The Four-Faced Buddha amulet has been a source of fascination and intrigue for many people, both in Thailand and around the world. This unique amulet features the image of a revered deity with four faces, each facing in a different direction.
If you have the opportunity to visit Thailand, you should take some time to go to Erawan Shrine to witness first-hand the devotion of the people here for the Four-Faced Buddha statue. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of the Four-Faced Buddha amulet, exploring its origins, meaning, and the many ways in which it is worshipped and revered.
What is Four-Faced Buddha Amulet?
The Four-Faced Buddha amulet, also known as Phra Phrom, is a sacred object in Thai Buddhist culture. It is an image of the four-faced deity, Brahma, who is revered for his ability to help fulfill the wishes of his devotees.
The amulet is believed to bring good luck, success, and protection to those who wear it. It is also believed to have the power to grant wishes related to wealth, love, career, and health. Many people wear the amulet around their neck or carry it in their pockets or purses.
The Four-Faced Buddha amulet is a popular item in Thailand and is often found in amulet shops, temples, and other places of worship. It is important to note that while the amulet is considered to be a powerful talisman, it is not a substitute for good karma and ethical behavior, which are the foundations of Buddhist teachings.
The Origin of Four-Faced Buddha (Phra Phrom)
The Four-Faced Buddha, known as Phra Phrom in Thailand, has its roots in Hinduism. Originally, this figure was Brahma, one of the three main gods in Hinduism, alongside Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is seen as the creator of the universe and a symbol of wisdom and knowledge.
When Buddhism spread from India to Southeast Asia, many Hindu gods, including Brahma, were woven into Buddhist mythology. In this transition, Brahma evolved into Phra Phrom. In Thailand, he is often depicted with four faces. Each face represents different virtues and aspects of Buddhist teachings, symbolizing a deep spiritual meaning.
A notable instance of Phra Phrom’s influence is the Four-Faced Buddha statue at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. The history of this statue dates back to 1956. Before the Erawan Shrine, there was a hotel on that site which faced many difficulties during construction. It was believed that these problems were due to the displacement of a Brahma statue. To resolve this, a new statue of Brahma was placed in front of the hotel, and the problems reportedly stopped.
The Four-Faced Buddha gained massive popularity after the release of the 1987 film “Erawan Hotel,” which portrayed the deity as a granter of wishes. This led to the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok becoming a sought-after destination for both locals and tourists, who visit to seek blessings and good fortune.
Today, Phra Phrom is a revered figure among many Buddhists in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia. He is seen as a symbol of luck, prosperity, and protection. This deity finds a place not just in temples, but also in homes, businesses, and public spaces, where people continue to offer their respects and prayers.
Phra Phrom, also known as the Four-Faced Buddha, is often depicted holding four different weapons in his hands, each of which holds a symbolic meaning. Here is a brief overview of the four faces and weapons of Phra Phrom:
- North Face: The north face is associated with wisdom and knowledge, and the weapon held in this hand is a scripture or book, symbolizing the importance of knowledge and learning.
- East Face: The east face is associated with protection and the weapon held in this hand is a mace or scepter, symbolizing the power to protect and defend.
- South Face: The south face is associated with compassion and the weapon held in this hand is a lotus flower, symbolizing purity and the ability to overcome obstacles.
- West Face: The west face is associated with wish fulfillment and the weapon held in this hand is prayer beads, symbolizing the power of prayer and meditation to achieve one’s desires.
Overall, the four faces and weapons of Phra Phrom represent different aspects of Buddhist teachings and virtues, such as wisdom, compassion, protection, and wish fulfillment. These teachings serve as a reminder to devotees of the importance of striving towards spiritual liberation and inner peace.
Once you have identified your needs, when you visit Erawan Shrine, you should worship and pray at the corresponding face of Phra Phrom. However, the most important thing is to have a sincere and faithful heart when making offerings, then your desires may become reality.
Many tourists visiting Thailand also pay respects to all four faces of Phra Phrom. They believe that since they have come here, they should worship all the remaining faces with sincerity because each face of the Buddha is equally sacred. The convergence at the corners of the Four-Faced Buddha will help them encounter luck, peace, and overcome any difficulties they may be facing. If you want to worship all four faces of the Buddha, you should follow the clockwise direction from the front face. At each face, you can stop to light a incense, and pray for what you desire.
You can also see dancing girls at Erawan Shrine with the number usually from 6, 8 or 12 people. These are girls hired by others to dance in thanksgiving for what Four-Faced Buddha has done for them.
Benefits of the Four-Faced Buddha Amulet
If you’re considering the Four-Faced Buddha amulet, you might be interested in the various benefits it is believed to bring. This amulet, especially popular in Thailand, is seen as a source of good luck, prosperity, and protection.
One of the key benefits believed to be offered by this amulet is the attraction of wealth and prosperity. This makes it a favorite among businesspeople and entrepreneurs, who often seek an edge in their financial ventures. If you’re aiming for career success, the Four-Faced Buddha amulet is said to be helpful. Many believe it can aid in achieving professional goals and climbing the career ladder.
For protection, the amulet is thought to be quite powerful. It’s believed to guard against harm and evil spirits, offering a sense of safety and peace of mind. If love and relationships are your focus, the Four-Faced Buddha might also be of interest. It’s associated with romantic connections and is said to help in finding a soulmate or enhancing current relationships.
Many also turn to the Four-Faced Buddha amulet with hopes and prayers, believing it has the power to grant wishes. Whether it’s a specific desire or a general hope for better things, this amulet is often chosen for its perceived ability to manifest such aspirations.
It’s important to remember, though, that while many hold these beliefs about the Four-Faced Buddha amulet, there’s no scientific proof backing these claims. The true power of the amulet lies in your faith and belief in its potential to bring positive changes and good fortune to your life.
Mysterious stories related to the Four-Faced Buddha
The Erawan Shrine incident
In 2015, a bomb exploded at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, killing 20 people and injuring more than 120 others. Many people believe that the Four-Faced Buddha statue at the shrine protected some visitors from the full impact of the blast. Some even claim that the statue shed tears or showed other miraculous signs after the bombing.
The Fateful flight of 1997
On September 3, 1997, Vietnam Airlines Flight 815, which was flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh International Airport in Cambodia, crashed during landing. All 64 out of 66 people on board, including the crew and passengers, were killed, except for two children.
According to Saigon Doanh Nghiep, the crash was caused by severe weather conditions in Cambodia due to heavy rain and storms, which the TU 134 aircraft was unable to withstand despite the experienced pilot, who was also the chief safety officer of VNA.
Only the tail of the plane remained intact, and that saved one baby’s life. There are some sources that say only one baby survived, while others suggest that two people survived. What’s remarkable is that people saw a miraculous pendant on the surviving baby’s neck, which was a Four-Faced Buddha amulet. The pendant was bought by the baby’s parents during a trip to Thailand.
The Curse of the Four-Faced Buddha
According to legend, anyone who steals or defaces a Four-Faced Buddha statue will be cursed with bad luck and misfortune until they return the stolen object and make amends. There are many stories of people who have suffered accidents, illnesses, or financial ruin after stealing or damaging Four-Faced Buddha statues.
The Girl sweeps the trash around the Four-Faced Buddha
The story that many tour guides tell about the Four-Faced Buddha statue in Thailand is related to the garbage collector who was cleaning around the statue.
One day, after the ceremony had ended, the garbage collector was so tired that she pointed straight at the face of the Buddha statue and said, “You have fulfilled so many wishes and desires of many people. So why is it that even someone who cleans up after you every day cannot receive any response from you?” The garbage collector promised that if she won the lottery, she would dance naked in front of the Four-Faced Buddha statue.
After that, the garbage collector actually won a huge lottery prize but forgot about her promise. After a long time, when she fell seriously ill, she suddenly remembered her unfulfilled promise. She decided to return to the temple and make a thanksgiving ceremony for the Four-Faced Buddha statue, and then she was miraculously cured of her illness.
The Floating Four-Faced Buddha
There have been several reports of a mysterious Four-Faced Buddha statue floating on the water in various locations in Thailand. Some people claim that the statue is a manifestation of the deity, while others believe it is a hoax or a publicity stunt.
The Four-Faced Buddha and lottery winners
Many people believe that praying to the Four-Faced Buddha can bring good luck and help them win the lottery. There are numerous stories of people who have won large sums of money after making offerings or performing rituals at Four-Faced Buddha shrines.
While some of these stories may be exaggerated or based on superstition, they reflect the deep reverence and cultural significance of the Four-Faced Buddha in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Where is the Four-Faced Buddha Temple Located in Thailand?
- Name: Erawan Shrine
- Address: In front of the Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel, at the corner of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri streets.
- Opening hours: 06h00 – 24h00
The Four-Faced Buddha Temple, also known as the Erawan Shrine, is located in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. It is situated at the intersection of Ratchadamri Road and Phloen Chit Road, near the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The shrine is easily accessible by public transportation, such as the BTS Skytrain, and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
The people living here, including locals and tourists, all take the time to visit the Erawan Shrine to pray for good luck and peace. If you have the opportunity to visit Thailand, you will have a chance to witness many tourists present at the Erawan Shrine to offer prayers, pay respects, and make offerings to the statue of Phra Phrom Buddha.
How to Worship and Make Wishes to the Four-Faced Buddha Statue
If you’re planning to visit the Four-Faced Buddha statue, especially at the Erawan Shrine, and want to make a wish, there are some steps and customs to keep in mind for a respectful and meaningful experience.
Firstly, remember that you’re entering a sacred space. It’s important to use polite language – no swearing or vulgar talk. Respecting the spiritual nature of the place is key, whether you’re a believer or not.
Dressing appropriately is also crucial. Wear clothes that are modest and respectful. This means avoiding outfits that are too revealing or could be seen as offensive. It’s about showing respect for the spiritual environment you’re in.
When you’re at the shrine, it’s best not to bring pets along. The area is often patrolled by Thai police who may conduct checks, and having pets might draw unnecessary attention.
Now, about making your wish. If your wish is specific, you can light candles at one or all four faces of the Buddha statue. If you choose to visit all four faces, stop at each one to light three candles, burn a joss stick, and offer a bouquet of flowers. Each face represents different aspects, so your intention might guide which face you choose to focus on.
After you’ve made your prayers or wishes, it’s a common practice to go to the elephant statues corner. Here, you’ll find the holy water of the Four-Faced Buddha. Use this water to wash your face and hands, but be respectful. Instead of dipping your hands directly into the container, scoop the water out. This is important as direct contact is often seen as disrespectful by locals.
Visiting the Four-Faced Buddha is more than just a tourist activity; it’s a chance to connect with a deep spiritual tradition. The Erawan Shrine, with its stories of sanctity and spiritual significance, is a popular spot for many who visit Thailand, the Land of Golden Temples, and seek blessings or wish to make an offering.