
The Chai Chana Mongkon Sak Yant that represents and bears about Kindness, Compassion and Good Fortune to the wearer
This is also known as Yant Phutson
It is regarded as “Maha Yant” (highest level of Yants).
It is believed to support wearers to be loved, lucky and charming.
This Yant represents kindness, popularity and prosperity.
It will aid the wearer in business negotiations and in their finances.
It is believed to help to boost the success of business ventures and the advancement of one’s career.
The crocodile is a Sak Yant that represents strength and power. The crocodile is one of the oldest species on the planet and represents the endurance that comes from this. For this reason it is a good source of protection from dangers from occupations that involve risk such as Police, Armed Forces or Firemen. The crocodile also has incredibly tough skin so it offers great protection against swords, blades … anything that can pierce the skin.
Having been around for a long time the crocodile has developed good instincts and can provide wisdom that protect against manipulation and experience to help the person understand deceit.
The dragon is one of the most interesting and powerful of the mythical beasts. The dragon is a fire breathier and uses this destructive force destroy its enemies. Because of these destructive powers, it is feared among it’s foes.
This Yant offers protection from physical harm and also from the bad influence of others. It also is said to bring the bearer good fortune and is popular among military personal and government officials.
It is believed that Buddha was once incarnated as a turtle. During that lifetime, the turtle grew to be the size of a house, hence the name Dtao Reun (turtle house). The Turtle Sak Yant offers the bearer wealth and prosperity, good luck and a long life. It is also a very lucky animal in Chinese traditions. It is said that this Yant can help one to eliminate emotional suffering.
The turtle is a symbol of the earth and has a mythology connection to the earth element. It has patience and good navigational skills. This animal is said to have many female attributes such as patience, the power to heal disease, knowing one’s own boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. It offers the best physical protection, has a long life and is very independent. It is also known for tenacity and resourcefulness. The turtle has a non-violent defense.
The Payamee Sak Yant represents a bear and offers protection and power.
It will grant the wearer invincibility and strength.
It is believed that the powerful virtues of Buddha are imbued in the design.
It will help give strength to the one who wears it and motivate them to push forward and avoid any blockage or obstacles hindering them in life.
Yant Takarb or “Centipede Yant” is a design that represents practicality, sensibility, balance, invulnerability and protection.
The centipede has a long body and a lot of legs which represents protection.
The two moustaches represent apperception.
The two tails represent patience.
The two canines represent conscience.
The two eyes represent gratefulness.
The centipede is endowed with excellent balance and coordination.
It has the power to sustain stress and has a gracefulness that can be seen in all its movements.
Its powerful virtues will bring you protection and help you avoid danger and harm.
The Plali Sak Yant represents kindness and luck.
The power of virtues in this design will bring you business success, popularity, mercy and charm.
The eel talisman will provide the wearer with success in everything they choose to do in life.
It will bring good fortune that flows smoothly just like an eel that has smooth flow and movement.
It is believed that this design will help the one who wears it to navigate smoothly through life and give them great power so their enemies cannot defeat them.