Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hindu Deities In Thai Magic

Traditionally a Kong Tau or Thai Arjan worships many deities and spirits. The main character is of course the 8 major land 108 minor hermits (lersi), followed by Phi (ghosts) as in Phi Phop and other natural spirits. Let us set aside other spirits such as goddess of fortune, snake goddess, earth goddess, Kumanthong, Phra Ngan and many more other major and minor deities specific to each school. I even see some arjans worships Guan Yin and Taoist deities in his altar now days. Such act was not permitted just a few years back though.


Having said so, now days many arjans behave as if they are also spirit mediums and these mediums may or may not understand how to cast spells. It doesn’t matter to the general folks as they shall not be able to differentiate anyway; so what is the difference right?


It is not a surprise to say that although many Kong Tau (Thai Magic) masters admit that they are Buddhist, as a matter of fact, they practices are about 80% influenced by Hinduism and local animism; the Buddha is really the odd man out. Of course Buddhaguna, Buddha Jaya Mangala Khata and other auspicious prayers are being recited in the morning and at night.


So what are the popular Hindu deities that are worshipped by these arjans? Let us explore the arch types only:




·         Hanuman is claimed to be the grandmaster of Kong Tau. As in Indian Shabar mantra, he is worshipped for his power in bestowing protection against black magic.




·         Brahman is the god of creation. Legend has it that Brahman has 4 faces, 8 eyes, ears and arms. So he shall grant anyone who has prayed to Brahman wholeheartedly. It is said the best time for worshipping Brahman is between 7pm to 9pm.


Black Kali


·         It is said that goddess Kali controls over all lustful and materialistic sentient beings in this universe. When goddess Kali has possessed an arjan, he/she too shall make the facial expression by sticking out his/her tongues with wide open eyes.

·         Goddess Kali is worshipped for bestowing protection, exorcising evil spirits and for bestowing blessings. Certain sorcerers also invoke Kali to curse his/her opponents. Hence Goddess Kali is very much feared off amongst Kong Tau community. Not may arjans can control the energy of Kali.




·         Legend has it that Ganesha is the son of Kali. Story has it that Shiva, who is the husband of Kali went out for a long trip and Kali felt bored. So she used her power to ‘create’ a kid to accompany her. One day, Kali went out and she asked the kid to watch over the house property.


As soon as Kali went out, Shiva returned home and found a kid in his house; both of them thought their opponent is the intruder. A fight broke out due to misunderstanding. Having said so, the kid is no match to powerful Shiva and his head was smashed into pieces by Shiva.


At this time, Kali returned home and she was saddened by what she saw. Shiva felt sorry seeing Kali was so sad, so he cut down the head of a recently died elephant to replace the smashed head of the kid.


Amazingly, the kid survived and he has become today’s Ganesha. Because the kid was charged to watch over the property of his house, later people also call Ganesha as “the elephant head god of fortune”.


This Ganesha story reminds me of the story of Yama and Yamantaka. I wonder which comes first, and which copies which. Whatever case it may be; it does not matter as stories of our world are copied from one culture to another anyway.




  1. Dear Mr. Liew !

    There is an quite interesting book abou the tantric Forms of Ganesha.
    It is simply called: "The Tantric Forms of Ganesha" by by Gudrum Bühnemann. The Main Source of Information is the "Vidyarnavatantra".

    The Tanteic Forms of Ganesha cover also the "not so nice" facettes of Ganesha.For example Subjuragteion of Enemies, Killing of Enemies,....e.t.c

    But also really cool things like Grain, Gold, Wealth,...e.t.c

    To get an "impression" of the book look here:


    Thank you very much for your precious time !

    Michael B.

    1. Dear Michael,

      Thank you for the info as always :)))