People’s beliefs being reflected as a blessing in form of an item especially among Buddhists of Thailand are known as Thai amulets. Originally the amulets were used to appeal for funds. They were considered as gifts from monasteries or temples in lieu of donations from the worshippers. With passage of time, amulets are observed as tools for amplifying luck in various genres of life such as wealth, health, relationships etc.
Academicians refer to Thai amulets as Votive Tablets. Serious concerns are given to the process of making of these tablets. Various materials can be used for making an amulet such as wood, gold, clay, shell, roots of a particular type of tree , flesh etc. Mainly they are prepared at rural Thailand, but occasionally they are also made at Malaysia, Burma or Cambodia. After preparation, monks are requested to pray and chant blessings to these amulets. This process may range from a few weeks to a few years. Most amulets signify Buddha or a famous monk.
A very famous animal amulet “Phra Luangpho Parn” helps the owner with good luck, wealth and protection. It depicts Hanumana- the soldier of Lord Rama wearing clothes and accessories which also represents infinite fighting power and unyielding willpower.
The value of these amulets illustrates the influence of different faiths at any given place. These sacred tablets are a source of solace and confidence booster for an insecure person with economic worries and instability in their lives. Positive feedback from worshipping amulets has increased its value addition.
The socio-economic sector of Thailand has been greatly influenced by this amulet phenomenon. As per old Buddhist belief, power and prosperity holds the highest frequency, mercy and fertility comes in second followed by protection at third place and ending with happiness and luck being the least frequent. It portrays that individuals believing in these amulets yearns for more power and prosperity which may be too difficult by own capabilities. It would take more time and effort. Presence of magical power would help them to achieve things faster. Debatably, individuals tend to depend more on superstitions rather than their own hard work and karma.
However, if someone studies the sacred market of Thai amulets it would delineate a strong financial tool that benefits thousands of poor and middle class individuals. Firstly the profits from the sale of amulets are widely distributed. Moreover, the consecrations of these amulets prepared for gift distribution or sale leads to annual monastic fairs. These holy fairs attract students, monks and pilgrims from all over the place which generate the need for refreshments and lodging activities. All in all, these magical tablets are blessing representing faith on items for enhancing the qualities of life.