Phra Somdej: The King of Amulets
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
If one were to question what the most popular amulet is in Thailand and across the world, there is none more famous than the revered Phra Somdej amulet. Not only does Phra Somdej have the most followers but the image on his amulet is one of the most recognisable across the globe. Statues and images of the revered monk are some of the most popular religious icons in Thailand and can be seen throughout the Kingdom.
Phra Somdej also known as Phra Somdej To is often the choice amulet of new believers or first timers. Most Thai Buddhists own at least one of these amulets as it is the most respected and powerful, hence the name ‘The King of Amulets’.
Somdej studied the Pali canon under many masters before becoming the instructor of Prince Mongkut who would later become King Rama the 4th and was appointed as one of the top advisors to His Majesty and bestowed the title of Maha Toh or King’s Monk.
When Phra Somdej’s father became King he was given the Wat Rakhang Temple in Bangkok where his most famous and highly sought amulets come from and was awarded the title of Somdej Phra Puutajarn Toh, the highest title one can achieve.
His amulets feature an image of Buddha without eyes or mouth sitting on a three level throne depicting the 3 worlds of Buddhist cosmology. He made 73 versions of the design in his lifetime which are often made from an array of materials such as monk hair, temple dust, cremated urns and other relics. Originally they were crafted by hand until a mold was finalised which worked much better and set the standard for all future amulets.
King Rama the 9th famously made a batch of amulets named Chitralada with the image of Phra Somdej which he donated to selected soldiers, policemen, government officers and citizens. It is estimated now that these amulets sell from 2 million Baht upwards.
Phra Somdej was renowned for making amulets to spread the word of Buddhism thus spreading good karma to the world. The functions of this amulet are protection, health, better relationships, peace, power and good luck making this amulet a really good all rounder and one of the most powerful. Phra Somdej is worn by people all across society such as celebrities, high ranking policemen and muaythai fighters and is truly celebrated as the king of amulets.
Check out Phra Somdej below