This Sak Yant design is called the Tong Maharat which means Great Flag. Long before the custom of tattooing Yants onto skin they were inscribed onto cloth or metal. The Tong Maharat was a very popular choice as the mantras on it bestow on the owners the qualities of mercy, kindness and compassion together with the added benefit of increased popularity and good luck in love. These qualities are known collectively in Thai as ‘Maetta maha Niyom’. The Tong Maharat Yant is a favourite Yant design for people involved in selling. Sales people believe the Tong Maharat will help them to sell more and never be left with unsold goods. Whilst today, Yant designs, including the Tong Maharat, are most often tattooed, the Tong Maharat is still frequently written onto cloth.
At the cremation ceremony for a Thai Buddhist Monk, the deceased Monk’s saffron robe is suspended above 4 long wooden poles and attached by white cord known as Sai Sin, acting as a roof above the funeral pyre. Traditionally, Thai people attending the ceremony will scramble to get a piece of this cloth when the Sai Sin burns and releases it. It is considered to bring great luck to any person who manages to get a piece of this cloth. Those people fortunate to obtain a piece of the cloth will often have a Buddhist Monk inscribe a Yant on it and the Yant design traditionally chosen for this purpose is the Tong Maharat which is believed will enhance the powers of the cloth.
See Sak Yant Buddhist Tattoo Designs
We would like to thank Phra Ajarn Dton Tanawiiro of San Patong, Chiang Mai for allowing us to photograph his work.
If you are in Chiang Mai and would like to receive assistance in getting a Sak Yant from Phra Ajarn Dton Tanawiiro please see Sak Yant – Chiang Mai – Buddhist Tattoo