In making my black jelly offering to Phra Rahu I learnt a Kata Bucha or (Gatha Pooja in Sanskrit.) Kata is the Thai term for an Incantation or Prayer used instrumentally in worship, veneration, invocation and magic. I learnt the Kata Prha Rahu Kam Duang to recite as part of my offering to Rahu from Ajarn Spencer’s online teaching. Phra Hanuman, presented by Jariya Laoriendee, is watching the ritual offering of Suriyan (the Sun) to Phra Rahu . Of course it in the tussle for the Sun (which the young Hanuman thought was a mango) with Rahu that Hanuman got his name – Broken Jaw!
At the heart of the Bangkok Biennale edition of Cowboys and Indians is an antique terracotta of Suriyan from South India with which I re-enact the mythic entanglement of Phra Rahu and Phra Hanuman. In the Hindu/Buddhist cosmos, Suriyan (the Sun) is the central Graha of the Navagrahas or 9 planets. He is an emanation of Lord Vishnu the sustainer and nourisher of the material universe. In Thailand the Navagraha are known as the Nopakroh and Suryian is known as Phra Athit. For the performance a food-grade silicone mould was made from the terracotta and from this mould a Black herbal jelly Suryan was made and offered to Phra Rahu.