Under The Protection Of The Three Brothers Pii (Ghosts) Part 3
The next day we were doing the ritual yearly cleaning of the house and altars and statues and such stuff for the Songkran holiday, which is the Thai New Year celebration. New flowers, incense, candles, wreaths and other such Buddhist paraphernalia had been bought to decorate and offered up to the freshly cleaned religious icons and their altars earlier in the day. I helped out, mostly just holding my wife’s bum while she stood on a stool where she could reach these highly placed wall-altars so she wouldn’t fall off and hurt herself. As you can see I am a caring husband and try to help out and protect my lady from harm. While she was doing all this I asked Sis to fill me in on the story of the “baby pii/ghosts” as she calls them. Here below is the info and stories I got out of her and others about these ‘Goo Mahng Tong’ or baby pii. I place these before you for your perusal, amusement and light edification; nothing more.
Sis has had these three ‘baby pii’ (ghosts) ever since I have known her, at least ten years now. I always wondered what they were, why the toys and children’s clothes were hung on the wall altar, and I questioned her and she told me this strange tale of the three brothers’ ghosts.
A friend from Korat was living in Bangkok the same time Sis was living there. She came to Sis one day and asked her a favor. She was having a hard time now and not making much money. Sis figured she was going to hit her up for a loan, but instead the lady produces a small box and shows Sis these three figurines. They are ‘goo mahng tong’ gold and black figurines, supposedly with ghosts or spirits inside them. She explains her plight and asks Sis to take the goo mahng tong from her and take care of them, as she can no longer afford to do so in the correct way that is required. She has had them for the past six months and had gotten them from a powerful monk in Korat before coming to Bangkok to protect her while she was living in the “big city”, which everyone knows is dangerous and filled with criminals and rapists.
She explained the fact that all three of the ‘goo mahng tong’ were boys, triplets that had all died at birth, brothers in fact, and that their powers were very strong and they demanded good care of their owner. Sis agreed, actually was thrilled, to take possession of the ‘goo mahng tong’. She knew these were powerful protective spirits indeed.
From what has been explained to me powerful and very holy monks can call spirits to them and coax them into these sorts of statuettes, amulets, and talismans. Only the big monks can do this and control the spirits of the dead. Sis is very proud of her goo mahng tong, and believes they give her great protection.
They even have names, told to the lady who originally gained possession of these things by the old Korat monk who gave them to her.
One is named “Tong Dum” (black gold), another is named “Tong Kum” (good gold), and the other is named “Sahng Tong” (which is the name for an ugly man with very black skin who married a princess. The story of Sahng Tong is an old historical tale I am told, maybe one to two thousand years old. According to the story the princess met Sahng Tong in the woods, while looking for flowers. At night Sahng Tong turns into a very handsome man and his clothes turn into gold. He is ugly on the outside during the daylight, but handsome on the inside, with a good heart. This is an old Thai tale according to my wife.
During the time Sis has had these figurines, ten years or so, there have been a few, ‘manifestations’ let us call them, which have been told to me.
Here are some of them for you.
Bangkok Mafia Break-in Story
While living in Bangkok and working as a moto-cyke taxi driver a mafia-burglar (likely a Yah baa addict I was told) broke into the apartment/room of Sis while she was out working one day. While he was inside the room getting ready to steal stuff he saw the baby pii/ghosts (goo manhg tong). He got very scared, apologized to the ghosts for breaking in, and asked them to please not attack him or make him ugly or sick, and to please not haunt him. He got very scared and ran away, taking nothing with him.
He later tells some of his mafia friends about this experience and they do not believe him, thinking he just got scared and didn’t do the job. So another man says he will go and break into the house, as he is not afraid of any ghosts, and surely his friend just chickened out. This all got back to Sis through the local gossip-mill after a while; months later on. This man, who is a friend of the first mafia-man burglar, breaks into her room a week later. (Everyone in a Thai neighborhood will at one point or another know what all his neighbors own through the gossip of others. The crooks know after a while which rooms and apartments have what for the stealing. Sis at the time had a new small stereo and TV.) He supposedly sees and is scared by the pii too and runs away very frightened. Again, nothing is taken. Sis returns home after work and finds her door broken and hanging open once again. A month or so later another mafia-man breaks into the room. He is scared away by the pii as well and takes nothing. Sis comes home again and finds the place ransacked, but nothing is taken again. According to his story he was attacked by the goo manhg tong and had cuts and bruises all over his body and fled down the hallways of the building screaming he was being killed by ghosts. This was reported to Sis by neighbors who saw him running away.
Neighbors in rooms in the building supposedly heard all three mafia-man burglars each time screaming and crying saying, “I'm scared! I'm scared! Leave me alone! I'll go. I promise I’ll never come back! Stay away from me! Don’t hurt me!”
A friend of Sis, one of the others who lived in the building at the time and had heard all the commotion asked her what she has in her room that protects her from the thieves and scares them so badly. Sis told her about the baby pii (goo mahn tong) inside her room and showed them to the woman, who was very impressed I am told.
Being Thais, and being the gossips that Thais can be, this story got around the neighborhood quickly. The Mafia-type Thai guys, being actually a very superstitious lot themselves pretty much, left Sis’ place alone after that.
Hey, these people believe in this stuff is all I can say.
Sister Moi’s Story
Wife and Sis moved to Pattaya and started a restaurant once they had enough money to start one up. At first when they arrived there they stayed and lived with sister Moi and her kids until they could find a decent place to start their new shop. During a holiday when they were all sitting about eating and drinking Sis tells Moi about the "goo mahn tong" and how they protect her and her place. Moi scoffs at the belief, tells Sis she’s a fool to believe this stuff, so Sis says, “You don't believe? Tonight I will tell the “baby pii” that when you sleep they will come to play with you.” Later that night while Moi is sleeping the baby pii go into her room and wake her up, playing with her by pulling on her legs, pulling on her arms and fingers, and scare the crap out of her. She sees the pii running around in her room, she hears them joking with her, "Aunt we want to play with you.”
"Why are you here?" Moi says to them.
"Sis asked us to come and play with you, because you say you do not believe in us." the little baby ghosts told her in reply to her query.
The next morning Moi is so scared that she gets physically ill (well, that might have been the night’s before beers maybe as well).
She tells her experience to wife and Sis, and states "I did not believe you before. Now I believe 100%. Please ask them not to come see me any more. Tell the pii I believe in them, but don't want them coming to play with me when I am sleeping, or ever again."
She even went out and bought them some plastic toys to play with and put them on their altar.
This story was corroborated to me by sister Moi herself as well. She is now a true believer.
Late one night the baby pii came to my wife's bed and woke her by touching her feet and tickling her, (she’s extremely ticklish) and one pii even pulled on her hair. One, she doesn't know which one, was touching her hand and shoulder. One was standing by her head near the bed. She said she could see all three of them. They were saying to her, "Mama, we want chocolate candy."
My wife replied by saying, "Okay, I'll give some for you in the morning when the store opens and I can buy some for you." When she said this they just disappeared instantly. My wife went back to sleep (nice to see she could be so blasé about being visited by three ghosts). She says she wasn’t scared at all, well, just a little bit
The next morning she went out and bought some chocolate candy and some ice cream as well, and gave it to the baby pii by putting on the small wall altar where the baby pii were set in the new shop. This was in Pattaya as well, and happened a few weeks after they had found and set up their new shop.
The School Girls Story
After moving to the village from Pattaya a couple years later with the baby pii after I had built the new village house the monks in the temple had a big tambon for one of the famous monks of the village. Ajarn Tuerng is his name (spelt phonetically here). He is/was a very famous monk, now dead and gone, who used to live in the Wat in our village. During certain festivals and holidays people would come from all over the country to see this holy monk. They’d come all the way from Bangkok even just to be able to see him and be blessed by him.
Village girls had come to stay in our new house one night to make lottery tickets for the tambon. They were taking pieces of paper and putting numbers on them and intricately folding them for these later to be placed in a tree on the temple/Wat grounds. It’s for a lottery of some sort which they, my wife and Sis, cannot fully explain to me, or I cannot fully understand as yet what this lottery thing is all about. It’s something I have not experienced yet.
Six or seven girls were staying and sleeping in the house to do this, and then would sleep there until the morning when the big tambon would take place at the local Wat down the road and take these paper lottery tickets thingies they had made to give to the monks; who would place them in a tree. Sis closed and locked the doors and windows against the night bugs and mafia boys, this was before I’d gotten screens in the windows, and she was basically locking up for the night. The girls all wanted to watch a VCD movie. Some of the girls also started commenting on all our red and gold painted intricately carved wall altars (we have five on one wall; Shiva, Buddha, King Rama V, the present day king, and of course the one for the “goo mahng tong”). They wanted to know what all these wall altars were for. So Sis told them what each one was for, and explained we had "goo mahng tong" on one of the altars, the one with the toys hanging from it. All the girls scoffed at the "goo mahng tong", saying they did not believe in such things, and laughed at Sis for believing such nonsense.
So Sis said, "Okay. You stay here and watch the movie. I am going to sleep, but before I do I will call the goo mahng tong to come see you, and play with you, and watch the movie with you." The girls all laughed at this.
Sis went to her room and went to bed to sleep. She made a prayer before falling asleep and asked the baby pii to go see the girls and play with them and to show themselves. Maybe twenty minutes later the video player machine went off by itself, it was not finished. It kept shutting off and on, and opening and closing all by itself. There were no electrical problems or thunder storms at the time, and the VCD had no problems of this sort when watching it before or after this night. As the girls were sitting there on the rug on the floor a broom that had been lying on the floor beside them rose up and hit the most vocal critic of these girls in the face, not hard, but enough to scare the hell out of her. All the girls started screaming, “Aunt, come and help us! We cannot watch the movie. We are scared! We want to go home. The “goo mahng tong” are here and will not let us watch the movie. We are scared too much!” They all soon left, and were very scared of what they had witnessed.
A couple of these girls have never stepped foot in our house again since that night they were so frightened.
One night a few months after we had moved into the village house I was away in the states and my wife and Sis and look sow (daughter) were off in Surin visiting a sick relative in the hospital, sleeping there in the room as a matter of fact with the sick cousin. Weird the way Thais will do this, but they do take care of their own and make sure they have whatever they need. I can’t imagine the nurses allowing this in the states though; all those people sleeping on mats on the floor of the patient’s room. While we were all away Mama had a little experience of her own with the three brothers pii. She was sleeping she said and was awakened by the sound of children playing. She looked at her clock and saw it was three in the morning. She listened for a while and says she definitely heard children playing, and it sounded like it was coming from our house, which is right in front of hers.
Knowing we were not there she got up and went to investigate.
As she tells it she unlocked our back door and there were three young boys running around the house playing a game like tag. She then realized these were the three “goo mahng tong”, the family protectors and guardians of our home. They stopped their playing and looked at her a moment. Mama said a quick prayer to Buddha and then asked them why they were up so late and being so noisy. She scolded them for waking her up, and asked them to either go to sleep or play more quietly, as she is an old woman and needs her rest. They smiled at her and promised to be quiet. They then asked her if she could take down the toys from their wall altar and put them on the floor where they could then play with them quietly. Mama did so, went back out the door, locked it behind her and went back to bed. She heard no more noise that night. She says she was only a little scared, but she is a believer, and a righteous woman, and knew they would not hurt her or harm her.
She also says they are very polite little ghosts.
So there you have it. A lot of Thais, hell, a lot of Southeast Asians, Chinese, Indians, and others believe in a lot of these sorts of things. There is a lot of animism in Thailand blended into Buddhism and other religious beliefs left over from ancient times. The Thais are nothing if not an equal opportunity types of people, and there are many different ethnic backgrounds in the people calling themselves Thai, all with differing views on these things and beliefs. They tend to take in whatever they think might help them in any way; much the same way they celebrate their own new year, Songkran, the Chinese New Year, and also the western new year of January 1st. So, they may claim to be Buddhists, but they, a lot of them, are actually much more than this, and believe in a lot of things not strictly Buddhist. It would be like a Catholic also believing in certain pagan rituals, beliefs, spirits, and lesser gods, and still claim to be a Catholic; at least in my eyes.
Me? I believe in it all, and I believe in none of it. I’m an agnostic. Personally I want them all to just leave me be; God, gods, spirits, pii, ghosts, devils, demons and monsters.
I do find these stories and beliefs interesting and amusing though; as I hope you readers have as well.
(The Central Scrutinizer)