Article Magic, Alchemy and Guman Thong (PART 1) ©
Copyright @2018 Thai Amulets Co Ltd. (All Rights Reserved)
Article Date : 06 June 2011
Article Author : Chris Jones



Guman Thong have been widely known and respected within Thailand for centuries. The Thais believe that Guman Thong can bring wealth and fortune, protect from danger and guard commercial premises and rice fields.

So widespread is this belief that today you will find Guman Thong present in almost every business including modern supermarkets, restaurants and shops.

Khun Chang Khun Paen is an 18th century epic poem and one of the most important works in Thai literature. It is from this story of a tragic love triangle that we first introduced to Khun Paen and Guamn Thong.


Iconic Guman Thong

It was a period in time when magic and alchemy ruled the world, something which today is overlooked and ignored, discarded and hidden like a polyester leisure suit. We are all too enlightened to have ever believed in anything so stupid or dangerous.

But think again, the story of magic, an important element of this epic, is the story of mankind, the story of humanity, the embodiment of natural law. It is filled with hope and ecstasy, failure and despair. It is the greedy and self centered search for power and a spiritual striving for transcendence and a glimpse of the very person of God.

The legend of Khun Paen and Guman Thong is far more relevant today than at any other time throughout the entire history of the human race and it encompasses virtually every aspect of what we are and yet to become.


The earliest records of  Guman Thong are from a period about 500 hundred years ago, during the reign of King Rama Thibodi II of Ayudhya Kingdom. (B.E.2034-2072  A time when Thailand was at war with the northern forces of Chang Mai and the Burmese.

It was during this time that soldiers sought to learn sacred sciences and acquire amulets to protect themselves in battle. The tradition and knowledge of which have been passed down to a select few through the generations.

We know about Guman Thong from various literary works and in particular about the legendry warrior from Ayuthaya known as Phlai Kaeo or Khun Paen, a soldier that lived during the period 1491-1529, and a disciple of the guru monk, Ajahn Kong,

His skill and bravery on the battlefield bring him to the attention of the King who bestows the title of  ‘Khun’, a high ranking military officer.



Guman Thong, Luang phor Yaem, Wat Sam Ngam, BE 2554


As a novice, Phlai Kaeo is schooled in the “inner ways" (Thai: ทางใน, thang nai). This phrase refers to beliefs in supernatural powers which exist within human beings and other natural objects, and which can be activated through taught skills. These beliefs stem from the Tantric school of Buddhism, and are found as a substratum in Buddhism throughout Southeast Asia and other parts of the Buddhist world.

Khun Phaen is also schooled in Kata Akom (mantra) or formulas with supernatural power. They are used for such purposes as stunning enemies, transforming his body into other forms, opening locks and chains, putting everyone else to sleep, and converting sheaves of grass into invulnerable spirit warriors. Khun Phaen also uses love formulas to captivate women, and to allay the wrath of the king.

Finally, Khun Phaen has a corps of spirits which he looks after. They defend him against enemy spirits, act as spies, and transport him at speed. In a famous passage, Khun Phaen acquires an especially powerful spirit from the still-born foetus of his own son. This spirit is known as a Guman Thong (Thai: กุมารทอง), a golden child.



While the poetic sepha has become the standard version of Khun Chang Khun Phaen, the story has been rendered into many other forms.

In the poem, Khun Chang Khun Phaen, the command of these powers is described using several combinations of the following words: wicha (Thai: วิชา), taught knowledge; witthaya (Thai: วิทยา), similar to the suffix, -ology; wet (Thai: เวท), from veda, the Brahminical scriptures; mon (Thai: มนตร์), mantra, a Buddhist prayer; katha (Thai: คาถา), a verse or formula; and akhom (Thai: อาคม), from agama, a Sanskrit word meaning knowledge, especially pre-vedic texts. These words position the command of these powers as an ancient and sacred form of learning.



Guman Thong, Wat Sam Ngam, BE 2548

Three other works tell the story with the addition of annotations and explanations of old words and forgotten customs. The study by Suphon Bunnag was published in two volumes in 1960, and republished in her cremation volume in 1975. Khun Wichitmatra (Sanga Kanchanakphan) and Phleuang na Nakhon wrote a series of articles in the magazine Withayasan over 1954–57, collected together in book form in 1961. Kukrit Pramoj also wrote a series of articles in Siam Rath, collected as a book in 1989.

In 2002 Sujit Wongthet published a similar work which originated as a series of articles in the magazine Sinlapa Watthanatham (Art and Culture). The book includes a copy of two manuscript versions of chapter 17, which Sujit secured from the National Archives under the Freedom of Information Act. These manuscripts reveal what Prince Damrong had excised in his editing.

Cholthira Satyawadhna wrote an MA dissertation in 1970 using a Freudian approach to analyze aggression in Khun Chang Khun Phaen. The thesis became famous, both as a landmark in Thai literary criticism, and as an early Thai feminist treatise.

A first TV version appeared as a single episode in 1955. A 1970 version, based around the exploits of Khun Phaen as governor of Kanchanaburi, extended over 500 episodes. Thai Channel 3 aired a serial version under the name Phim Phlilalai (Wanthong's natal name) in 1985, and Thai Channel 5 aired a serial Khun Phaen in 1998.

A cartoon version, drawn by Sawat Jukarop, appeared in Siam Rath from 1932 to 1950. The latest among many book-length cartoon versions was compiled by Sukrit Boonthong in 2005.

Several famous artists have illustrated scenes from Khun Chang Phaen, especially Hem Vejakorn. In 1917, BAT Co Ltd issues a series of 100 cigarette cards featuring characters from the story.

There have been several adaptations into novels, beginning with Malai Chuphinit, Chai Chatri (The Hero) in 1932. The most famous is Khun Phaen written by the major thriller author Por Intharapalit in 1972

Sacred Amulets and Sacred Power

From literature we also learn more about the supernatural powers used by Khun Paen

The methods to activate these latent powers include meditation and recitation of mantras or formulas. The power can also be transferred to objects, especially diagrams known as yantra (Thai: เลขยันต์, lek yan). In India, where they probably originated, such diagrams are composed mostly of geometric shapes with symbolic meanings arranged in symmetrical patterns (the mandala is a yantra). In the Thai tradition, these diagrams also include numbers in sequences with supernatural meaning, pictures of gods and powerful animals, and formulas or abbreviated formulas written in Pali or Khmer.


To have power, these diagrams must be drawn by an adept under strict rules  and activated by reciting a formula.

Yantra (called Yant in Thai) diagrams can be carried on the body in various ways: tattoed on the skin (Sak Yant - สักยันต์); imprinted on a shirt or inner shirt; imprinted on a scarf (Thai: ประเจีย'", prajiat) tied round the head, arm, or chest; imprinted on a belt, perhaps made from human skin; imprinted on paper or cloth which is then rolled and plaited into a ring (Thai: แหวน พิรอ'", Hwaen Pirod); inscribed on a soft metal such as tin which is coiled round a cord and worn as an amulet (Thai: ตะกรุ'", Takrud). The main purpose of these various forms of yant designs with Khom inscriptions, is to give invulnerability or protection against various forms of threat.

The same purpose is served by carrying amulets made from natural materials which have some unusual property which seems contrary to nature. A good example is mercury – a metal which has the unusual property of behaving like a fluid. Other examples include cat’s eye, a semi-precious stone which resembles an animal’s eye, and “fluid metal” (Thai: เหล็กไหล, lek lai), a metal-like substance believed to become malleable under the heat of a candle’s flame. These items can be strung on cords and worn around various parts of the body, or inserted under the skin.

Before going into battle or any other undertaking entailing risk, Khun Phaen decks himself with several of these items. He also consults various oracles which indicate whether the time and the direction of travel is auspicious. These oracles include casting various forms of horoscope, looking for shapes in the clouds, and examining which nostril the breath is passing most easily.

Today we know that to create a guman thong the initiate must be schooled in the ancient sacred science known as ‘Nipparn Sutra’


Creation of Guman Thong

Khun Paen had wanted a protective spirit to watch over him in battle. To this end he cut the unborn foetus of his son from his dead wife's (Bua Klee) womb and took it to a temple to perform an occult rite in which he created the first recorded Guman Thong.

He brought the dead child to the Temple outer area within the chanting hall where the Buddha image is placed.

He wrapped the child's torso in sacred cloth and roasted it on a fire whilst chanting ritual mantras and dark incantations to create the supernatural being with whom he could communicate.

The equipment required by Khun Phan included three candles, a tinder box, a protective thread, and some metal yantras (metal talismans inscribed with mystic symbols). He lit the candles and laid consecrated wood as a bed for the foetus. Then he put a powerful Visnu yantra on its head, a royal yantra beneath it, a Visnu yantra on its middle, and a Dharani yantra on the ground.

He then set gilded posts at the four cardinal points, together with yantras and flags, and he tied the protective thread around [to ward off interferences!. He overlaid the posts with a canopy having a yantra of Indra's golden chains, as prescribed for such occasions. He took charmed Mergui wood and lit a fire beneath the foetus in order to kindle pure life in it. 

As he sat reciting mantras as he exposed the foetus to the fire and warmed it throughout, turning it now on its front, now on its back, until, just as dawn broke, it was thoroughly dried. Then, as Khun Phan still recited the mantras, up rose Golden Boy and spoke, ready to do his master's bidding. He named the entity Guman Thong.

The Story of Khun Paen

Phlai Kaeo (who later is given the title, Khun Phaen), and Nang Phim Philalai (who later changes her name to Wanthong) are childhood friends in Suphanburi. Khun Phaen is handsome and intelligent, but poor because the king has executed his father and seized their property. He enters the monkhood as a novice to get educated, excelling at military skills and love magic.

He was a disciple of Archan Kong, a magic-expert guru monk.



Khun Chang is ugly and stupid, but rich and well-connected at the Ayutthaya court.
By age 15, Phim is the belle of Suphanburi. She meets Phlai Kaeo when putting food in his almsbowl at Songkran (Thai New Year). Sparks fly. They have a passionate affair, with him shuttling between the wat(Buddhist monastery) and her bedroom.

Khun Chang is also smitten by Wanthong. He competes for her using his wealth and status.

He offers to give her mother Phim's weight in gold. After Khun pean and Phim are married, Khun Chang maneuvers the king to send Phlai Kaeo on military service, and then claims he is dead. When Phlai Kaeo returns victorious, Khun Chang plots to have him banished from Ayutthaya for negligence on government service.

Phim (now Wanthong) resists Khun Chang. But when Phlai Kaeo (now Khun Phaen) returns from war with another wife, they have a jealous quarrel. Wanthong goes to live with Khun Chang, enjoying his devotion and the comforts afforded by his wealth.

When Khun Phaen's second wife, Laothong, is taken into the palace by the king, Khun Phaen regrets abandoning Wanthong. He breaks into Khun Chang's house at the dead of night and takes Wanthong away.

At first she is reluctant to leave her comfortable existence, but the passion rekindles, and they flee to an idyllic but frugal sojourn in the forest.

Khun Chang tells the king that Khun Phaen is mounting a rebellion. The king sends an army which Khun Phaen defeats, killing two of its officers. A warrant is issued for his arrest. When Wanthong becomes pregnant, Khun Phaen decides to leave the forest and give himself up. At the trial, the charges of rebellion are disproved, and Khun Chang is heavily fined.

Khun Phaen angers the king by asking for the release of Laothong. He is jailed, and festers in prison for around twelve years. Khun Chang abducts Wanthong and they again live together in Suphanburi.

Wanthong gives birth to Phlai Ngam, her son with Khun Phaen. When Phlai Ngam is eight, Khun Chang tries to kill him. Phlai Ngam escapes to live in Kanchanaburi with his grandmother who teaches him from Khun Phaen's library.

When the kings of Ayutthaya and Chiang mai quarrel over a beautiful daughter of the King of Vientiane, Phlai Ngam volunteers to lead an army to Chiang Mai, and successfully petitions for Khun Phaen's release. They capture the King of Chiang mai, and return with the Vientiane princess and a great haul of booty. Khun Phaen now gains status as the governor of Kanchanaburi . Phlai Ngam is appointed Phra Wai, an officer in the royal pages.

Khun Chang gets drunk at Phra Wai's wedding, and the old rivalry returns.
Phra Wai abducts Wanthong from Khun Chang's house, prompting Khun Chang to petition the king for redress.

At the subsequent trial, the king demands that Wanthong decide between Khun Chang and Khun Phaen. She cannot, and is dumb-struck. The king orders her execution. Phra Wai pleads successfully with the king for a reprieve, but the order arrives fractionally too late to avoid her execution. 



An Ancient Science.

During former times, Guman Thong were actually created from child corpses, usually taken from a mother who had died during pregnancy.

As you can probably imagine, the actual details of this process are rather hard to acquire due to the now highly illegal nature. From what I can gather the creator must be an adept in the specific esoteric art. He would initially establish communication with the child’s soul before using a sacred knife to remove it and generally in a location secure from interference from the spirit world. A special mantra was also recited. 

Sitti Techo
Sitti Jittung
Maha Puto
Maha Suntanung

In Thai tradition if this process is not performed correctly the child's mother can become a ferocious and aggressive entity, Phi Tai Tong Klom, that will give chase to, and kill the offender to retrieve the infant.

According to the ancient science, the women should have died on either a Tuesday or Saturday, believed to be the most auspicious on which to create a powerful Guman.

The actual ceremony to create the Guman would  have taken place at  a Buddhist temple, the only location considered secure from the spirit world.  Historic references refer to the following sacred materials that would typically be required.

-Four branches from the Mai Rak tree, thought sacred and known to increase charm.

-Sacred white string or Sai Sin used to encompass the ceremony to ensure spirits are unable to escape its confines.

-Yant Mongkut Prabuddhajao -  A sacred mantra placed above the ceremonial proceedings.

-Yant Trinisinghay another mantra posted in each of the eight compass directions. 

- The alters which received the corpses are made from one of three types of sacred tree, namely; Kunkrao, Taokunpai and Marid.

During the creation of the Guamn another arcane spell is chanted:

Suwunno Piya Kumaro
Maha Puto Mahittigo
Suppa Ti Say Su
Watti Go Suppa Ka May Su
Ko Wa Ro Suppa Cha Na Nung
Ha Tay Ye Maha Techo Pawuttigo
Ratana Taya Nupa Vena
Ratana Taya Tay Sa Sa
Tevanung Itti Pa Lay Na
Kumaro Ja Mahittigo

Finally to complete the ceremony, thin gold plates were attached to the Guman and the following mantra was recited. 

Kujcha Hi
Maha Puto
Sa Manuso
Sa Tevago
Ga Ro Hi Pitu
Vaja May Na
Sumpun Nay Na
Pra Sitti Ya

Thankfully this barbaric practice is no longer supposedly practiced in today’s modern society.  Having said that recent news of several hundred aborted fetuses discovered in Bangkok have led to the rumors of the old secrets of Guman Thong.

The fetuses were found in Phai Ngern Temple on Soi Trokchan 20 in Bang Kholaem district in Bangkok and  understandably forums are full of rumour and speculation.

A Modern Day Sacred Science

Today Guman Thong are created in new ways, still following the essence of tradition but in accordance with the laws of this and almost every other country.

These new ways retain the protective powers of Guman Thong but don't resort to such extreme and gruesome measures as employed by the historical Khun Paen, there are other ways to conjure up the protective child spirit.

Today guru monks create the Guman Thong amulets from various sacred materials such as wood from demolished temples, ivory, bronze and plaster and then through prayer and sacred language the child spirit is requested to enter the image.

Popular woods used to create modern day Guman Thong are from withered tress, and in particular the Star Gooseberry tree, as people believe the wood is sacred.

Not many monks still have the ability to create Guman Thong, but the most notable monk in recent times with this ability is Luang Phor Tae from Wat Sam Ngam and his disciple Luang Phor Yaem.

To create a Guman Thong the guru-monk must have specific knowledge and high level Smadhi to give the image life.

It is thought that this knowledge is passed down through the spirits of the Himpan Forest. These spirits are known to be the guardians of this arcane lore. 

Luang Phor Yaem for example is known to burn his Guman Thong. Through this process he is better able to control the entity. Finally a second spirit is invited to inhabit the idol thereby increasing its power.

It is not known exactly what materials are used in the construction of the Guman Thong idol itself, but it is believed that it will undoubtedly contain graveside materials or ashes. 

Sacred incantations are recited during the entire process including the final stage when the Guman Thong is painted gold and is blessed with the addition of Khmer spells to the body.

The spells are written in Khmer, (Cambodian) because the characters are believed to have runic qualities.  Luang Phor Yaem always names his Guman Thong in a similar tradition to Luang Phor Tae.

Below is a typical incantation used in the creation of a Guman Thong:

Om suwanno piyakumaro mahapooto mahittigo suppatisaesuwattago suppakamaesukojaro suppachaenanunghatayae mahataechoprawattigo ruttanatayanupawaena ruttanatayataeyasa tewanung-ittipalaena kumarojamahittigo.”

A loose translation would be:  “Guman Thong, King of  the spirits, who has divine power,  who can  travel anywhere, in any direction  and to anyone’s mind. I request that through the sanctity of the Triple Gems you are endowed with great power''

LP Tae best described the new process of creation when once asked about the Guman Thong figure appearing on an amulet underneath the Buddha lotus seat, LP Tae replies,

" Whatever form a Guman Thong might be, it doesn't matter at all--the most important aspect is how the monks creates and blesses it. " 

Luang Phor Tae also explained that he would always ask Paya Mutjurai (the King of Death) for guidance in the choice of a suitable spirit that could be used for his Guman Thong.

It was known that LP Tae had the supernormal power to see wondering souls of the dead that roamed the surroundings. 

Another famous monk of recent times is of course Luang Phor Tim of Wat Lahanrai. The method by which he created his now famous Guman Plaai is very well documented and somewhat macabre. His methods bordered on the original techniques employed for centuries until it was made illegal due to moral issues. This technique involves the use of ground bone ash, known as Guman Plaai. 

Luang Phor Poon, yet another famous guru monk popular for his Guman Thong used an entirely different technique that did not involve any graveside materials or human remains.

Through incantation he invites a spirit to inhabit an idol made of wood or soil. In this case the Guman Thong is created through the knowledge and power of the master himself.

The characteristics of any Guman thong will depend entirely on the technique the master uses to create it.


Your Guman

The modern day spell to activate guman is as follows. and although I say modern, this is a very ancient katha.

(note: this katha will be supplied in MP3 to customers acquiring Guman through us)

Patamung Kalalung Kumarung
Umpuchung Chalungpita
Umpuchung Chalungmata
Patisontita Pavuntumay
Punjukkunta Rupakunto
Vetanakunto Sunyakunto
Sungkarakunto Vinyanakunto
Tuttakatamo Topakor
Roopakortoe Ay Hi Racha
Kumaro (Your Gumans name)
Arkujchaya Arkujchahi Manimama
Upachati Namo Buddhaya
Buddha Ma Au Buddha Sungmi
Nachaliti Jijayluni Ma Au Namapata
Pagajasa A U Na Ma Ta Ga Rama
Nachaliti Om Namo Far Fa
Nangfa Perd-ok Tevada Kinok
Pai Ao Tong Kong Yai Ta Ta
Tan Ya Tai Poo Prai Yai Tao Ma
Yoo Kub Jao Fao Pen Kru
Om Puntutidsi Si Ey Si Far
Sao Hen Nar Hua Roh Rong Hai
Goo Yim Sai Gor Dai Mia Mar
Goo Yim Kwa Gor Dai Mia Sang
Ling Noi Nung Hang Tai Pen
Tong Kum Dumdum Doo Doo Doodi Punta
Gaha Gorkor Yoni Aoma Goo
Ja Cha Dunda Cha I Khao Cha I Kiew
Cha I Ey Cha I Pang Cha I Ninsummakun
Cha I Nuntago Rong Ho Ho Hew Or-air Or Ar
Jitti Goo Dernma Jitta Mungderntarm
Chana Lertarm  Puchung Or Lue

Li I Ler Ur Li Ler Li Ler Goo Ja

rong Goo Ja Nung Mung Mafung

Nengnong Chali Chaluk Pluk Pluk

Luk Luk Goo Ja Pluk Hai Luk Laew

Ya Nung Mair Ya Sonsung Nung Laew

Ya Non Pra Mor Tao Son Hai Goo

Wa Prakata Jia Nia Sowaji Girimiti

Gurumutu Graramata

Ajukka Vuttti Perng Gumarntong

Pud Ma Tair Praya Num

Ajukka Vuttti Perng Gumarntong

Gerd Ma Tair Praya Fai

 Ajukka Vuttti Perng Gumarntong

Ork Ma Tair Tong Toranin

Inti Prommin Yamin Gala Praya

Gumarn Rach Tungsi Gor Mayoo

Tini Mani Mama Ud Laew Gerd

Pen Look Kaew Moonla Grung Garanung

 Maiyahung Pakava Nacharahung

Cha Cha Cha Na Cha Li Ti

Once activated the owner can request small favours and help from the Guman, but should be done in the correct way, by reciting the following katha.

(note: this katha will be supplied in MP3 to customers acquiring Guman through us)