Thai amulets is a traditional Buddhist sacred pendant which is often worn by many Thai Buddhists.
These amulets are not only a traditional ‘jewellery’ but are also worn to bring prosperity and wealth. There are different amulets for different purposes such as to bring luck, improve relationships for wealth health and many more.
These amulets are available in various sizes and shapes but are most often in a tablet form with the image of Lord Buddha or any famous Buddhist monk on them. Some of them are also present in form of statuettes. These are made in metal, ceramic, silver, gold, jade, wood, often times are made of temple dirt, monk’s hair as well as other relics. They are worn around one’s neck or anywhere above the waist.
The genuine Thai amulets are mostly given by Buddhist temples after they have been blessed by the monks in the temple. Many of these amulets are antiques dating back to over a century old, as according to a Thai tradition, before building a stupa/ temple an amulet is often placed below. And are found in the structural remains of these temples. Few of the types of the Thai amulets are: Lp Parn Wat Bang Nom Kho Porcupine, Phra Somej, Phra nang phaya, Phra rod, Thai Buddhist Luang Por Sotorn Loi Ongk amulet, Phra Pidta Thai Amulet etc. Let’s get to know about some of them:
Phra somej: this is one of the most important of all the Thai amulets. It’s also called the ‘king amulet’. This amulet helps bring peace in one life. It can also be used for better health, better relationships and blocking disasters. In this amulet the buddha is seated on three- level throne and it does not have eyes, nose or mouth.
Lp Parn Wat Bang Nom Kho Porcupine: Luang Phor Parn Wat Bang Nom Kho was very famous for Buddha with Animal Amulet called “Phra Luangpho Parn” that can help owner in many aspects such as good luck, wealth, protection, etc. Porcupine is a small wild animal with sharp hair as weapon, it is hard to be harm. Very good for protection and against competitor.
Phra pidta: it is also known as a protective amulet. In this amulet the buddha often shown to covers its eyes. Its most appropriately called ‘closed eye buddha’. It brings luck and prosperity to the wearer.
Phra rod: the Thai people regard this particular amulet as Buddha of Escape. They are known for special powers in protection and being safe from disasters. They are of made of clay.
Phra nang phaya: it is a double-sided amulet. It is said that it is half good and half bad. Unlike other amulets this is worn only below the waist e.g.: To be placed in one’s pocket or under the bed (at a lower place). This amulet brings good luck for women and protection from any harm/danger.
These amulets are often worth millions of baht (monetary unit of Thailand). The value of an amulet increases with its scarcity. The prized ones were made by veteran monks, but many forgeries are mass-produced nowadays and are sold to the tourists.
MODERN DAY AMULETS
These days Thai amulets has little to do with Buddhism and more with making money and selling superstition, as opposed to higher consciousness of Lord Buddha. These amulets are supposed to remind the individual of the path of Buddha and his commitment to that path. But this has been transformed into a profitable business. Approximately 1.25 billion dollars’ worth of Buddhist charms are sold every year in Thailand. Some of them are limited edition and are sold at exuberant prices. The replicas are so common and are so expertly made that spotting them requires a well- trained eye. Palming off worthless fakes on unsuspecting customers has become a common scam at some of the Buddhist temples.
In closing, Thai amulets are a part of a rich Buddhist tradition, which is pawned off as magic and superstition by enterprising Thai temples. Some believe that according to Buddhism, amulets do not contain special powers and only karma can determine our path.