Caring  for  Your  Thai  Amulets

So, you either have a Thai amulet or you are considering one.


In either case, I plan to give you the information you need to help you better understand and care for your newly “rented” amulet.


The history, purpose, and meaning of Thai amulets are wide and vast. There are many amulets with many purposes and meanings. You could study amulets your entire life, as many Thais do, and still not know everything about amulets there is to know.


With that said, there are some basics that are important to always keep in mind.


Because Thai amulets are most often based in their spiritual practices of Theravada Buddhism that teaches impermanence, it’s believed that we are unable to “purchase” or “own” an actual amulet. Instead we are merely “renting” the amulet as the temporary possessor of the religious object. Someday it will leave us, as we are unable to permanently own the amulet. Even if you keep it until your last breath, the amulet will have another owner.


Where to Rent an Amulet

There are countless places to rent amulets. There are amulet markets in Thailand, street stalls, stores, online retailers, private dealers, and Temples that offer amulets. You are free to shop and rent from any of these locations.


My suggestion for a first time renter or even those that have many years of renting experience is to look at the Temples for your amulets.


There is a large supply of amulets all throughout Thailand. In fact, this practice of revering Buddhist amulets is yet another way that the Thais are unique in their Buddhist practices. Thailand seems to be the only Buddhist country that adores amulets so widely.


There are amulets that are authentically created and blessed at specific locations by specific people. There are also lots and lots of counterfeit amulets that flood the markets all the time. The only way to be 100% sure you have an authentic amulet at the appropriate price with the appropriate blessing is to rent one from a Temple.


Renting from a Temple will also benefit the Temple and help support its community. Its almost like a donation to the Temple.


Types of Amulets to Rent

Each amulet has a unique and specific purpose associated with it. You could devote your entire life to understanding amulets and still not know everything there is about amulets. In general, amulets are meant to bring you protection. Protection magic is a big part of Thai culture and amulets are, in effect, a way for you to carry that protection with you wherever you go. After all, it’s a scary world out there and who couldn’t use some protection and comforting to help you get through it.


Buddha images are very common on amulets. You can find amulets that have Buddha images or any number of other images, symbols, or items of affection.


A popular amulet that rushed onto the scene in 2006 are the Jatukham Rammathep amulets. These amulets were produced by a well-known high-ranking Thai police officer that died in 2006 at the age of 104. His amulets became widely popular for their ability to bring good luck while providing protection from evil violent attacks including gunshots and knife wounds.


Other amulets might be of an encased object or item from a famous monk or other holy person like a shaman. Some common examples include an extracted tooth, chewed tobacco, a torn fabric from a monks robe or any number of other items. All these and many more can offer the renter protection from evil, bring good luck, prosperity, and help with personal problems.


Cost of Renting

You can rent amulets costing just pennies or a few dollars all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on your level of interest and budget, there will be an amulet available at your comfort level.


Remember, if you rent your amulet from a Temple you’ll be sure the price is accurate and your money will be going to help a great cause. It will support the Temple’s efforts.


Care and Maintenance of Your Rented Amulet

Amulets are only as powerful as they were created to be and ultimately how well they are respected throughout the life of the amulet. Since you are only renting, you never known who might have rented the amulet prior to you and how they might have or have not of cared for the amulet.


If purchasing from a marketplace other than a Temple, you should consider having a monk or shaman bless the amulet for you upon acquiring the amulet. This will help to clear any negativity accumulated by the amulet prior to you acquiring it. This will essentially “help” to clear the slate but is not a final conclusion. You need to maintain the health and strength of your amulet over the period of time that you are renting.


If you rented your amulet from a Temple, a monk would have most likely already blessed it but you should ask to be sure. If it hasn’t been blessed, you should have it blessed before leaving.


Now its time for you to care for your rented amulet as you would any newly rented object, hopefully even better.


Wearing Your Amulet

Placing your amulet onto your body should always be done in a respectful and mindful fashion. For example, clasp your amulet between both hands, bring it to your forehead with a moment of silence, pray, and personal reflection. Respectfully place the amulet onto your body.


Removing Your Amulet

Removing your amulet from your body should always be done in a respectful and mindful fashion. Clasp your amulet between both hands, bring it to your forehead with a moment of silence, pray, and personal reflection. Respectfully remove the amulet from your body.


While you might feel that you’d like others to appreciate your amulet and view it as a nice piece of art, remember that it’s a religious item that possesses with it powerful protection magic. Taking it off will leave you exposed and susceptible to the spirits and magic around you. It’s not something you want to easily take off and pass around to be viewed by a group or party. Keep in mind; those gathered around you may not know how to respect your amulet. Passing your amulet around could place it in a position of disrespect so when it comes back to you it will be less powerful.


A better solution would be for you to hold it in your hand respectfully so that others may view it without touching your amulet. You might decide to not even remove it at all so others can view it from afar with your hand placed respectfully behind the amulet.


In general, Thais would know to not ask you to remove your amulet and see it unless they are confident they will protect and respect your amulet appropriately. If they didn’t respect your amulet, they’d be afraid of what could happen to them as a result. With that said, you are the final judge and should protect your amulet as it protects you.


Storing Your Amulet

Your amulet should always be highly respected and cared for. When you’re not wearing your amulet, place it in a highly respected location. Some examples include…


- Hang it up high in a private location. The amulet should not be in a location that is frequented often by multiple people. Place your amulet in a safe place away from others especially if unclothed.


- Find a special box or private container that will only contain your amulet and can be placed in a high location. Do not mix your amulet with your jewelry or other items. Amulets are not jewelry but religious items that need to be respected.


- Place your amulet on a Buddhist altar. Ensure you place it at the appropriate level. If you have an amulet with a Buddha image, the amulet should be placed on the same level as your Buddha images and not with your lower images like your parents, gurus, etc.


- Have respected monks chant over your amulet regularly to give it power especially on Wan Phra or New Years.


- Place it on a powerful altar during auspicates ceremonies, wai khru’s, blessings, etc.


- Ask people you respect to temporarily wear and care for your amulet. (parents, siblings, teachers, etc.)


These are a few examples of what you can do to respect your amulet when you are not wearing it and how to care for it. The important concept being, “respect” your amulet.


Treat your amulet well and it will serve you well. No one likes a messy or sloppy renter. There is a lot at stake should you disrespect your amulet. Ensure you are taking care of your amulet as if you have placed an extremely high security deposit.

source : 

Thai Medical Education, Research, and Therapeutics

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