Thai tattooing is famous throughout the world. In Thailand almost every man at least will have one tattoo. Thai tattoo patterns are quite different from the Western tattoo in that Thai tattooing is called “Sak Yant” or “Yantra Tattooing”.
Yantra tattooing is normally performed by Long Po (Thai high monk) using a 3 feet tattoo needle to and fro poking the requester’s body to form intended patterns. Generally, Thai men like to have the Yantra tattoo on their back and shoulders. They believed that the Yantras have specific power to protect them. Hence, Sak Yant is loved by people in risky business: construction workers, military personals, police etc.
Basically there are two types of Sak Yant:
a. For general public
a. For the rich and famous
Incidentally, there are two streams of Sak Yant Arjan:
1. White shirt Arjan
a. For decent people as you and me.
2. Black shirt Arjan
a. For the hired killers, gangsters and the like.
It is said that the black shirt arjan must go into a trance to perform this type of Sak Yant. This type of yant will protect its owner from all harms. Unfortunately I do not dare to try it out so cannot relay you my personal experiences. However, below is a story told to me by my master:
According to the story, Northern Thailand is the place where all the hired killers congregated. Some are even in their teens. It is said that before these youth go into this line, they will normally go to a black shirt arjan to do an invulnerability tattoo.
A hired killer known by the name Ah Se was a professional killer since he was 15 years old. He has made many kills.
Ah Se got a big case when he was 17 years old; the case was to put down a senior policeman. So Ah Se hid near the policeman’s house one night and waited for the best timing to ambush. It seems that the luck was not at Ah Se’s side that night, he was discovered by the policeman and a cross fire resulted. The policeman was gunned down but Ah Se escaped into a forest nearby unharmed.
A few days later, a farmer found Ah Se’s body and after autopsy, the coroner was surprised that there were no wounds on Ah Se’s corpse but there are over 100 pieces of bullet inside Ah Se. There is also a mysterious tattoo on Ah Se’s back.
People also believe that whatever you tattoo on your body, its spirit will follow you around. So just exercise caution before you go and see a tattoo arjan.