Practitioners of Sak Yan, not only monks

reusi bhalacandra

Few people believe that Thais have the lock on Sak Yans, others that monks have the prerogative of this practice. The facts are actually quite different.

First of all we have to distinguish between the place where a tradition was born from the tradition itself. If we look at the current situation in Thailand, for example, we can see an increase of interest towards esoteric sciences that in many cases goes along with a decrease of the traditional Buddhist practice. Many people, indeed, approach the Reusi tradition, the lay practice and the monk practie in order to study these sciences and to get access to the wide Thai magic market which includes the application of Sak Yan and the manufacturing of amulets and rituals of any kind.

Amulet market in Chiang Mai

The market demand comes from Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean which have large amounts of money and from many Thais which rely on esoteric sciences to escape from dukkhā (unsatisfactory human condition ) instead of nurtuting the Dhamma
Unfortunately behind this interest is hidden the danger of ignoring the personal practice in favour of high remunaration. By saying that we don’t want to condemn money, which after all are necessary to our sustenance, but the attachment to it and the intention to gain fame and fortune.
We would like to remind you that a good practitioner should be lead by the Eightfold Path (right understanding, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration) regardless of the Eightworldy concerns (happiness-suffering, fame-insignificance, praise-blame, gain-loss). Moreover, we should keep in mind that the practice is fundamental to empower our magical actions. It’s important to follow Buddha’s Teachings if we want to help others throught our magical conduct and not only enrich our ego and our pockets. Even though there are many monks tattooing Sak Yans, it’s not correct to say that this practice is a prerogative of these figures. On the contrary, several times Buddha invited his monks to stay away from magical sciences since they were considered a distraction from their practice (see Kevatta Sutta, Samaññaphala Suttaecc).
Nowadays, the application of Sak Yan and the creation of amulets is an important part of many Thai temples and many Thai monks’s daily life. These activities often contribute to create a link between the lay population and the Dhamma, representing also a source of livelihood for the Sangha.

Monks at Wat Bang Phra temple

Samnaks (places where lay Ajahn and Reusis practice and offer their services) and temples still play a social key role in rural areas of Thailand. Here the practice of Sak Yan represents an occasion to bring people together and involve individuals, that could represent a potencial danger for society, to approach Buddha’s Teachings. In particular, a good lay Teacher is able to provide a practical transmission of the Dhamma. In fact, unlike monks, he must face daily common situations and problems with food, money, family affairs etc.

In the wide net of information circulating on the internet it’s often difficult to discern between the reliable ones and the incorrect ones. Getting in touch with a person who has a direct connection with these traditions should be the best approach to get the right understanding of specific topics. 
For us in the West, linguistic, geographical and cultural barriers represents a limiting factor which precludes the access to some information. Obviously these complications lead many people to rely only on the information found on blogs and websites. It is often this superficial way to connect with the unknown that compromises the understanding of tradition.

Written by Reusi Bhālacandra

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Justin Hamilton
    March 20, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

    Your organization’s wordpress site is very sleek – hope you don’t mind me
    asking what theme you’re using? (and don’t mind if I steal it?

    I just launched my small businesses site –also built in wordpress like yours– but the theme slows (!) the
    site down quite a bit.

    In case you have a minute, you can find it by searching for “royal cbd” on Google (would appreciate any feedback) – it’s
    still in the works.

    Keep up the good work– and hope you all take care of yourself
    during the coronavirus scare!


  • Reply
    May 17, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

    • Reply
      May 17, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Hello, thanks for your message. We are not used to publish articles frequently. We try to focus more on quality of the information rather than quantity. If you want I may add you to our mailing list so you can receive future updates.

  • Reply
    nike air max 90
    July 16, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Hello! I simply want to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice information you may have right here on this post. I shall be coming back to your blog for extra soon.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    very good put up, i actually love this website, keep on it

  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Asking questions are genuinely pleasant thing if you are
    not understanding anything completely, however this article offers nice understanding even.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will
    you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours these days, yet I
    by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is pretty value sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the web might be much more useful than ever before.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Simply wanna remark that you have a very nice website , I the style and design it actually stands out. Tina Zechariah Matheny

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Excellent article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing. Ronna Cozmo Sidran

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Excellent article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing. Kizzie Pincas Enalda

  • Reply
    December 21, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    There is clearly a bundle to know about this. I think you made various good points in features also. Alissa Burke Inna

  • Reply
    December 23, 2020 at 4:20 am

    Utterly indited content material , thanks for selective information . Kacey Trev Abbye

  • Reply
    Andera Newville
    March 19, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    complete article, i love it

Leave a Reply