WORK IN PROGRESS !
Correctly explained the exact meaning of sak-yant is not easy for several reasons.
You should understand that the translation is from Sanskrit (Pali), and translated into Thai in the old books.
Sanskrit - Thai Script - To English.
You can have variations on the translations or the names of the sak-yant that change, or assumptions about the meaning and meanings of each design.
Each sak-yant is unique in its composition, each Buddhist khata or prayer is linked to the monks who compose it or to the ancient manuscripts that have been transmitted from generation to generation for several centuries.
You can find different versions of Sanskrit in countries like India, Burma, Laos or also Cambodia for a Khmer version.
There is a debate in Asia around who belongs the sak-yant and the sacred writing, for us it belongs to no one and to all at the same time, beyond its history this and a sterile debate, Buddha never gave for a only one person.
Sanskrit Pali is learned over a long period of time, both in a school specializing in ancient languages or with Ajarn masters (master) in the temples.
Not everyone can read Sanskrit, beyond the complexity of the prayer sentences, they cannot be correctly translated into the basic language in English.
Hence the importance of doing your sak-yant with traditional "Ajarn" (master) monks, who have studied for many years, who will also explain the meaning of your sak-yant to you. (when he speaks your language).
In tattoo shops around the world, sak-yant are made for their symbolism or for their beauty of composition and especially for the strong demand of customers.
How many tattoo artists can actually say the correct meaning?
Too few tattoo artists are able to tell the true meaning of each design to their clients.
Or to just do the designs in the right way, we often see on the internet like Pinterest or google image etc ... sak-yants that have been tattooed in the wrong way (reverse - inverted), which is quite a shame for the person who wears it for life, or sak-yant totally false or with intentional errors or also patterns made for decoration, or as we make versions to customize by us.
We have done different description and meaning pages on some of the most popular sak-yant and the ones we know a little about. (even if after several years, we still have not finished our research entirely).
This in an aim to help people who are looking for information, and to best explain what we have learned, for passionate people and to make an exchange.
The thing that you have seen on the internet or in books is that you have a lot of things, but separate, they are not grouped together with totally different versions on the meanings.
We have no plans to do all the patterns with all the meanings let alone a book!
We will make a maximum list of 108 designs this symbolic number in the sak-yant.
Thank you for your many emails or questions about the meaning or wanting to translate the Sanskrit Katha.
But do not think that we can translate everything in its exact sense and you give all the answers on all the sak-yant or every name, much too complex and long to explain, and especially the encyclopedia of sak-yant is almost endless.
This is draft work, we have been passionate about sak-yant since 2007, after visiting Wat Bang Phra temple and receiving the blessing of our Ajarn (master), we became a student like many other the (Luksit).
We wanted to push our research in this area to try to understand the meaning of certain sak-yant and its history which surrounds the sacred prayers and these virtues of protections.
At Bangkok Tattoo Studio 13 Thailand, we encourage people or our clients to go do their sak-yant in temples or directly with recognized Ajarns.
The experience which is unique with the meeting with your master.
Only the Ajarn master monks who have studied, can activate your sak-yant and bless and give you the protections properly, if you believe in magic and powers.
Some people say, machine tattooing or traditional needle tattooing doesn't have the same protective value?
Everyone thinks what they want, the Ajarns don't use a tattoo machine (well we haven't seen them yet).
We do sak-yant, but not to all customers who request it.
For example, people who are afraid to go to temples for reasons of hygiene or who are afraid of traditional needles for pain or who do not have time to wait, or who want to choose their location and designs etc ...
Our work already offers us what we want in the art profession with other types of design.
Sak Yant is not our priority for getting tattoos, our approach as mentioned above is to help and build something around the history of sak-yant.