Possibly the oldest amulets which origin are traceable are the amulets from the Haripunchai period (today the area of Lampun province, around 1,000 years ago) when there was a strong Mon-Burmese influence. First amulets where made and blessed from monks and given to warriors and fighters to enhance and strengthen the ability to fight through the faith in Buddha and as a protect against to be beaten, insured or killed in a fight. The power and the belief in these amulets were very strong. More and different amulets are known from the time of the Sukhothai kingdom starting around 700 years ago and of course then from that time on through the Ayuttaya, Rattanakosin periods until in our days. For some old amulets there is often little knowledge from which temple they are or who was the monk who has blessed them. Sometimes only from the style, the craftsmanship or the looking age it can be said that the amulet is from a certain period. Over the periods and years we have now a lot of different types and styles of amulets. But it can be said that there are probably around 15 styles and types of amulets which are preferred and in which people mostly belief. Of course are the very old amulets now collectors items, real one's very hard to find and very expensive.
Later on, over the years amulets were made not only for fighters and warriors. Ordinary people from the communities around a monastry were asking the monks for amulets to strengthen their belief and for protection against evil spirits and accidents. The development was then that men, women, farmers, merchants, traders, businessmen (from all levels of society) asked for amulets, which were blessed (sometimes for a certain purpose) to give success in the daily life or there special business. Young people asked for amulets to make them selves attractive to the opposite sex. Not only amulets which are showing Lord Buddha in different poses were made and blessed. Also different pictures and details from the Hinduism (Khmer influence) like Pra Pikanaet (sitting elephant) or the Goddess of Mercy and the Pra Sankachai (fat, happy Buddha) from the Mahayana Buddhism, widely worshiped by people with Chinese roots. Wearing of a blessed Buddha amulet can help solve obstacles in life and should give in general the wearer in overall a strong confidence, good feeling and above this all "peace of mind".
BLESSING OF AMULETS
Here I would like to underline the importance of the words "blessed from a monk". To make a good Buddha amulet in a temple can take years. From the beginning, to choose the style and kind of the amulet, for what kind of purpose it should serve and therefore blessed, to the search and find the right ingredients and mixing them together and craft the form for the amulet. Decisions for all these processes have to be made from respected monks or a committee of monks. If the amulets finally are ready made, they have to be blessed. Sometimes it takes a long time (sometimes years) after a blessing process is completed. Dozens or even hundreds of monks taking part in single or several blessing sessions. Very often are already blessed amulets passed through other/several monastries for additional blessings. Every monk who takes part in a blessing process transfers his good wishes, his power, thoughts, minds and spirits into the amulet and asks "Lord Buddha" to help and protect the wearer of the amulet. Again: Important is to keep or wear a blessed amulet. Over the years I have recognized, that interested people are only looking to the well known and famous amulets.
BUSINESS WITH AMULETS
Sadly I have to say, that these days are mostly not blessed amulets (just produced from somebody to make a profit) are on display or offer. Very often no proper or satisfying explanation about an amulet can be given. But there is a direct line/connection like ""very famous amulet" => "high price" =>and because of the high price =>"most found amulets from this famous amulet are unblessed copies or fakes" (because unscrupulous sellers using the desire for a famous amulet and the less knowledge of the buyer, to sell a fake to a high price). An exception are of course the professional "amulet dealers" which are selling there amulets in a high class surrounding in big department stores or through the internet now. These dealers are mostly in business for a long time and have a lot of knowledge and expertise, because it is there profession and business (with sometimes very high cost in "overheads" for renting a good selling space) they are sometimes "over the top" with there prices. There might be also a few "black sheep" under them which are using the less knowledge of their customers to sell them the so called "fake items" that means -not an original amulet for a price of an original amulet.
Needless to say that the prices for different amulets are varying from less than 10 US Dollar up to maybe 1 million US Dollar and very often the purchase of a high priced amulet through a person with no or little knowledge ends up in the buy of a good made "fake". This happens often to foreigners (but not only to them). This is sad in two ways, because the buyer has lost his money for a maybe worthless amulet and he/she is believing that this not blessed amulet will bring him luck, fortune, success and protection. Like I mentioned, old and rare amulets are very desired in Thai society and very high priced. Also most of the so desired amulets are already in the hands of wealthy families or persons which are keeping these amulets for the mentioned beliefs. These amulets then are given as a heritage through generations. So, real good old desired amulets cannot be found the easy way, only for a high price from a trusted dealer. But it is not necessary to buy an old, famous and high priced amulet. A good blessed amulet, which has the same or similar style like the original desired "famous" one, but is maybe some years younger, is doing the same duty, because it is blessed. Here the style of the amulet is important for the purpose.
HELP THROUGH AN AMULET
There have been a lot of famous monks over the past 100 or 200 years. These famous monks by themselves had been teachers (acharns) to other monks in their monastries and some of his followers/scholars brought it later the same way to become a teacher for other monks. Through this way, knowledge and ability passed through generations. Most of these monks have made amulets and have blessed them like they have learned it from their teacher. Very often it is seen from the style of the blessed amulet (because it is slightly different) that it might not be from the acharn-monk who has lived a long time ago, but one of his former scholars.
The good spirits an amulet can provide like to bring luck, fortune, success, good sales, protection against force and accidents and to be an attractive and likeable person in the eyes of others, are called in Thai the "puttakhun" of an amulet. So most of the amulets have as the "puttakhun" that the wearer of the amulet appears to a second person as an easy, charming, trustful person with a clean mind and it is easy to talk and deal with him (like there are no barriers between or the amulet takes an invisible barrier through its spirit away). This is very much liked from sales person because it makes it easier to deal with a customer. But also person who wish to build up new relationships, get new friends or like to appear to friends as an easy and likeable person should try to wear a Buddha amulet. In between these chapters I have already brought examples of Buddha amulets and tried to explain the origin, the known history what special kind of "puttakhun" these amulets have. For several reasons and on purpose I have not shown the pictures of "the famous from everyone desired original amulets". Like already mentioned, these amulets are so rare and high priced that they only should be brought from a very reliable known person and with a certificate. For the help an amulet can provide not the high price is important. It is the blessing and the style for the special purpose and the personal taste.
WEARER OF AN AMULET
Finally a few words to the wearer of a Buddha amulet. The amulet always should be treated with respect, be liked and loved by the wearer (only this way it can unfold the real spirit).
Over the centuries when amulets were used from the Buddhist believers there were certain rules that followed:
** Keep your amulet around your neck or in a shirts pocket, an amulet should not be kept lower than the waist/belt (so not in a trousers pocket).
** You can wear the amulet all the time, even when you have a shower or sleep. But it is said that you should not wear it when you are engaged in an "intimate act". (if the amulet is on a chain around your neck, some one can just move the amulet on the chain around so it hangs on the persons back and not laying on the chest). Better take it off.
** If you take your amulet off, put it on a high place like a shelf, board or table. The amulet should not be kept on the floor or touched with feet.
** It is also good luck to keep an amulet for protection against an accident in your car. It should hang from the drivers mirror or be kept in a higher place in the car.
There is a saying: "If you take good care of your Buddha, he will take good care of you" and also: "The amulet is only bringing benefits of luck, fortune and protection to those who are good people, which are not doing or thinking in a bad or evil way (to others). Be good to others and they will be good to you".
(This homepage is far from "being comprehensive". Just some aspects about the beliefs in a Buddha amulet and a help for choosing the right and genuine blessed amulet.)