Why Wai Khru in Thai Massage?

The wai khru is a Thai ritual by which we purify our intentions before rendering each session and practise gratitude for our teachers. The “Wai” in Thailand is commonly known as the gesture of bringing your two hands together in prayer positions, slightly bowing your head/body towards the receiver. Furthermore, “Wai” means “Respect” and the word “Khru” originates from the Indian word “Guru.” It comes down to Wai Khru having the meaning of “paying respect to the teachers.”

หมอชีวก นับถือศาสนาอะไร - Pantip
Great Teacher of Thai massage

In Thailand, Thai masseurs have a tradition to take a moment of silence and reflection just before giving a massage session. It’s also an appeal for help to the lineage and Buddhist Sangha to be able to properly heal or support the client at hand.

The mantra itself comes from the Pali language, which is a dialect of Sanskrit. It goes a little something like this:

Om Namo Shivago Silasa Ahang
Karuniko Sapasatanang Osata Tipa Mantang
Papaso Suriya Jantang Gomalapato Paka Sesi
Wantami Bantito Sumetaso
Aroha Sumana Homi

Piyo Tewa Manussanang Piyo Proma Namutamo
Piyo Nakha Supananang
Pininsiang Nama Mihang Namo Puttaya
Navon Navien Nasatit Nasatien
Ehi Mama Navien Nawe
Napai Tangvien Navien Mahaku
Ehi Mama Piyong Mama Namo Puttaya
Na-a Na-wa Roh-kha Payati Vinasanti

The translation in English is

We pray to you, Shivago, you who led a saintly life.
We pray that you bring us knowledge, and that you allow our prayers to bring us the true medicine of the universe.
We pray that you will bring us health and all good things.
The god of healing lives in the heavens, and we live in the world below.
We pray to you so that heaven may be reflected in the world below, and that healing medicine may encircle the world.
We pray for the one we touch, that he will be happy and that all illness will be released from him.

Why Wai Khru in Thai Massage? - Samadhi Thai Massage
(Photo credit: https://samadhithaimassage.com)