What is a Kata?
Kata comes from the Pali word “Ghata” (or Ghaataa), meaning “speak”. If you think about the English word “spell” (as in magick spell), you will see that to spell a word is also to speak it out, be it on paper or using voice. This is where the word “spell” came from! A Magic Spell is ancient English for “a magick speaking” – Ghata also means “speech” but is generally used to refer to sacred chants and magic spells, as well as sutras given to us by the Lord Bhuddha.
Nevertheless, there are other uses for the word Kata;
Dierajchana Ghaataa (Dierachan kata/เดียรฉานคาถา, in Thai) Dierajchana means “animal” and Ghaataa means speech – any speech which is not dhamma, or at least auspicious (speech which is useless or just cause confusion), is called “Dierajchana Ghaataa”.
Also, the word Dierajchaana is used with the word “Wichaa” ; Wichaa means knowledge (also used for referring to subjects, arts and sciences one may study, such as “electronics” “occult matters” “politics” “wood carving” etc). Any “Wichaa” which is not leading to Dhamma, liberation from suffering and endless rebirths, and Enlightenment, is called “Awichaa” (Avicca, in Pali) (false knowledge). Any Wichaa which uses animal headed ruesi, animal posessions or any kind of work withblack magic or non beneficial uses, is known as “Awichaa” (Avicca – false knowledge, and Dierajchana Wichaa – ignorant animal science). Superstition is also Awichaa, and Buddha warned vehemently against it.
“Do not believe in what you have heard; do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations; do not believe anything because it is rumored and spoken of by many; do not believe merely because the written statement of some old sage is produced; do not believe in conjectures; do not believe merely in the authority of your teachers and elders. After observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it”. (The Buddha)