What is the difference between a Monk and a Sak Yant Ajarn?
Sak Yant Tattoos are done by Sak Yant Masters, which can be either a Monk or an Ajarn. Both Monks and Ajarns must follow a lifestyle of spiritual dedication, including daily meditation, and hundreds of ethical rules. Almost always this spiritual training starts at Buddhist Monasteries as a Monk. Those Monks that show a particular aptitude or interest are able to go to special Temples where in-depth knowledge of spiritual and magical blessings are taught. Almost every Sak Yant Master, becomes a Master while they are still a Monk at a Temple.
The life of a Monk, is not something that appeals to every person as a long term profession. Some men want families, children or a life that offers fulfilling other innate potential. When a Monk decides to move on, but decides they wish to continue living a spiritual life, and one of service to the community – they can become Ajarns.
A Monk Sak Yant Master resides at the Temple and engages in other Temple duties like every other Monk. The Sak Yant Ajarn is able to rejoin the community as a Shaman, providing counseling, magical services and blessings to the Thai people. Having to follow less restrictive rules than Monk’s, a Sak Yant Ajarn can learn disciplines outside of the temple lineage, touch females, drive cars and a variety of normal tasks.