This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Thai Amulets: The Power Play Between Buddhism, Materialism And Sensationalism

2070 words - 8 pages

Project Title:Rise in demand of Thai Amulets: the power play between Buddhism, materialism and sensationalism.Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, painting the impression of vibrant smiles on the faces of every Thai. Another notable epithet is the Land of Yellow Robes, which characterizes Thailand as a predominantly Buddhist country along with the ubiquitous sight of monks in their eye-catching yellow robes in Thailand. Other than smiles and monks being closely associated with Thailand, Thai amulets have made their way into the lives of nearly every Thai, establishing a cult of amulets. The cult of amulets is permeated throughout Thais from all walks of life and should not be dismissed as a simplistic "superstition" thought to appeal to the impoverished or illiterate (Tambiah 197), thereby establishing the relevance of the rise in the popularity of amulets to factors which are of a far-reaching nature.This paper will examine the role of Buddhism, materialism and sensationalism with respect to their influence on Thailand's roaring amulet trade. This paper argues that despite the influence of materialism and sensationalism on the demand of amulets, the nucleus of the demand stems from Buddhist beliefs.Firstly, amulets are inextricably linked to Buddhism in their production from the materials used, the selective images stamped on the amulets, the sacralizing process, the monks involved as well as the place of sacralization. It can be argued that the underlying reason behind the rising demand of amulets is based on the amulets' alleged powers, which are derived from the process of sacralization, which incorporates fully the elements of Buddhism. Besides that, there is heavy involvement of esteemed and reputable monks in the sacralization of amulets as well. In the making of amulets at the shrine of the "pillar of the city" in Bangkok, a hundred and eight revered monks consecrated the metal sheets used to make the amulets by writing sacred letters on them and reciting sacred words at the same time. (Tambiah 244). During the proceeedings of the sacralization, there will be the continuous incantations of the paritta chant, which denotes protection and are references to some parts of Buddha's teachings (Cook 40). It can be observed that Buddhism plays an important part in all steps of production, thus establishing a close association with the amulets. By virtue of this association, it was believed that power was concentrated and transferred to the amulets. (Cook 41). Therefore, the laity's belief in the power held by the amulets then materializes itself into the high demand of amulets, especially the amulets blessed by highly esteemed monks.However, in light of Buddhist teachings, there is conflict between the concept of amulets and their compatibility with Buddhism, which casts doubt on Buddhism as the main factor behind the rise in demand of amulets. According to Cook, there is a general agreement in a mediation monastery in Northern Thailand that...

Find Another Essay On Thai amulets: the power play between Buddhism, materialism and sensationalism

Morality Play, And The Abuse Of Power

1195 words - 5 pages The Abuse of Power in the book Morality Play Many centuries ago, the wise King Arthur once stated," Might does not make right." A thoughtful and compelling comment that serves humanity as a reminder that having power does not justify its abuse. However, even with this warning to future leaders, the abuse of power has been running rampant throughout history. Barry Unsworth's book Morality Play focuses on England in the late

The Leopold and Loeb Case and its Sensationalism in Tabloids

1504 words - 7 pages the trial through the media, which served as the provider of most relevant information. Much of the interest in the case may be attributed to its dramatization by the press; sensationalism aggrandized its importance and uniqueness. A critical part of the journalistic influence on the case was the creation of a relevant story. To interest readers, papers needed to connect the trial of Leopold and Loeb to everyday life. As a result, the press

Differences Between Buddhism and Christianity

1835 words - 7 pages differences between them are more significant. As we can know, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islamism are the three largest religions all over the world. They all play a very significant role in our life. Nonetheless, Christianity and Buddhism are the largest population around the world. Through our religious distribution map around the world, there are seven billion followers who believe in Buddhism while twenty billion followers who believe in

Similarities Between Buddhism and Christianity

793 words - 3 pages Buddhism is credible or not, has sparked spirited debate. The Christian believes the Buddha is a “shadow”, and he is not to be believed. Actually, there are some similarities in terms of histories, main figures, and beliefs between Buddhism and Christianity. In order to solve sources of conflict, the Buddhists and the Christians should understand the parallels between both religions and respect each other’s beliefs. To start with the histories of

Explains the differences between Christianity and Buddhism in certain ways

1042 words - 4 pages or bad and where will he end up, some think its is simply to help others during our lives. While no-one knows the right answer to these fundamental questions for sure, we may speculate or try to understand the Bible more closely to find the answers we seek. The main difference between Buddhism and Christianity in these questions is that Buddhists believe in reincarnation, where a human's soul will be reborn in a different body after death, and

Business negotiation between Thai and South Korean businesspersons

647 words - 3 pages relation between Thailand and its trading partners. These policies are set up to help boost Thai economy. Additionally, Thailand is one of potential countries for international investment which has many attracted foreign investors such as Asians, North Americans and Europeans. Among these countries, South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK) is one of the major foreign investors in Thailand. According to the record of the Thailand Board

Materialism and the Negative Effects

756 words - 3 pages E.B. Forster’s symbolic and satirical essay, “My Wood”, is about materialism and its negative effects on human character. It has a self-deprecating, ironic approach, illustrating his personal journey of material ownership, painted with a shameful, dark undertone. He seems to be aware of these negative effects as he experiences them, but it does not detract from his want for more, which will compound the problems. This odyssey, though based on

The power of play

1480 words - 6 pages children out of love and to nurture their learning abilities. Let’s put an end to childhood depression and phobia of school, as the book “Einstein Never Used Flash Cards” speaks out about. Allow children to be children and learn naturally through the childhood development domains educators know work. Put an end to developmentally inappropriate practices and let true beauty shine, the beauty that possesses great power and force, the power of play.

Buddhism: Case Study - Power and Gender in Buddhism

499 words - 2 pages BUDDHISM: CASE STUDY "Power and gender in Buddhism" After visiting the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple in Woollongong (Unanderra), and studying further power and gender in Buddhism, I have learned that although Buddhism and the Buddhist doctrine are not extremely strict in the formation of hierarchies, there are some variations in status within the Sangha (Buddhist community). Also I have found that although equality between the sexes is regarded as a

The Tempest: 3 Differences Between the Play and the Movie

1144 words - 5 pages 3 Differences Between The Play And Movie “The Tempest” “The Tempest” is a play written by William Shakespeare in early 1600s that has been previewed in different kinds of movies, such as the one made in 2010, directed by Julie Taymor. It is a play containing themes such as; revenge, allusion, retribution, forgiveness, power, love and hatred. When it is compared to the play, there are specific differences seen in the movie, such as; Prospero

Buddhism and the Brain

712 words - 3 pages personal level; as well as his strong belief in the evidence of science. The author’s style is blunt and opinionated, which lands this article in the opinion section of “The Seed” online magazine. He begins by giving us the background of the studies conducted on relations between Neuroscience and Buddhism. He tells us about his reluctance to believe any scientific evidence that is related to religion, because the members of those specific

Similar Essays

Rise In Demand Of Thai Amulets: The Power Play Between Buddhism, Materialism And Sensationalism

2070 words - 8 pages Project Title:Rise in demand of Thai Amulets: the power play between Buddhism, materialism and sensationalism.Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, painting the impression of vibrant smiles on the faces of every Thai. Another notable epithet is the Land of Yellow Robes, which characterizes Thailand as a predominantly Buddhist country along with the ubiquitous sight of monks in their eye-catching yellow robes in Thailand. Other than smiles and

An Evaluation Of The Role Of Tradition And Cultural Heritage In Thai Buddhism

2113 words - 8 pages noted that as a consequence of this traditional Thai belief, there has been a lack of “a prescribed role for women” in Thai religion (Falk in Banks Findly, p.38), and with no established and legally recognised women’s monastic order, the place of women in Thai Buddhism is rather ambiguous.One can see the compromise between Buddhist tradition and Thai values through the role of family in the life of the Buddhist nuns. Traditionally, to

Jai And Thai: Understanding The Thai Heart

985 words - 4 pages In the Thai language, Jai (Thai: ใจ) means “Heart”, “Mind”, or “Spirit”. If you listen to conversations among Thais, you will hear this word for several times each day, and you will even see that the word “Jai” is frequently used on advertising campaigns and promotional literatures. It is always used as part of an expression to reflect “humanity” and “property of human being”, and it is much entrenched into the Thai culture, for Thai people

The Battle Between Materialism And Spirituality In Shakespeare's King Lear

930 words - 4 pages The centuries-old dilemma between materialism and spiritualism has embedded itself in the Western conscience as the defining question of reality and manifests itself in works of literature throughout the ages. The relationship between materialism and spiritualism is ambiguous in and of itself. The philosophy of materialism postulates that development and change in society is centered around the interactions between material objects, whereas