Religious people against tattoos will definitely drop their jaws when they see this. The difference?
These monks are more of spiritual, they accept what the Universe has laid before them, they are passionate and they are kind to you whether you're tattooed or not. Now ain't that awesome or what? Scroll along and meet Thailand's Badass Tattooed Monks. They're the kind of people you wanna be chillin' with.
(Image credits: Getty Images & REUTERS)
These reputable men believe that tattooing is a deeply-rooted (and an almost forgotten) spiritual practice. Our ancient ancestors did it, and it's part of human life, of human faith and natural for us to express ourselves, our beliefs, and our urge to overcome pain.
These sacred tattoos are called "Sak Yant": which are exclusively executed by the Monks for it to be authentic. These tattoos are infused with prayers and enchantments to protect, accompany and guide its wearer for life.
Every year, hundreds to thousands of devotees attend Thailand's biggest Tattoo festival at the Wat Bang Phra temple, west of Bangkok. Some tattooed devotees enter a state of trance (as seen in the image above) to communicate with the gods & receive spiritual healing and power. (Photo credit: Christophe Archambault)
During the festival, the monks deliver these tattoos which are infused with magical, healing & protective powers.
Tattoos are created using a "Mai Sak", a long bamboo stick sharpened to a point. Ink is made of various ingredients such as snake venom, herbs or cigarette ash!
Did you know? Angelina Jolie owns a Sak Yant tattoo of a bengal tiger which she got for her & her family's protection. Tattooed by Noo Sompong Kahnpai.
Can you handle the pain?
This is what it looks like up close. No two tattoos are the same, as they were created with different intentions, prayers and enchantments.
Once the tattoo is completed, the monk tattooer blesses and blows onto ink to infuse it with powers. Besides the tattoo aftercare that we know like making sure it's clean and free from irritants, the tattooed area to also to abstain from alcohol, stealing, lying or drugs. If you can comply, then this tattoo will work for you.
A tattooed Buddhist monk waits for a train in the troubled Yala province in southern Thailand February 28, 2011. Separatists are blamed for most of the attacks on Thailand's predominantly Muslim deep south, which often target Buddhists and Muslims associated with the Thai state, such as police, soldiers, government officials and teachers. No credible group has claimed responsibility for near daily drive-by shootings and bombings, which continue unabated, despite a massive counterinsurgency effort. Yala and Pattani are two of three Muslim-dominated provinces bordering Malaysia where more than 4,300 people, both Muslims and Buddhists, have been killed in a low-level insurgency since 2004. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND)
Beautiful photo of a Buddhist Monk waiting for a train in Yala Province (south of Thailand). (Photo credit: Damir Sagolj)
Don't be too quick to judge... Not all tattooed people are criminals!