Biography of Hlwong Por Phern Tidtakuno (Wat Bang Pra)
Ajarn Pra Udom Prachanaat (Hlwong Por Phern Tithakunoe)
Master of Sak yant at Wat Bang Pra temple, Nakorn Chaysri Known in this area as Taepa Jao Haeng Lum Nam Nakorn Chaysrii (Guardian angel of the backwaters of nakorn Chaysrii). Pra Udom Phrachaanaat.
The pictures in the wall mural behind Hlwong Por in the foto above left, are from thelife of Buddha probably. About the cord that Hlwong Por is winding around his hands is a kind of buddha magic.
This ritual in this Foto is probably a ceremony where all the monks chant kata into the objects (and heads, as the cords normally end tied around the heads of the devotees) as a blessing, or, perhaps to do with a funeral. When a person dies, the family will place the corpse in the temple for some days to assist in the journey of the deceased person and to help him/her to be able to leave this body and world, and continue on one’s journey in the spirit world to be re-born.
The monks will place a lotus flowerand Incense sticks in the hands of the deceased.Then they wrap a thin cord, or piece of string around the corpse’s hands in a praying position (mue Panom, in Thai), and close the coffin lid.The Cord (called Saay Siin in Thai), is fed through the gap between the closed coffin lid and the coffin itself.
The “saay siin” is then fed through the hands of the monks present for the ceremony(imy wife says normally seven monks, but we are not sure on this…i think that it may be flexible…the only important factor being that the number of monks chanting should be an uneven number that is considered sacred in Buddhism.Such as 3, 5, 7, and 9, or even 99, or 108. After this, the monks will “Swod Monthr” (Chant Prayers/Mantra).
The idea being that the vibrations emanated from the chanting of the mantra pass along the “saay siin” (cord) to be heard by the consciousness of the deceased.This serves to help the spirit of the deceased to realise he/she is dead, and must continue on to the next Bardo.
Pra Udom Phrachaanaat, Was popularly known as Hlwong Por Phern Tithakunoe, or Hlwong Por Phern for short. Hlwong Por Phern Tithakunoe was Born in Thambon Bang Gaew faa nakorn Phatom on the 12th of Singhaakom (August) Putta Sagkaraach 2466 it was a Sunday at 13:00 hours..This time was in alignment with the first Lunar Quartal.
Shortly after his Birth, his Mother and father decided to move to live in the small Village of Baan Tung Kork (CowshedVille, translated), in The district of Sorng Pi Norng province of SupannBurii. SupannBurii was a territory that Teemed with “Nak Laeng (Gangsters), and Infamous Highwaymen of that era nearly all were from SupannBurii: Famous names of the time; Suea Dam, Suea Bai, and not to forget Suea Mahaesworn.At this time, Hlwong Por Phern was still a Layman, and found it wise to find some magic Charms to protect himself. Living in a dangerous Region and all.In addition to this, Hlwong Por Phern had always been attracted to themes involving Buddha Magic used by Warriors in the Historic Past. Suffice to say he was seriously interested in all things paranormal.
He sought out the Extremely Respected Monk of the time, Hlwong Por Daeng (Pra Kruu Suwannasaatugith).Hlwong Por Daeng was based in the area at Wad Tung Kork, in Supannburii Province.Hlwong Por Phern became a Lay – Disciple of Hlwong Por Daeng, who was in turn a disciple of Hlwong Por Hnoeng (Wad Klong Madan); an Expert in matters of Sorcery.At a later phase Hlwong Por Phern would “Buad Pra” (become ordained as a Monk), at the age of Twenty Six, to be exact.
He would never leave Monkdom again. He was ordained by Pra Aajaarn Huem, who was also his teacher in Buddha Magic and Sorcery for a while. Apart from that, Hlwong Por Phern was a Disciple of “Agkara Khorm” and a student of Yant design and application who came to be highly admired as an expert.His Yant were renowned for their Aesthetic beauty and the power they carried with them.Hlwong Por Phern studied Vipassana Meditation with utmost dedication for many years and through these studies was able to become a disciple of the Great Hlwong Por Oe Paa Sii, one of the Greatest monks of the time, known for his powers of white magic. After this, Hlwong Por Phern went to practise “Dern Tudongk” (walk aimlessly through the Jungle renouncing the comfort of the Wad), through the western border of Central Thailand, in the GanjanaBuri province.
He crossed the border into the realm of Marit (Burma), through the remote areas of Saesawoe and Bang Graenggawia; Known in that time as being thickest darkest Jungle.
There were Jungle fevers, Mortal dangers such as Poisonous snakes, and other animals such as tigers and the like were teeming in this part of the wilderness at that time.According to Thai beliefs, there was also the added dangers of “Naang Mai” (wicked fairies and tree spirits), Phii Phoeng and Phii Phaa (Jungle ghosts) and all sorts of evil spirits.
The inhabitants of this jungly and mountanous region are mostly “Gahriang” (Karen Tribe), and many of them became disciples of H.P. Phern, due to the fact that H.P.Phern ” Mii Dii Hai Haen” (have good can see).Hlwong Por Phern seemed to be loved and respected wherever he travelled, due to the fact that he posessed such a transparent personality that allowed all to see his great Compassion and his power to help the folk with his Buddha Magic.After this, H.P. Phern continued to “Dern Tudongk” through Thak Province, Rachaburi, and PaetchBuri and many other Provinces.
Until one day H.P.Phern was called upon by the local folk to be “Jao Aawaas (Abbot) of Wad Tung Naang Hlorg (Temple of the field with the lady ghost), in Kanchanaburi.This was the first time he was to be Abbot of a Wad, but he was able to successfully develop the temple complex during his stay there of five years.After this, Hlwong Por Phern Tithakunoe returned to “Dern Tudongk” for many years. The Raasii of the Ramakiarn, probably the fathers of Yant tattoo, were the first to practise dern tudongk.This practise involve meditating in the darkest night in ancient graveyards and ruined temples, right in the middle of the thickest darkest jungle.This is suppose to strengthen ones mind and help to enlighten one, due to the extremely fearful nature of the meditation location.
The Year 2509 Puttasagaraach (Buddhist calendar we are now in 2548, which is 2005 our time.)Admirers and Disciples of Hlwong Por Phern formed a comittee to erect a statue of Hlwong Por in honour and respect of all the great acts of compassion he had performed for the folk of Nakorn Phatom province.At this time H.P. Phern was Abott (Jao Aawaas) of wad Koeg Khaemaa in Nakorn Phatom, but after the erection of this statue, was very quickly allocated to be Jao Aaawaas of Wad bang Pra temple.He stayed there to the date of his Passing away in 2004.
Picture above; Hlwong Por Phern Tithakunoe,Abbot of Wad Bang Pra, recieves a ceremonial Monk’s Fan (Pat Yots), from Pra bat SomDaej Pra Jao Yuu Hua Phumipon Adunlayadaet his Royal Highness The king Of Thailand ..This occured upon Invitation of the King in the Royal Palace throne room. Apart from being Nationally famous for the making of various Buddha images which became known and believed to be extremely powerful and sacred,he was also extremely well known for his custom of Sak Yant. Not only renowned in the kingdom of Thailand, but also with visitors from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, even from as far away as America and Europe.
His Holiness has been able to pass on the Teachings of the subject of Sak Yant to the students and disciples of the Wad Bang Pra Lineage.And to all people who are generally interested in studying and gatheringknowledge about Magick; And i believe that there are many of us indeed who would like to know about this phenomenal practise.To think that in this day of abounding technologies and a Society that is exterminating all that is sacred and all that has kept us together as a race of humans and a soul – gathering.
This Craft of Sak Yant must be kept alive, the Thai youth have been in the latter part of the twentieth century, ever less interested in their own Culture. They have been observed to be as ashamed of their own Folklore as some of us Westerners are with ours!
However, since i began this website in 2004, the situation has slowly changed to see a steady increase in the amount of younger devotees returning to Sak Yant. This is due to the fact that Sak Yant has become very fashionable in worldly circles, and is no longer a focus of interest for those merely interested in Buddhist faith and Protective Sorcery. Many people seek Sak Yant for Aesthetics as well as for Blessings, and unfortunately, some people only seek Aesthetics (Body Art) which is detrimental to the preservation of the purity of the Wicha Sak Yant, and directly against the governing reasons for recieving a Sak Yant Tattoos, which entails a lot of rules and practice to maintain the power and ensure that the Magickal Sorcery within the sacred geometry of the Yant does not fall into entropy and turn against its wearer.
So maybe it is time for the art of Sak Yant to expand its horizons a little and reach the distant shores of Europe and the American continent.I believe that the respect we feel towards such an Ancient tattooing Culture should give Birth to a good number of true and dedicated Yant Tattooists. I have collected as much knowledge as I can on this subject, and have managed to recieve approval of the Temple (both from the new Abbot of bang Pra; Hlwong Por Sam Aang, and from my teacher Hlwong Pi Pant), to Tattoo Sacred Yant. Sak Yant goes hand – in – hand with thai People and Culture since many generations. In this present time, I think it is close to impossible to find a Thai who has never heard of Hlwong Por Phern.
Hlwong Por Phern set the following rules for the wearing of Yant tattoos;
- 1. Do not eat Star fruit, Pumpkin, or any other ‘Gourd’ type Vegetable.
- 2. Do not Be anybodys Lover who is already married
- 3. FORBIDDEN in Extreme, to slander anybody’s Mother (this means most women, if you think about it).
- 4. Do not eat food from a Wedding, or Funeral banquet.
- 5. Do not Eat left-Overs.
- 6. Do not Duck under a Washing Line, or an overhanging building.
- 7. Do not Duck under a Banana Tree of the type Thaanii (classed as important to avoid).
- 8. Do not cross a single head bridge; Large or Small bridges are not Forbidden
- 9. Do not sit on a Ceramic Urn (Common in Thailand).Especially a Cracked, or Broken one.
- 10. Do not let a Woman Lie on Top of You, or Sit on Top either.
- 11. Do not permit a Man to be Brushed by the blouse or skirt of a Woman, or crossed in Front of; Especially during the Menstruative Period.