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Phra Kring - The Ringing Amulet

Phra Kring is popularly known as “Ringing Amulet” by many. It was intended that when a Phra Kring is shaken, a ringing sound could be heard due to its metal cast hollow body containing a small ball bearing. In recent years Phra Kring amulet was referred to as “Medicine Buddha” probably due to its healing ability when carried along would cure illnesses.

Another amulet resemblance to Phra Kring is called Phra Chaiyawat . The close similarity between Phra Chaiyawat with Phra Kring is hard to be distinguished from the outlook. The only major difference is Phra Chaiyawat do not produce any ringing sound when shaken. Obviously Phra Chaiyawat does not contain a metal ball bearing inside its hollow metal casted body unlike Phra Kring.

All these varying terminology and differences in appearance does not alter the way that Phra Kring or Phra Chaiyawat bestow its protective energies to the worshipper. Thus, I once heard a story from an amulet circle friend of mine John whom hailed from Penang.  This story was told to me that actually happened to him many years ago.  John used to travel every fortnightly using an old company car to the East Coast to visit his customers mainly in Kelantan and Terengganu.  Back in 1998 a friend of his gave him a Phra Kring from Wat Lam Sai as a gift to bring luck and protection.  Feeling appreciated, the gift had served John very well as an early piece of amulet under his collection till today that had even saved his life from a freak accident. 

My most humble gratitude to John for his consent in allowing the publication of this story whole heartedly and taking his time in photographing his Phra Kring to share with all SimplyBuy's members, collectors and visitors.  It is our greatest hope that with this sincerity in sharing more people will come to understand the miracles of Phra Kring.

Wearing only this particular Phra Kring the freak accident happened on 22 July 2002 during his travel journey from Penang to Kota Bahru, Kelantan using the Gerik Timur highway. For those of us who have tried this highway after visiting Wat Uttamaram will certainly know how deserted the road was with many kilometres apart before you could see another passing motorist. It’s most eerie at the Jeli -Kuala Kangsar long treacherous stretch of road condition surrounded by thick forest where handphone signal is off-coverage. That’s kind of scary if you were to drive at night.

I cannot fully recall the entire story but the most apparent part of the story told was that his car suddenly went out of control and skidded along the steep mountainous road. The feeling of “somebody” or unseen forces trying to sway his car steering wheel off the road is very real according to his experience. The last thing he could remember was thinking of and had complete trust to his Phra Kring while hanging on to the ordeal. Before long the car finally rolled over to a complete stop inside a ditch where no passing motorist could notice his badly damaged car.

When he pulled himself out from the wreckage, surprisingly he was not injured at all and is still alive to tell me this story. Badly shaken, he managed to crawl up to the road side to get help from passing motorists, if there’s any. But it seems like ages waiting for any passing motorist. He then prayed to his Phra Kring again for assistance and eventually an old motorcyclist appeared.  That’s the closest story that I have heard in relation to Phra Kring’s magical sciences. Today John is still working in the same company and happily travelling to the East Coast region visiting customers on a monthly basis. He’s also a fan of Kelantan amulet genres and Than Lek’s stuffs.

To further explain Phra Kring and Phra Chaiyawat are actually mini statues that represent Lord Buddha’s image for the purpose of carrying anywhere for luck, guardianship and protection. In Cambodia, there has been a long tradition of Phra Kring worship called Kring Pathum that started the trend of “ringing amulet” in Thailand during the Sukhothai era. The worshipping of this iconic small size image containing a metal seed inside its hollow body does not confined in Thailand and Cambodia only but also spread over to China, Japan, Tibet and Vietnam.

Phra Chaiyawat is a Buddha statue (similar like Phra Kring) but without the metal seed concealed inside the metal casting. Therefore, it cannot produce any ringing sounds. A tradition had been passed down for many generations from master makers dictating that Phra Chaiyawat must be crafted first before Phra Kring.  What it means is that Phra Chaiyawat must be the firstly crafted prior to Phra Kring in the same batch or edition.

A Phra Chaiyawat is smaller in size in comparison to a Phra Kring.  In essence, a Phra Chaiyawat is smaller in size therefore it's not suitable to insert a ball bearing into the hollow body cast to produce a jingling bell sound.

Wat Bowon Pairee Pinat  


The above example inside this box from Wat Bowon is called Phra Chaiwat Pairee Pinat.  The shape and feature looked almost identical to a Phra Kring but only Wat Bowon under the Royal Patronage is authorized to create Pairee Pinat.  Wat Bowen is the official temple of the Supreme Patriach of Thailand. The Buddha image here is well-known by the name of Phra Pairee Pinat literally mean Vanquishing All Enemies. Pairee Pinat aids in improving human relationship (metta), career and wealth luck.

Somehow we did notice that Phra Kring is more popular among worshippers and enthusiasts as they are being produced more to satisfy the market demand and to serve as a protective talisman to usher good fortunes and good health to the wearers.  But nevertheless Phra Pairee Pinat is also capable to provide the same potent effects as Phra Kring. 

Phra Kring Wat Suthat

Arcane knowledge with complex ritual process is used in the creation of Phra Chaiyawat and Phra Kring. The process starts from collecting and acquiring organic and non-organic materials believed to have magical potency to be blended into the metal compound. Ritualistic steps are taken all the way using potent incantations and charms right through the finishing touches in order to make this talisman work. What makes these talismans unique is the choosing of an auspicious date and time for the metal casting, and the number of pieces. Method used in the making of such talisman depends on individual makers either by traditional moulding technique or modern casting technology. These high complex rituals and the utmost care taken in craftsmanship limit the production quantity despite high market demand.

The history of making Phra Kring in Thailand dated back to King Naresuan and Phra Somdej Panaret's era during Ayutthaya period.  The scriptures for making Phra Kring states that in order to make an effective or "saksit" Phra Kring, the material combination must include 108 types of yantra from Takrut formations.  However, the scripture was lost during the chaotic war time and later the secret making of a saksit Phra Kring was inherited by Somdej Sam Ploem a few decades later.  The inheritence of this ancient scripture then went to Somdej Pavarit of Wat Bovorn in Bangkok.

However, Phra Kring wasn't popular until sometime in B.E.2520s when Phra Sangharat Pae from Wat Suthat Thepwararam revived the traditional scripture in the study of making effective saksit Phra Kring.  The reason for the study and research was because of the astonishing result when an old Phra Kring Pavarit upon  submerged into making holy water could miraculously cured His teacher, Somdej Vanarat Daeng from illness.  Since then Phra Kring Wat Suthat became famous under Phra Sangharat Pae.  The main reason for His success was largely due to Wat Suthat itself because the name Wat Suthat Themwararam is translated as "Temple In Heavens" surrounded by celestial devas and guardian angels.  All Phra Kring editions prior B.E.2536 are moulded in front of the temple's main Ubosot because it was deemed a mythical spot full of devine energies to make the Phra Kring very saksit or effective.  Today's Wat Suthat Phra Kring generation are no longer moulded at the front temple space as mentioned earlier.  Nevertheless they are still popular among worshippers and collectors from all over the world.

One may be thinking what is the significance of shaking a Phra Kring in order to activate its resonating bell sounds.  Well, in doing so you are actually activating the divine help from Phra Kring.  To give an example  for the purpose of activating the bell sounds by shaking the Phra Kring, I recall an explanation  given by an old uncle and a collector himself.  A perculiar example given was if somebody owes you debt, before you step out from your house to collect the debt, simply shake the Phra Kring and hear its bell resonance.  If it rings, then you may proceed.  If the Phra Kring doesn't ring at all, do not bother to go because it's telling you that it's not a significant day to collect debt from that person.  Likewise, when in a dire situation, activating the bell in the same way may get the divine assistance from your faithful Phra Kring.

Popular examples of this talisman category are Phra Kring Pavares, Phra Kring Chin Nok, Phra Kring Bakeng Nok, Phra Kring made by Phra Sangharat Pae and Chao Khun Si of Wat Suthat, and other Cambodian masters. For the affluent Phra Kring collectors, the most sought after is perhaps the first edition Phra Kring made by LP Ngern of Wat BangKlan in Pichit Province and LP Doem of Wat NongPho in Nakhon Sawan Province.

We at SimplyBuy hope that you have enjoyed this knowledge sharing in bringing out the best of Phra Kring "Ringing Amulet" history, usage and its hidden potent qualities when shaken.

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