I wrote a post on Is Tattoo Just A Body Art or A Cultural Sacred Design and this has been my most popular post as many people are interested in tattoo. There are 2 main reasons as to why people decide to get tattoo, as for some, they only see tattoo as a body art, the canvas is on the human body, a very fascinating concept to me. I don’t have a tattoo, but I do see the beauty in tattoos and this type of tattoo is more popular amongst women and very popular in Japan from what I have came across.
Tattoo Cultural Design
Ajarn Noo does 2 types of tattoos, and both are cultural sacred designs. The first is at the very beginning of the video where the designs of the tattoo is invisible, but the main purpose is to gain wisdom, possess power of kindness as he uses a special ointment of varnt (special roots from plants), the process of Sak Yant is exactly the same as using black ink, in this case a very sacred design.
Another is the sacred design that deemed to possess magic power of protection; he puts Monh (magic) of prayers inside the design, which I believed was written in Pali, Sanskrit. Thai Temple tattoo of Sak Yant (photo on right hand side,) which is geometrically designs that deemed to possess magic powers of protection is very popular amongst Asian warriors, such as the Thais, Laotians, and Khmers in the old days and still very popular today.
There are other designs such as the lion (Singhto), which is a symbol of bravery and cunning. Thai men would choose a tiger design, not just a picture of a tiger but tattoo their body to look like tiger, many have had designs that covered every square inches of their body. The reason for the tiger design is that Thai people, especially the Lanna, believed that their ancestors were once tiger, therefore to show respect and in remembrance of their ancestors, they’d choose the tiger design. Another popular one is the hanuman, which is the Hindu monkey god, which is to protect against illness, against being shot, against being cut, and to give courage.
A photo below, a young monk has a tattoo of prayers added to his back at Wat Bang Pra, Thailand.