[Page Updated: 19 November 2019]
What is a Thai Amulet?
A “Thai Amulet” is a Theravada Buddhist figurine made of clay, metal, wood, bone, plastic, or any material. Featured characters – fictional and historical include Buddha (Siddhartha) and styles of Buddha (Chinnarat, SomDej Toh, Sothorn); Buddhist monks like Luang Pu Thuat, Phra Pidta, Ajahn Jumnien); Jatukam Ramathep; Kwan Yin; Nang Kwak; Ganesh; Phra Phrom; and hundreds more.
Almost every temple produces a Thai Amulet for the abbot of their temple, except Thai temples following the forest tradition like Wat Pah Nanachat and Wat Suan Mokkh – which don’t believe in the power of pendants at all.
Why Do I Need a Thai Amulet?
People across the world and we’ve sold Thai pendants to people in Russia, China, Maldives, Israel, and 100 other countries, buy Thai pendants from us here in Thailand usually as a reminder to themselves about what their religious or philosophical beliefs are. Personally, that is how we view the Thai Buddhist pendants we have available for purchase (renting) here. Sort of like how Christians buy necklaces with images of Christ on a cross, Buddhists buy pendants with figurines or impressions of Siddhartha Buddha or Buddhist monks on them.
Some people buy Thai pendants because they believe they have a special power over invisible forces in the world, and they want something to help them fight or overcome, or counteract those forces. Some Thai pendants are said to protect the wearer from dangerous accidents – falls, automobile or motorbike crashes, or something falling on their head.
Other pendants are primarily for the protection of a person’s good health – heart, lungs, muscles, bones, and protects them from cancer and so many other diseases that most of us worry about to some degree.
Do Buddhists Need Thai Amulets?
No. You may not need one at all. It depends entirely on your belief system and what you think the point of having a pendant or pendants is. Some Thais wear 9 pendants on one necklace to help them in many different areas of life. They believe in the pendant power completely. They spend thousands of dollars to obtain the most powerful amulets.
Some Luang Phor Tuad, Somdej, and Buddha pendants sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars USD. The physical components making these pendants up can be dirt, glass, bone, and hair. To go find the same or similar ingredients would take you a couple of days and about $10. Maybe less. The value of the pendant is in the strength of it as the buyer perceives.
Monks blessing the pendants is said to give more power. All our pendants are blessed by monks because the temples we buy from refuse to sell unblessed Thai amulets. Still, once someone buys a pendant they may have monks chant over it again – and pay a couple of thousand Thai Baht to have this done (donation).
Some pendant buyers chant Buddhist scripts and sayings themselves over the amulets. Some chant mantras of black magic, or white magic, or all sorts of magic over their amulets, hoping to create more power in it.
Which Theravada Temples in Thailand Sell Thai Amulets?
Most of them. That’s the short answer. If the temple is one of only a couple in a large city, they almost always have Thai pendants to sell. Most temples sell Buddha, Luang Phor Tuad, and some pendants of the monks of that temple. It is common to have Buddha or Luang Phor Tuad on one side of an amulet, and another monk on the reverse side.
Are There Rules to Follow About Thai Amulets?
Yes, according to most monks and Buddhists in Thailand.
1. Don’t wear your pendants under your waist-high level on your person. Not in pockets of pants. Can take in a purse, some people do. Best is to wear around the neck. Some Thais wear around the back of their necks.
2. Don’t wear your pendant during sex, fighting, or watching sex or fighting.
3. Don’t get your pendants wet, or dirty. Treat with respect.
4. The highest figure is Buddha, then some of the other monks. You can see a hierarchy in the way Buddhist and Hindu statues are arranged in Thailand – Buddha has top place. Shiva is higher than Ganesha. Ganesha is higher than Kwan Yin. Luang Phor Tuad is higher than Luang Phor Klai generally, and so on.
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Which Thai Amulet is the Most Respected?
Impossible to say really because there are different opinions on the subject. Some highly regarded pendants in Thailand at the moment are:
- Somdej Buddha Pendants
- Chinnarat Buddha Pendants
- Sothorn Buddha Pendants
- Phra Luang Pu Thuat Amulets
- Jatukam Ramathep Amulets
- Phra Pidta Amulets
- Phra Luang Phor Klai Amulets
- Ganesh – Ganesha – Hindu Elephant Amulets
- Kwan Yin (Goddess of Compassion) Amulets
- Shiva Amulets
- Four-Headed Buddha Pendants
- Garuda Amulets (half bird-half man)
- Lersi – the Ascetic, Amulets
- So many more – maybe another 100 monks and other Buddhist Figures
What is the Price Range of Thai Amulets in Thailand?
Amulets range between $1.00 and hundreds of thousands of US Dollars.
Which Temples Sell Amulets?
Nearly all the bigger temples. If there are more than a couple hundred people supporting them, they usually have pendants to sell. There are a number of Buddhist temples in Thailand that don’t sell any pendants at all, despite being very large. Wat Suan Mokkh and Wat Pah Nanachat (and all Ajahn Chah’s temples) do not sell pendants of any kind. Nor are any representations of Ajahn Chah or Buddhadasa Bhikku on any pendants that we’ve ever seen. However, both these monks can be found in photos and on posters.
How Do I Know Which Amulets are Authentic?
If you bought your Thai pendant at a temple – it is authentic. Well, if the monk or magee told you it was authentic, it is authentic. This is just about the only way you know for certain. There are so many scams. To find them you can just go to eBay and find fake pendants being sold for very little – and extremely high prices. Many pendant sellers at eBay don’t even know the names of the amulets, the Buddhist figures on the amulets. They just write garbage! :P A sad state of things, we know!
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