kalawat (lay masters)

Kalawats & Lersi

In the Buddhist tradition, there are many wicha practitioners who have not ordained as monks. Monks have to obey 227 precepts, which make it rather prohibitive for them to perform certain wicca spells. There are 2 types of Lay Masters in Thailand, namely the Rishis (also known as “Lersi” in Thai) and the White Robed Masters (also known as “Kalawat” in Thai, and addressed as “Ajarn”, meaning “Teacher”). Although Lay Masters have myriad rules and precepts to adhere to according to their school or sect, this is still far less than the 227 that monks have to follow.


Tribalistic traditions have ensured that much of the knowledge remains secretive. Because wicha revolves around animalistic beliefs, the spells in some cases have taken the form of curses that are deadly destructive in nature. Without ample knowledge of their effects, consequences, and counte, it is nigh impossible for certain hexes to be undone. Such knowledge has evolved over centuries, leading to a vast variation in the nature of wicha spells, which can include everything from love spells, to protect against evil and physical harm, and even control of the weather and elements.


Certain rituals that are performed by Lay Masters are deemed too prohibitive for monks. For example, a method found in the wicha textbooks describes a way to collect ingredients for a love oil and ointment. Grass that grows inside the lavatory (in the older days, lavatories were built out in the open and shared by the community), as well as the wood stood upon by ladies as they relieved themselves within, are collected as ingredients. However the ingredients can only be collected after 7 days. The practitioner will have to secretly peep at the lady, reciting spells as she relieves herself, for 7 consecutive days. For obvious reasons, this is not the sort of activity Buddhist monks are able to participate in.


In another example, a lady sought help with her love life from a lay master. Throughout her life, she had been unable to keep a relationship with any man, as all the multiple marriages she had all ended in divorce. The master, through his supernatural abilities, was able to ascertain that the problem lay with a mole located on her labia. To her astonishment, she discovered that she indeed had a mole there. An elaborate ritual was performed. The Master did some chants as he circled a lit candle around the rim of a water bowl, letting the wax drip into the water. He then extinguished the candle in the water. Dipping the unburnt base of the same candle into the consecrated water, he used it to remove the mole on the lady’s labia, as he recited spells. Miraculously the mole was removed. She subsequently enjoyed a happy, fruitful marriage.


Over the centuries, wicha has been preserved and passed down, through the traditions of a pantheon of schools and lineages. Some of the darkest knowledge, though frowned upon, has also been passed on, to maintain the balance between good and evil. This category will bear witness to the feats of these Kalawat, gatekeepers of this knowledge through the centuries.

read more about lay disciples


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