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Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Hindu Deities In Thai Magic
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.