[Updated 3 September 2019]
Buddhist Meanings of Amulets
Here is a quick guide to the meaning of some of the Thai amulets we sell, and even some that we don’t usually sell so you can get an idea which Thai amulets you might purchase for what reason. One of our friends gave us a piece of paper with these descriptions on them. We don’t agree wholeheartedly with the meanings for some of these, but honestly, the meaning among groups of people – Thai Buddhist, Chinese Buddhist, Theravada, Mahayana, Hindus, etc., can be different. So, the following is from one point of view.
Butterfly Amulet – For trade and relationships. The amulets are often brightly colored and hard to see the intricate details.
Phra Phrom (four-faced Buddha) amulets – for peace, family, wealth, all-encompassing wisdom in decisions about life. Phra Phrom is the Theravada Buddhist interpretation of the Hindu God, Shiva. Shiva is the highest god in Hinduism. Buddhists made Phra Phrom to show Buddha with 4-faces, each in a different direction, to show all-encompassing knowledge.
Trimurti – for love, happiness, and for wishes to be granted.
Ganesha / Ganesh – the Hindu elephant God of Obstacles – both placing and eliminating them. This is for art, luck, and harmony in life. Having a good life, smooth, without complications. Here in Thailand, you can witness many offerings by the elephant statues. This is by students and others who would like Ganesh to remove obstacles or help them do something. When the wish is granted, the person who promised Ganesh something – must fulfill it.
Kwan Yin – the Goddess of Compassion. These amulets are for those that need healing and empathy.
Nong (Nang) Kwak – the woman calling with one hand to people passing by. This is for business prosperity, wealth, good luck, and growing a healthy business. If you look in most Chinese businesses across Asia and in the USA even, there is often a Nong Kwak amulet, image, statue, and or sacred Yant flag in a special shrine in the front of the business.
Phra Pidta (Pid Ta) – the monk that covers his eyes – for protection from evil spirits, influences. Phra Pidta is deep in the jhana realms, the supernatural realms. He has an intimate connection with good spirits for luck. These amulets are for gaining wealth, business prosperity. These are very popular amulets in Thailand.
Salika – the two birds that look like they are kissing, they are facing each other. This is for success in business, and relationships. Salika amulets are said to give the wearer the gift of charm – charming words to make people feel good and increase love relationships and other social relationships.
Phra Somdej – prosperity in business, peace, and a good life.
Chinnarat (Jinnaraj) Buddha – the Buddha amulets with the triangle behind, outlining the Buddha with whisps of fire rising off the sides. An exceptionally beautiful Buddha image that many people find pleasing. This is for defense against evil and generally smooth life.
Rahu Demon – the eclipse demon seen eating the sun or moon on various amulets, especially Jatukam Ramathep amulets. This is a reminder of beneficence.