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Amulets

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Buddha holy amulet is a lucrative business in Thailand. Made of stone, pottery or metal, temples use them to remind followers of the Buddha's teachings and to commemorate deceased monks. Sales eventually became a key source of income. There are specialised markets to buy them. Prices can be very high (up to one million Baht) for high sacred amulets. Chinese, Hong Kong and Singapore people are also interested in amulets business but Thailand still remains the best place for that kind of business. There are even persons collecting them. This kind of worship for amulets started at RAMA IV reign.

Amulet
Amulet
Most Thai people believe that wearing around the neck a Buddha holy amulet protect them from anything. There are even some policemen that don't wear any bullet-proof jacket or some drivers that don't use their seat-belt while driving because they are protected by the magic of the amulet against bullets or accidents.

Some people also wear several holy amulets to have more protection. Some also wear amulets in shape of male sex in order to improve their virility. Many magazines about holy amulets are sold in Thai book shops.

Amulets
Amulets
In 1996, the amulet business was worth 10 billion baht. In 2000, it grossed just 6 billion baht. The main cause of falling sales is Thailand's struggling economy. People can't afford to buy or spend as much on the amulets.

In year 2007 one woman was killed and 30 people were injured when about 10 000 people stampeded to buy amulets in southern Thailand. The crowd was waiting to buy special-edition Jatukam Ramatep amulets. The amulets have a high resale value and many speculators were there. The original Jatukam Ramatep amulets were introduced 20 years ago by Khun Phantharak Rajadej, a police chief from Nakhon Si Thammarat. They became popular when he died at the age of 108.

Amulets
Amulets
Buyers want gold from ancient Buddha statues, which are thought to be sacred, for use in the frames of Buddha amulets.
Amulets
Amulets
The scale of Buddhist amulets phenomenon is now so large the Thai Revenue Department is looking into ways of taxing amulet sales despite a convention that donations or money going to Buddhist temples are exempt from tax.
Amulets
Amulets
The prices depend on the age of the Buddha amulet, the fame of the Thai Buddhist monk who made the amulet, the history of the people who have worn the same Buddha amulet in both peace and battle.
Amulets
Amulets
The amulet market has also suffered because of growing doubts about the revered but scandal-tainted monkhood. Anyway amulets blessed by reputable monks still sell well.
Amulets
Amulets
Chatuchak Market, Bangkok Weekend Market, like any Thai market, features multiple Buddhist amulets sellers.
Amulets
Amulets
This seller displays multiple miscellaneous holy items such as Buddha amulets, statuettes...On public buses, taxis, personal vehicles, drivers often hung amulets around the rear-view mirror.


Amulets
Amulets
Amulets
Amulets


Lok Thip
Lok Thip
Thai magazine "Lok Thip" (the heavenly world) (โลกทิพย์) is about Buddhism.

Nowadays, many magazines about Buddhism and sacred amulets can be found. Amulet business is Thailand is big. Buddhism has gone through high commercialisation.

Mahalap
Mahalap
Thai magazine "Mahalap" (the great piece of Luck) (มหาลาภ) is about Buddhism and sacred amulets.


Thai people believe it is possible to change the destiny, to escape the fate, to lessen the sufferings by magical interventions such as tattoos, amulets.

Mystical drawing
Mystical drawing
The "YAN" (ยันต์) is a drawing representing religious mystical symbols to protect the area from ghosts and bad spirits. This symbol can be seen in many locations such as cars, taxis, temples, doors of houses and so on...
Amulet
Amulet
Some also wear amulets ("PALAT KLIK" - ปลัดขลิก) in shape of a phallus in order to improve their virility, attract ladies or also to improve business and have luck.

Some Thai amulets are shaped like the phallus, inherited from ancient Shivaism of India via Cambodia.

Drawing
Drawing
Such drawing protects the house from all harm and the owner will be blessed with charm and popularity.
Tattoo
Tattoo
Thai men believe in the power of tattoos. In old times tattoos ("SAK" - สัก) protected the skin against sharp knifes. The only way to kill the person was to hit the body strongly in order that internal bleeding caused the death.


Bad actions and rewards of these bad actions take an important place in Buddhism and in Thai behaviour. When somebody dies, if he behaved in a bad way, he is sent to hell in order to be tortured. After a while, he shall have a new rebirth. This life will be hard and tough. He has to pay for his past bad actions. Only when he died, he will have consumed his bad actions.

Thailand has also a unique traditional death ritual, i.e. applying soot or red lime to the corpse to identify the person when he or she is reborn.

Thai magazine
Thai magazine
Some Thai magazine narrate "WEN KAM" stories. The slogan is "No need to wait for next life in order to know more about the result of past bad actions".

Thai people often say "WEN KAM" (เวรกรรม) when they have bad luck. It means that their bad luck is linked to their past behaviour in their previous life. Thai people often make offerings to temples and monks in order to gain merit and lessen their past bad actions.

Thai magazine
Thai magazine
Thai lovers like to believe there were already lovers in a previous life.
* เคยเป็นคู่กันแล้วไม่แคล้วกันเพราะมีกรรมเป็นเครื่องผูกกัน - they are an inseparably couple, Karma always unite them

* เป็นเนื้อคู่กัน - they are matched to each other through Karma

* คู่เวรคู่กรรม - they are a couple linked by Karma

* ชาติไหนก็มาเกิดเป็นเนื้อคู่อยู่เรื่อย - at each rebirth, they are destined to be together

Thai people believe that when people die, a relative has to cremate them or bless them. If this is not done or the body is not found, people believe the person will appear over and over again to show where they are.

In 2001 a woman who claims her son has been reincarnated as a lizard can keep it until she performs religious rites to send his spirit away. She claims the monitor lizard followed her home after her son was cremated one month ago. It's illegal to keep the reptile in captivity, but officials have agreed to let her keep it until she's performed the rites. Crowds have visited her home, believing the lizard is lucky. Some have rubbed its skin hoping to see winning lottery numbers. The reptile is being fed on yoghurt and milk - favourites of the dead boy. The lizard is said to be in a poor condition and growing weaker. It will be taken to a wildlife sanctuary once the rites have been performed.



Cemetery
Cemetery
Thai temples are places related to Thai Buddhism. Monks are living there. Those places are sacred. Temples also contain cemeteries. Bones are enshrined in small pagodas.

In year 2002 a religious rite was organized to get rid of ghosts many locals believe were haunting an accident-plagued intersection. Some local people believed the intersection was haunted by ghosts who wanted more people to die so that the spirits of the dead would guard the road for them. Monks performed a prayer to cast out all bad spirits and bring good luck.

Buddhist shrines
Buddhist shrines
Everywhere in Thailand, there are shops selling spirit houses and shrines to embed ancestors' ashes.

It is said that during the first days of ordination, young monks, while meditating, are assaulted by ghosts in order to frighten them and to force them to defrock.

Buddhist shrines
Buddhist shrines
In the past, local people asked wandering monks to sit around the cremation pyre. Monks asked the souls of the dead to accept the merit made of their behalf. Local people believed that the monks' merit, gained from observing Buddhist precepts and practising meditation, would carry the spirits to heaven.

Still today every person who died must be cremated and not buried. When the body is cremated, the soul goes away and waits until next reincarnation. If buried, it stays on earth as a spirit and it harms everybody. In 1998, a big cremation was organised to burn many dead people. Nobody had claimed the corpses. The Poh Tek Teung Foundation and Ruam Katanyu Foundation staff are known as "body snatchers" working in great anticipation of collecting some dead corpses.



Ascetic
Ascetic
A "REUSI" (ฤาษี) usually lives as an ascetic or hermit in a cave and is depicted with a white beard and wearing tiger fur.

The Thai word "REUSI" is meaning seer (one who sees).

Ascetic
Ascetic
Ascetic
Ascetic

The Reusi are the protectors and teachers of the natural sciences such as healing, astrology, palmistry...

Ascetic
Ascetic
The traditional Thai massage system is a holistic massage therapy that focuses on the body as a whole. Traditional Thai massage is linked to ascetic exercises.


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