More annotated Thai vocabulary for those interested in supernatural Buddhism, Vedic supernaturalism, the magical arts, and spirituality.
The following entries are classed in Thai alphabetical order. Let us then start without further ado, with the
Kumpantapret: A pret demon with huge testes.
Pret (from Sanskrit preta) are a kind of supernatural beings or demons living in a world of their own not much different from a hell pit (see Abaipum), although they can interfere with human lives in this world in certain circumstances. There exist several typologies of these demons, one of which features the here kumpantapret or ‘elephantiac preta,’ so to speak.
Kaotok-dokmai: A religious offering of popped rice and flowers.
Kiao-keo: ‘glass teeth’ 1/ the teeth of Lord Buddha are known as Pra-kiao-keo; 2/ the fangs in monkey god Hanuman’s mouth; 2/ the fangs of any venomous snake.
Kontan: the Gandharvas (Sanskrit), a class of inhabitants of the heavenly abodes, counted as minor gods. They form the retinue of Deva Tatarot, one of the four Tjatulokban or Kings of the first Heaven, and are skillful musicians and singers. The spouses of the gandharvas are the apsaras.
Trai-tjiwon: the garments that the Vinaya, i.e. that part of the Buddhist Pali Canon that deals with monkhood and its regulations, allows the monks to wear as a rule, namely the antarawasok, covering the lower parts of the body from the waist down (translated as sarong, a Malay word; in Thai: sabong), the utarasang, or the robe itself, and the sangkati, a shawl for the shoulders and chest.
Nang-mai: a female spirit that dwells in big trees, such as the thingan or iron wood tree. The nang-mai is a rukkatewada (see that word). The prai-tani (here) is a kind of nang-mai.
Beuk-mai: to perform a ceremony to forest spirits (pipa) or rukkatewada (see that word) before falling a big tree in the forest.
Baipattasima, Baisima or Baisema: a stela with a top in the shape of a lotus petal and that marks the limits of a Buddhist temple ground.
Prok: (from ‘to cover’) 1/ the name of the sitting, praying monks during a ceremony of consecrating Buddha images or sacred objects is kana-prok (‘the covering team’) (see Puttapisek); 2/ a small arch under which a monk remains confined when he is atoning for the sangkatiset violation of the Vinaya (see Pariwat).
For another use of the word prok, namely nak-prok, see Thai Mysteries 2 here.
Pra-tiat: a piece of cloth inscribed with yantras (mystic symbols and diagrams) believed to ward off danger and harm. It is fastened around the neck, the upper arm etc.
Pariwat: a penance for the monks guilty of the fault called sangkatiset (most heinous after parachik, which is sanctioned by excommunication) and consisting in confinement (see Prok).
The rules followed by Theravada Buddhist monks are laid down in the Vinaya, which is the second ‘basket’ or treatise of the Pali Canon, a.k.a. ‘The Three Baskets,’ Traipidok in Thai.
Prom-thai: ‘Thai Brahma’ 1/ a piece of land granted to brahmans by the king and exempted from taxation; 2/ a most precious gift; 3/ a parental gift.
Praputtasihing: the name of a Buddha image, which meaning is a Buddha image in the dignified style of a singha-lion (rachasi).
Prayatekrua: a man who is married with both mother and daughter or with two sisters.
Puttapisek: name of a ceremony during which incantations are chanted over a Buddha image or sacred object by a group of sitting monks, known in that circumstance as kanaprok, who pay homage and concentrate in order to bestow the virtues of the Triple Gem (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha) upon that image or object and endow it with magical properties.
Pakawam: a class of amulet with a frowning face and the nine openings of the body, namely the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, the mouth, the anus, and the urethra, closed off. It is alleged to dispel any danger or harm completely.
Mekkapat: name of a black shiny metal alloy that emits green glittering reflections like the wings of a bupestris beetle (picture). It is made by cooking lead and copper together, and adding sulphur (this is the short recipe). Amulets made with this metal are known as pra-mekkapat.
Rukkatewada: a spirit that dwells in the trees.
These spirits are supposed to be gandharvas (see that word). The inhabitants of the first Heaven, the closest to our world, are able to travel to and fro between the two places.
Ruppaprom: (from Sanskrit rupa-Brahma) a subclass of Brahma gods (Brahmas –plural– are a class of gods) with apparent body and shape, who dwell in sixteen Heavens in the Brahmaloka (abode of the Brahma gods).
Luknimit: stone balls approximately the size of alms-bowls embedded in the ground to mark the limits of a Buddhist sanctuary.
Lek-yan: (from Sanskrit lekka-yantra) a figure that appears on a yantra (magic diagram).
Okkaidao: ‘fried-eggs breast,’ a woman’s breast that is flat. (Pfff…)
Akanit: the highest of the ruppaprom gods (see that word) that dwell in sixteen Heavens in the Brahmaloka.
Anakami: ‘one who does not attend the worlds of sensuality anymore,’ the third stage among the four ‘Arya stages’ (see Ariya) or stages of enlightenment, that is 1/sodaban ‘the first to attain the Dharma Flow or Nirvana’ 2/sakatakami ‘one who attends one world of sensuality’ (these places or worlds of sensuality (kampop) are a religious term that designates a/the abaipum (see that word), b/the human world, but also c/the six heavens that I have enumerated here – which, by the way, does not mean that places of sensuality in the non-religious sense, across the street, are attended by the sakatakami) 3/anakami, and 4/arahant.
Anusai: the seven defects ingrained in human nature, namely 1/gammaraka (lust for sex) 2/patika (the state of irritability, moodiness) 3/titti (false views) 4/witjigicha (hesitation, doubt) 5/mana (arrogance) 6/pawaraka (lust for the world and worldy pursuits) 7/awicha (imperfect knowledge or ignorance).
Abaipum: the derelict worlds, that is, the eight hell pits, the world of pret, the world of asuras, and the world of beasts.
Ariya: (Sanskrit: Aryan) in Buddhism, those who achieve the glorious Dharma –enlightenment, merit, cessation of suffering, etc.
Aruppaprom: (Sanskrit arupa-Brahma) a class of gods in the Brahmaloka according to the Buddhist doctrine. They have no body or appearance. There exist four subclasses of them.
Unlike the rupaprom (see this word), the arupaprom are a distinct Buddhist feature. They are former ascetics with certain meditative powers (see the two following entries: Arupapop, Arupapatjon).
Arupapop or Arupapum: the world of those who have got the four arupa-jhanas (or arupa-dhyanas) or formless states of no-mind.
Arupapatjon: a formless Brahma god who ‘encloses’ the four formless jhanas or states of no-mind.
Awetji: the deepest of the eight hell pits, where the greatest sinners receive their punishment.
Attaban: ‘the eight juices,’ a fruit juice that a monk is allowed to drink in the afternoon (as an exception to the ban on intussusception in the afternoon for monks), namely mango juice, rose apple or java plum (jambolan) juice, the juice of bananas with seeds, the juice of bananas without seeds, madhuca (Madhuca pierrei) juice, the juice of the fruit of Aglaia silvestris or grape juice, the juice of lotus rhizomes, Marian plum (Bouea burmanica) or litschi juice.
The eight juices are taken from the Vinaya and their names are therefore known in Pali. In the process of translation, some uncertainties have arisen, it seems, as a few of the eight juices can be the juice of either this or that fruit (for instance, Marian plum or litschi, which to my knowledge are not the same). Some people lay down the principle that all fruit juices are allowed in the afternoon, a view that the very word attaban, however, contradicts.
Atsatamongkon: ‘the auspicious eight’, namely the krop-na (a forehead’s ornament in the shape of kratiang, a Thai design used in carving, consisting of leaves outstretching in two arms), the scepter, the conch shell, the chakra disk or wheel, the three-edged flag tongsamchai, the mahoot’s hook, the albino cow (from Shiva’s cow Nandi), and the cauldron.
Atsadayut or Atsadawut: ‘the eight weapons,’ namely the diamond spear, the elephant sword (a large sword used to strike from an elephant’s back), the trident, the chakra (a serrated throwing disk), the sword and shield, the bow, the war scythe, and a match-lock gun of old times. They are respectfully presented to the new king during the ceremony of his coronation.
Itti-patihan: superpowers beyond the limits of common human nature, such as the power to disappear and be invisible, the power to fly, etc. They are one of the three patihan or miracles, together with atetsana-patihan, wich is to be able to read people’s minds, and anusatsana-patihan, the doctrine (that can persuade people to trust and admire).
Unalom: 1/ hair between the eyebrows; 2/ an auspicious symbol that looks like number 9 in Thai and is written on yantras (magic diagrams) to ward off danger or anointed on the forehead of novices in the tam-kwan-nak ceremony (during which the novices are reminded to be thankful to their parents).
Annotated definitions of Thai words related to, among other things, the esoteric currents of Theravada Buddhism.
กรวิก: นกการเวก; ชื่อภูเขาทิวที่ ๓ ในหมู่เขาสัตบริภัณฑ์ที่ล้อมรอบเขาพระสุเมรุ.
Garawik: 1/ the bird-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae); 2/ name of the third range of mountains in the group of seven that surround mount Sumeru (Meru). See Boripan.
Gramuat: the top nerve on an elephant’s head, an important organ included among the five criteria that are used to spot a royal viz. albino elephant and that deal with some birth defect of the elephant’s hair [depigmentation] on the following parts: ear’s hair, tail, back spine, head nerve gramuat, and flanks.
The finding of albino elephants in the forest is deemed, after a story from the Buddha’s life, auspicious and the Thai royalty cares for them, hence their status as ‘royal elephants.’ The Thai name used in the above definition, chang peuak, litteraly means ‘taro elephant,’ from the name of an edible plant (Colocosia esculenta) used in Thai cuisine, which corn flesh is of a bright white color.
Kaliyukka-sakarat: ‘Kali Yuga,’ the era of 2,558 years preceding the Buddhist era (which begins with the Lord Buddha’s attaining Nirvana).
Gasak: a magic bird which is invisible when flying. It is believed that if one gets hold of its feathers one acquires the power of invisibility for himself.
Gajasih: the ‘singha elephant,’ a legendary animal that has the body of a singha-lion and an elephant trunk.
Tjulamani: 1/ an ornamental hairpin stuck in the bun of high-ranking people; 2/ the name of Lord Buddha’s chignon, also called Tjutamani; 3/ the pagoda built by Indra in the second Heaven (Daowadeung or Indra’s Heaven) to keep Lord Buddha’s chignon.
Chagamapatjon or Chagamawatjon: the collective name of the six Heavens Tjatumaharat, Daowadeung, Yama, Dusit, Nimmanoradi, and Paranimmittawat-Sawatdi.
Each heavenly abode has its own godly dwellers: the four Great Kings, guardians of the four cardinal directions, and their courts in Tjatumaharat, Indra and his court in Daowadeung, the Deva Suyama in Yama, who fly in the air in vimanas, the Deva Sandusit (and Maitreya the next Buddha) in Dusit, etc. Paranimmittawat-Sawatdi is the most refined state in which one can be born in Samsara.
Chompunot or Chompunut: pure gold; in the ancient cosmology book Traiphum it is said to grow under the Java plum tree (tonwa, Syzygium cumini).
Talapat or Talipat: a long, shafted fan made of sugar-palm leaf, cloth, or silk, used by monks in various ceremonies. Formerly it was made of a single palm leaf (hence its name: tal is palm).
Tipitakadara: ‘In Myanmar nowadays we can find living examples in several monks on whom the title Tipitakadhara ‘bearer of the Pali Canon,’ has been conferred, who are word-perfect in reciting the entire Pali Canon, which, according to the printed version in Thai script, is well over 22,000 pages in length.’ (Dhamma Bilingualized, Bikkhu P. A. Payutto)
Taksa: (Astrology and Horoscopes) collective name of the eight planets or special celestial bodies, that is, the Sun (whose permanent direction is northeast and which is substituted by number 1), the Moon (east, number 2), Mars (southeast, number 3), Mercury (south, number 4), Saturn (southwest, number 7), Jupiter (west, number 5), Rahu (northwest, number 8), and Venus (north, number 6). The taksa can be written down as world divisions as follows (see diagram above).
Those familiar with Hindu astrology have recognized the Navagraha (‘nine abodes’) of which one, Ketu, is missing. Ketu is supposed to be an immaterial body and makes the pair with the other immaterial planet Rahu (here number 8).
Nopsun: (from Sanskrit naba shula, ‘sky spear’) an ornament of pagoda tops, made of metal and in the shape of a spear, with branches in the shape of swords pointing in the four directions.
Nakbat: ‘naga noose’, name of one missile weapon of Indrajit (in the Ramayana/Ramakien) that coils as a snake. In the legends, hunters use this weapon to hunt kinaris (see what the latter are here).
There exists in Theravada Buddhism a tradition of interpreting the esoteric meaning of the Ramakien. In contemporary Thailand, they also make amulets with the name nakbat, ringed-shaped naga(s).
Nakprok: name of a posture of Buddha images in which Lord Buddha is sitting cross-legged (samadi or diamond-samadi posture) with hands upon each other face up and resting on his lap, while the stretched hoods of royal nagas adumbrate his head. Two models exist in fact: one in which the circling coils of the nagas serve as a bench and the other in which Lord Buddha sits inside the circle of the naga coils.
Boripan: the collective name of the mountains that surround mount Meru in seven ranges is ‘the seven Boripan mountains.’
The names of each of these mountains from closest to farthest from mount Meru are: Yukonton, Isinton, Karawik, Sutasana, Neminton, Wintaka, and Atsakan. The ranges are separated from each other, and mount Meru from Yukonton, by seas called Sitandon.
Bokkarapat: A rain like that falling on a lotus leaf: who wants to be wet gets wet, who does not want to get wet does not.
Palilai: 1/ name of a forest where Lord Buddha spent the rainy season; 2/ name of an elephant living in that forest; 3/ name of a posture of Buddha images in which Lord Buddha is represented sitting on a rock, his feet resting on a lotus flower, both hands resting on his knees, while a crouching elephant is offering him a water pot with his trunk and a monkey is holding a honeycomb out.
Parichat: a heavenly tree in Indra’s garden, in the second Heaven; (by extension) the coral tree or flame tree (Erythrina).
Prai-krasip: a familiar spirit that whispers (krasip) in its owner or caretaker’s ear to unveil the causes of events.
A prai-krasip can be acquired like the object in the picture below, which is a hoon-payon, also a servant spirit, that I acquired in Thailand. My hoon-payon is made of a fragment of human bone as the doll’s belly, a piece of mortuary shroud covering the bone, the hair of a dead person laid down on the doll’s head, takruts, i.e. cylinder amulets usually inscribed with magic formulas, as the limbs, a turquoise stone, carved and painted, as the skull, and red exorcism oil. It was made by Luang Po Somchat of Wat Huay Bong temple in Lopburi province.
Prai-tani: the ghost of a woman who dwells in wild banana trees.
Pong or Pi-pong: a kind of ghost who is said to like eating raw meat.
Mahalaluai: the magic to make one fall in love.
Me-seu or Me-wi: a god or spirit that is believed to protect newborn babies.
Depending on the day of the week that the baby is born, the baby has a different guardian. The me-seu are therefore seven in numbers. For sunday the spirit is Witjitoramawan, red with a singha head, Monday it is Wannongkran, ivory white with a horse head, Tuesday it is Yaksaborisut (‘Yaksa Pure’), pink with a buffalo head, Wednesday it is Samonlatat, green with an elephant head, Thursday it is Galotuk, light yellow with a deer head, Friday it is Yaknongyao (‘Yaksa Belle’), blue with a cow head, and Saturday it is Ekalai, black with a tiger head. They all wear golden clothes.
Men: a god, for instance in the phrases ‘country of the gods,’ ‘vehicle of the gods’…
Makkalipon: name of a legendary tree in Himmapan forest, which bears fruits in the shape of naked young women dangling from its branches. After seven days, the fruits are ripe, fall down and rot. Also called naripon.
Siraprapa: halo of beams that radiate from the head of a holy person and of a Buddha statue.
Sumeru or Sineru: name of a mountain believed to lie in the Daowadeung Heaven.
Himmapan: name of a legendary forest believed to lie on the Himalaya.
Ho: To fly or move in the air through magic.
Hong-prai: a ghost that a sorcerer conjures to do work for him.
For more definitions, see Thai Mysteries 1 here.
Let me now introduce you to a meditation practice of Theravada monks, namely the meditation on the nature of our body. Such booklets as the one I got in a Bangkok temple during a temple fair a few years ago are destined to assist such form of meditation through their pictures. The book’s title is Considerations on the Body and its cover displays an image of the Emaciated Buddha (Pra Pom: look here). It displays photos on which to meditate, together with thoughts of Buddhist philosophy. I enclose a few of these pictures.