An Act of Merit:
Get Featured: Melvin Mapa
Today we have a fascinating project from Singapore. Melvin shares with us his piece about a traditional form of tattooing known as Yantra. Check it out.

The Buddha in Ajahn Heng

I arrived at Fo Guang Hang just in time for Ajahn Heng’s morning prayers. As I waited for him to carry through, smoke from the incense he lit filled the room giving it a sense of calmness and peace. After his prayers, I sat down with him and discuss his deep commitment to the practice of the Sak Yant and his plans of continuing the teachings of his late Thai mentor, Grandmaster Ajahn Tong of Talat Phlu — regarded as the greatest Sak Yant master ever lived.

Sanctity of the Sak Yant

Yantra tattooing or more commonly accepted as Sak Yant is an ancient form of tattooing in the Southeast Asian regions. It has Buddhism and Animism in its core foundation. Devotees believe, if blessed with a Sak Yant, one will achieve enormous luck, protection from harm and danger, and powers to overcome adversaries.

However, to experience its full efficacy, a Sak Yant devotee is required to strictly observe the ethical Precepts in Buddhism. The Five Precepts are the basis of Buddhist morality. A devotee must avoid killing or harming living beings, avoid stealing, avoid sexual misconduct, avoid false speech, and to avoid alcohol and other intoxicating drugs. A devotee is expected to live a disciplined life once blessed with a Sak Yant.

The Compassion of Ajahn Heng

Before he became a Sak Yant Master, Willie Heng, a Singaporean by birth, makes ends meet in the construction industry. Shortly after he yield from his day job, and with a growing interest in the practice of the Sak Yant and its wicha (mantras), he volunteered to assist Grandmaster Ajahn Tong’s practice. He trained under him for 15 years and, eventually, became one of the Grandmaster’s honourable disciples.