Black petrified wood Somdej Toh Buddha amulet from Northeast Thailand. Brown petrified wood Somdej Toh Buddha amulet.

The two amulets above are in the classic Somdej style with a meditating Buddha sitting on coils of naga (serpent, sometimes snake - cobra). There are a number of styles of Somdej - 73 in fact!. These are very rare Thai amulets of black and brown petrified wood, and are available at our other website, www.AllBuddhas.com.

Somdej Phra Buddhacarya, also known as Somdej Toh Brahmaramsi was a Theravada (Maha Nikaya) Buddhist monk who lived in Thailand in the Ayutthaya province north of Bangkok. Phra Somdej Toh was a very influential monk who left a legacy behind so great that his amulets have become highly sought after in every form, even copies of his amulets can have immense value and some say, power.

Somdej Toh was born on 4/17/1788 (Thais say 17/4/2331) in a small Amphoe “Tha Ruea” in Ayutthaya province. He lived for eighty-four years and died on 6/22/1872 (22/6/2415) in Bangkok Thailand in the Bang Khum Phrom district.

The information available online for this monk is scarce from sources that are usually packed with information about famous Buddhist monks.

Some of the information below might be in error. I think that is the normal situation for much of the information about Buddhist monks and other figures online.

Somdej Toh was said to be possibly the son of King Rama I or II. At the young age of thirteen Somdej became a monk (bpen bpoo-ut). After a period of intense study of the original Buddhist scriptures from the Pali Canon with a number of revered Theravada Buddhist Monks he became a teacher for Prince Mongkut (Phra Chom Klao) who later became King Rama IV. Somdej was then known as Maha Toh, the “King’s monk”.

At this point his name was changed officially to, “Phra Phra Buddhacharn Toh Phomarangsi.”

Though early information is scant, there is no doubt that besides the Buddha himself, the Somdej Toh style amulets are generally more sought after than any other. We certainly see a lot of them around necks of Thais in the country and we probably sell as many Somdej amulets as we do some others combined.

Phra Somdej Toh’s temple was, “Wat Rakhang Kositararm.”

The belief in the power of this Buddhist monk’s amulets is legendary.

In Buddhist year 2406 (1863 in the west) and for a period of nine years he created some very specific designs of Buddhist (Buddha) amulets out of clay and other materials mixed with clay. It is these amulets that today are very well known, powerful, and expensive to rent (own).

In 1872 (Buddhist year 2415) he received the ceremonious title, “Somdej Phra Puttajarn Toh.” This is the pinnacle for Theravada Buddhist monks.

It is said that during his lifetime he made over 80,000 Phra Somdej amulets in an incredible seventy-three different amulet styles.

Today, over a hundred years later, there are many original Somdej amulets left in existence because people who had them took good care of them. Some in Bangkok sell for over a million Thai baht. Some sell for over a million dollars USD. They are very much in demand for originals.

As a result of their value, they are also replicated by nefarious scammers as well. There are far more fake Somdej Toh amulets on the market than there were ever authentic amulets. Keep in mind there is a difference between fakes that are made by those wishing to scam the public, and those that are made with permission by the monks at the temple where he resided. Many Thai Buddhist temples across the country are given special permission to create replicas of the Somdej style amulets.

We occasionally have some of these officially sanctioned replicas here to sell, but not so often as they sell quickly and we cannot find more in a short time. We never sell original Somdej Toh, we are not capable of assessing whether they are truly originals, so we don’t try to sell those that are said to be authentic originals.

If you would like to know more information about Somdej Toh - we have another article written at our blog about this subject: Somdej Amulets.

If you would like to see which Somdej Toh amulets we have, we have most of them here at our AllBuddhas.com website. Here you can see some very rare Somdej amulet replicas made from materials you will probably never see anywhere but here - white jade, black petrified wood, and brown petrified wood.

If you would like to read more Buddhist history, you can find more articles here:

Click one to see more:

The Buddha - Happy Buddha - Chinnarat Buddha - Somdej Buddha

Kwan Yin - Ganesh - Nong Kwak - Luang Phor Tuad 

Jatukam Ramathep - Thai Black Magic - Buddha Relics