Amulets have become more and more popular and “fashionable” among people outside Thailand. This article aims to provide a deeper understanding towards amulets, especially of the “yin” genre.
Amulets, no doubt, are an inextricable and highly valued cultural and religious item both in the history and tradition of Thai Buddhism. Amulets can usually be classified into two categories. The first type are made by venerated monks with high virtue in established temples, usually given away to thank devotees who have made a donation towards temple building, sponsorship of monkshood or other charitable courses.
Some very signature pieces belonging to this category, for examples, are Phra Somdej, Phra Pidta and Phra Khring. These amulets are created with proper consecrations, rituals and prayers, for the good purpose of blessing, guiding and protecting devotees and help them move closer to the proper Buddhist path. They are usually safe and will not “backfire”.
The second type, are made and designed by certain Ajarns (the term “Ajarn” refers to any senior, master or teacher in Thailand), and these “yin” amulets are usually linked or embedded with unsanctified spiritual energies, evil spirits or ghosts that are unable to reincarnate.
Amulets are not normal objects and cannot be perceived or treated like one. There is a spiritual aspect attached to these items, linked to a non-physical dimension, that layman cannot sense, perceive and control.
Throughout my stay in Thailand, I have witnessed firsthand how some people have put their lives in danger by misusing some of these items, and have gotten themselves into irreversible states of chaos and disasters. Some have become sick, mentally disturbed, losing wealth whilst others have even took their own lives or died tragically.
These incidents have continued to happen and the frequency are escalating, as many beginners, merely lured by the prospects of having shortcuts to quick fortune and benefits, neglected the fact that, these items needed to be handled with proper intention, knowledge, manner, usage, methods of offerings and prayers, and required considerable background experience to keep.
It is true that, if one is able to practice compassion with proper intention and action towards them, one can actually cultivate and dedicate good merits to these spirits, which are usually untamed in nature. On the other hand, we must be realistic in our judgment because it is also a fact that many people outside Thailand simply do not have access to holistic knowledge on how to treat these “yin” amulets.
Having witnessed repeatedly uncountable cases of devotees seeking help at the temple because they have misused these “yin” amulets, which have brought about undesirable effects into their lives, and also the lives of their families and loved ones, has brought to my understanding that some spiritual issues are difficult to be tackled. You cannot see them, cannot hear them, but they are around you always, doing whatever that appeases them without your permission.
Important questions to ask, are whether your karma is positive enough, your level of understanding and realization thorough enough and your spiritual strength pure enough to be able to include such often grieved and enraged spirits in your own life?
Another danger emerging is that more and more of such “yin” amulets are spreading overseas. It is not an exaggeration to say the 90% of the people do not have complete understanding of what they are exactly getting into by inviting them into their lives.
As a large number of these people stay far away from Thailand, it is also extremely difficult for them to have access to the help of monks who are well-trained in handling such spiritual issues.
It is normal for us as mortals to have desires. We wish for wealth, good health, happiness and satisfaction in life. However, nothing will escape the law of cause and effect, and the subsequent chains of karma in this universe.
When you desire something and seek the help of these spirits, these spirits may be willing to provide you help. Nonetheless, after getting what you wanted, will the spirits simply leave and will not interfere with your living anymore?
“Yin” amulets or items are usually made with ingredients gathered from two sources:
1) Oil or body parts from corpses, usually of people who have died tragically, that have passed away for 49 days.
2) Spirits of deceased, usually died tragically, who have passed away for 49 days.
Of course, there are many other ways and materials in which such “yin” amulets are made. However, it is not my intention to bring a sense of horror to readers, and I will only explain at an introductory level on the spiritual aspects behind the making of these “yin” amulets.
No energy in this universe will diminish. Energy will only be transferred or converted to another form. Life energy and consciousness follow the same rule.
According to Taoist beliefs, within the 49 days in which a person has passed away, the soul will be disintegrated into three main “components” or “spiritual entities” – the sky spirit, earth spirit and man spirit (天/地/人三魂).
This is similar to the concept of Bazi in which a man’s destiny is divided into the heavenly stems, earthly stems and men stems, with the daymaster representing the individual (which I will teach in my astrology lessons).
For every 7-days, the spirits will wander at different places. For example, if the person died in a hospital, the spirit will wander around in the hospital. If the person died in a car accident, the spirit will wander around the accident site. For the second 7-days period, the spirit will return home to see their families. For the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh 7-days period, where they go will depend on their past karma.
However, regardless where they go, they are no longer the master of their own will, and will suffer the torture and torment due to the accumulation of negative karmic energy built up in their conscience and consciousness throughout their entire life-span.
Hence, one of the main purposes of Buddhism is to help us alleviate the pain and suffering of dying. However, for most people, the sudden departure from their physical bodies, and their loved ones, is an excruciating experience, and most of us cannot come into a total realization and acceptance of the nature of impermanence in our lives.
Most of the time, these spirits will be at a complete state of confusion and lost. Some are not able to come to terms with their own deaths, and still have strong emotional attachment to issues that they haven’t let go. They are unfamiliar and uncomfortable towards the sudden transformation into a spirit, and it is at such such a vulnerable state that certain Ajarns will choose to bring these spirits, especially spirits of innocent children, under their control using rituals, give them a physical form by attaching or “housing” them into amulets or statues. What happen next can be easily guessed by you.
It is my hope that all who are keeping “yin” amulets will do intensive research, to acquire proper knowledge, with the intention for these spirits to be liberated, or at least taken good care of, and make sure that there is a monk whom they can turn to for help when things are not going right, before making a commitment.
“Yin” amulets in themselves are not "bad". It is how well we are able to handle them that's the key.
The aim of this article is for educational purpose only and as always, my posts are written for the sake of spreading positive knowledge, messages, values and energies, in as much a fair and unbiased manner as possible, with no intention to bring harm to anyone.
I have no intention in preventing anyone from using these items in whatever way they wished, but am merely highlighting the factors readers should consider carefully towards making an informed decision and making a commitment to keep them.
In the coming days, I will be revealing more information regarding Thai amulets, information on how to handle them and what can be done when mishaps or "backfiring" occurs.