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reusi tah fai (ฤาษีตาไฟ)

Thai. ‘Hermit with eyes of fire’. Name of a recluse or reusi (fig.), who is usually depicted with a white beard and a third eye on his forehead, as well as with two prominent front teeth with a wide diastema, i.e. a gap between the upper incisors. He is said to be a powerful hermit and is associated with Shiva (fig.), with some sources saying that it is the latter who gave him the third eye whereas others claim he is actually a manifestation of Shiwa himself. He is sometimes depicted standing upright and holding a walking stick in one hand while pointing with the index finger of his other hand, an attitude reminiscent of the Burmese nat-like deity Bo Bo Gyi, a benevolent guardian spirit unique to each Buddhist temple in Myanmar (fig.).