From our previous article, we have talked about the importance of the spirit houses. Read it here: Role of Spirit Houses in Thai Society. Now, we are back with another topic about Guardian Spirits or San Chao Thi because we can not only see Spirit Houses or San Phra Phum in Thais’ houses, but we also notice that San Chao Thi has always been paired with it for a long time.Some people may still be confused about how the two things are different. This article will help you out!
According to the ancestors’ belief, San Chao Thi is for the guardian spirits who preserve the house and area. It is said that these spirits possibly used to be landowners, ancestors, ghosts or even angels stuck in heaven where is somehow a part of our house. We can say that San Chao Thi is the shrine built and set aside for the former guardian spirits who lived here long before we settle down. Moreover, San Chao Thi is set to preserve the house and protect the family.
The most important thing of setting up San Chao Thi is about its location. If we set it up in the wrong position, it may bring bad things to us. We have to concern many conditions for setting up a shrine as follows:
- Must be upright to the entrance of the house
- Do not set up at the corner
- Avoid setting up near the restroom
- Do not set the shrine under the stair or beam
The main observation making San Phra Phum and San Chao Thi distinguishable is: San Phra Phum is taller and has only one column, while San Chao Thi has four to six columns and a lower height. Besides, San Phra Phum must always be set up on the left, but San Chao Thi is always on the right. What if your house doesn’t have any San Chao Thi, how can we pay respect to it? We can absolutely do it right away! Since the old belief, we can pay respect to the guardian spirits at the middle of our house as well. This can be called “Wai Chao Thi Klang Baan” coming from the belief that every house is already owned by the spirits. Moreover, we should do this at least once every three to six months in order to ask for forgiveness to what we have offended. Before the worship, we have to prepare the following equipment:
- 9 fruits for prosperity, such as grapes for enhancing your wealth, bananas for making your life uncomplicated, dragon fruits for running your business smoothly, or pineapples for awareness and vision. All of them are the examples of good fruits which are meaningful and suitable for worshiping.
- 9 sets of betel nuts
- 5 glasses of water
- 9 bunches of marigolds
- 1 pair of candles and 5 incense sticks
How to do Wai Chao Ti Klang Baan
- Sit or stand facing inside, while your back turns against the front door. Then lay all offerings on cheesecloth.
- Light candles and incense sticks. Then, pray to the guardian spirits by saying a prayer of forgiveness in order that we ask the spirits for living in this house. This is also about asking them to preserve, take care of us, and help us to live here with happiness and luck.
- Last, wait for the candles and the sticks to run out. Then pray again to bring offerings out, and that’s all done. Warning!!! The house owner must not eat any food from the offerings, just give them to others for free.
Even the process of worship is important, we must also focus on the date and time that should be perfect for paying respect. The worship should be done during the daytime, and it is best at noon on Tuesday or Saturday! Wai Chao Thi is considered a long-standing belief. Therefore, follow the correct principle of worship will preserve the way of life and the Thais’ belief, and bring all wealth and luck to us.
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