respect to the musical teachers may be performed every day at
bedime while praping to the Triple Gems. Yet, with offerings and
the Grand Guru of classical music to call out the names of the
gods and men to be worshipped at the offcial wai khru ceremonies,
only on Thursday that the function can take place as Thursday god,
Phra Pharue hassabodhi, is considered the traditional Teachers day
upon which most ries are held. In any residence with a profssional
Pi Paat ensemble, a performance of the wai khru ceremonies can
mainfest itself annually. The amateur ensemble attached to
institutions such as universities or banks may choose to perform
the ceremonies as deemed appropriate. As for those who start to
learn classical music, the concise wai khru rite can be organized
to observe the rules and regulations and dedicate services to the
deities. The annual wai khru ceremonies are customarily performed
in a grand scale.
custom and rite of paying homage to musical teachers may derive
from the animistic beliefs from time immorial. Influenced by
Brahmanism from India, along with the introduction of musical
order in Mainland Southeast Asia. The so-called ceremonies have
been transmitted through generations.
is without arguments to have said that the wai khru ceremonies
were adopted from India since the names of the deities remain the
same as denoted in the textbook of Brahmanism. However, this must
have followed the ancient textbook of a sect of Brahmanism in
which (Pgra Phrom) (Brahma) has disappeared. For in the
invocations to gods, only Phra Isuan (Isvara) and Phra Narai (Narayana)
together with other detites, are mentioned.
the Thais are mostly Buddhists, the wai khru ceremonies
conventionally begin with the Buddhist rite. In the evening of
Wednesday, monks are invited to chant prayers. The morning of
Thrusday ordinarily starts with an offering of food to monks and
blessings by monks before furthering to the actual wai khru
ceremonies. Nevertheless, this Buddhist rite can be omitted if it
is inconvenient. A place to perform the ceremonies should be large
enough for all the disciples and participants to be seated. A
Buddhist altar with offerings is put on one side and on the other
side is a set of musical instruments placed in an orderly manner.
The tapone (bulging drum) is positioned in a higher place as it
represents Phra Porakhontap (Good of Drums). Khon Masks
representing the gods may also be present.
teachers masks are those of Phra Khru Ruesi (Rishi Bharatamuni,
the prime teacher of dramatic arts) Phra Porakhontap (God fo Drums)
Phra Vissukam (architect and builder, creator of musical
instruments) Phra Panjasikorn (player of the vina) Phra Phirab (Yaksha
dancer). Phra Isuan (Shiva), Phra Narai (Vishnu), Phra Phrom (Brahma)
and Phra Khanes (Ganesha, protector of the liberal arts) could
also be included.
table of offerings dedicated to the gods and spirits who will be
invited to assemble is composed of flowers, incense sitcks candles,
Baisri Pak Charm (a folded banana leaf rice container, often
dedicated with florwers topped with a boiled egg) and a cooked set
of the follwing items : hog heads, duck, chicken, shrimp, fish,
Khanom Tom Khao and Khanom Tom Dang (white and red kinds of
dessert consisting of boiled palm sugar, coconut meat and sticky
rice) and fruit. If Phra Phirab is incorporated in the long list
of paying homage, an uncooked set of the above-mentioned should
also be prepared. These offreings can be in pairs or more as
must also be made to Kan Knmnon, a small bowl putting together
folwers, incense sticks, candles, white cloth or handkerchief and
a six baht fee, followed by an orchestra playing Na Paat melody.
The presiding teacher at wai khru ceremonies must dress in the
traditional white shirt and white Panung for this special occasion.
He will commence the cermonies by lighting candles and incense
sticks then preparing lustral water while the followers and
participants are also lighting their candles and incense sticks to
invite the Triple Gems and deities to bestow the blessihgs
according to their wishes. The officiating teacher leads the
invocations for the blessings of the Triple Gems, teachers and
parents. Different presiding teachers will vary the words. The
musicians are then instructed to play Na Paat, a piece of music
reserved for the most formal occasions for the purpose of
worshipping the Triple Gems and to confirm deep respect to
teachers. The presiding teadher later raises the food offerings
for a while before removing them. Afterwards, the presiding
teacher sprinkles lustral water and applies jem (a white paste) to
musical instruments and different teacher's heads. Lustral water
is of course sprainkled over and a white paste is also applied to
the followers and participants. With that action, the rite of wai
khru is concluded to bring in the rite of Piti Krob or
The first stage is a concise ceremony for asking permission to
enter the musical world. The presiding teacher receives the
offerings composed of candles, incense sticks and a six baht fee
from a pupil and hold his hands guiding him to play Gong Wong Yai
(big circle of gong) the first stanza of one tunes thrice of
Satukarn song, master tunes to pay homage to the Triple Gems and
to express deep respect to teachers. This marks the initial step
of learning Pi Paat. The pupil may practice the rest of the song
with somebody else. In addition, the pupil is to learn songs in
Home Rong Yen series except for Tra song. He is also allowed to
learn other songs as recommended by the teacher.
The second stage takes place after finishing the Hom Rong Yen
series. The pupil is now beginning to learn how to play Tra Home
Rong song which was omitted in the first stage. The teacher holds
the pupil's hands to play Gong Wong Yai the first stanza of one
tune thrice of Tra song.
The third stage begins with Home Rong Klang one song. Again, the
teacher holds the pupil's hands to play Krabong Gun song.
The next stage is to play higher Na Paat. The teacher generally
holds the pupil's hands to play the Baht Sakuni song.
The final stage is the highest stage while learning the supreme
song of all-Phra Phirab's song.
pupil will customarily resume the rest of the songs with somebody
above-mentioned practice can be applied to other musical
instruments as ranad (xylophone) Pi (oboe) Tapone and Klong (drums)
for the Piti Krob rite of other kinds of instruments i.e. Saw (fiddle),
Jakay (zither) and Klui (flute) including singing, actually not
for Na Paat playing, the teacher can also hold the hands of the
pupil to play the special tune of that type of instrument.
Otherwise, cymbols may be placed on the head of the pupi to
symbolize the initiation rite.
a rule, the Piti Krob rite for those who learn Phra Phirab's song
must be at least 30 years old or have already been ordained or
granted. His Majesty the King's royal Permission to play.
Advantages of paying homage to the musical teachers
Presevation of good old tradition of Thai culture.
An opportunity for the pupils to pay respect and gratitude to
their teaches which represents an examplary expression of being
grateful to the teachers.
An act of boosting a morale of the pupils to play well their music.
Strengthening warmth, companionship and a sense of togetherness as
well as compassion.