Devotees flock to Buddhist temple for hand anointment ceremony

Abbot Luang Phor Sanga performs the hands anointing ritual at the Wat Khao Mai Dang Temple in Bang Phra sub-district in Sriracha.

About 200 believers in supernatural powers lined up a Sriracha temple to have their hands anointed to bring good fortune and protect them from evil spirits.

Vendors at flea markets and online stores waited July 26 at Wat Khao Mai Dang Temple in Bang Phra sub-district to see Abbot Wisitthammasophon or, as he is better known, Luang Phor Sanga, who was a disciple of Luang Phor Yongyut, the former abbot who was claimed to have learned magical powers from an Luang Phor Jong Puttasaro of Wat Nong Tak Nok Temple in Ayutthaya.

By having the monk anoint their hands, the vendors believed they would be protected from ghosts, black magic and misfortune.

After the anointments, each person was given rice to take home to put into their rice containers to bring eternal fortune or they can scatter the rice around the house to ward off evil.

Each of the flower and rice trays used in the ceremony cost 39 baht and some believers in the rituals made additional cash donations to the temple.

Devotes could choose various forms of blessings. 1 anointment: to be loved by all humans. 9 anointments: to be loved by angels. 16 anointments: to be loved by all Brahmas. 108 anointments: to be blessed by all deities and angels in the heavens and protection from evil spirits and vicious animals. The blessings and protection received are passed on to future generations.

A devotee shows his hands which have been anointed with gold leaf and sacred markings, an amulet and a small bag of rice.