Offerings for priests (Sunkhatan)
Offerings for priests or monks are an activity of merit makings. Thai people strongly believe that this kind of merit making is most effective because the offering go to priest or monks in general, instead of specified individual. A person who wishes to make merit would prepare package of things and bring them to temple. Then express his/her intention to the head monk. The head monk, then, invites monks to come and receive the offerings. If the things are to be given to specified monk, then it is no longer called the offerings (Sunkhatan).
Things offered are normally food and essential things in everyday life such as Sabong(wearing cloth), Jeeworn (covering cloth), towel, toothbrush, soap, tinned food, milk, and dried food. Tea, coffee, and money are also included. These things are offered as desired.
If a person wishes to dedicate the merit to anybody, he/she would tell or write names to monks so that the monk can perform the rite to dedicate merits to named person.
The rite of offering to monks is simple. Just bring your thing to Buddhist monk and let the monk know your intention. The monk then let you light up joss sticks and candles, then recite in Bali;
(Bali) Imani mayung pantei, pattani, sapariwarani, pikkhu sunkhussa, ono chanama, ro pantei, pikkhu sungkho. Imani, pattani, sapariwarani, patikkhunhatu, umhakang, teekharuttang, hitaya, sukhaya.
(Meaning) Recspectful monks, we all here wish to offer these food and things for your own use. We beg you to receive these offerings, so that we can get merit that would bring us a long lasting happiness.
Then monks say "Sa dhu" which represents their acceptance. After monks already take all offerings, blessings are given in Bali (Yata Suppee article) while we pour water to represent the dedication of merit to persons as wished. This concludes the activity of merit making by offering things for monks.
3 October 2000