Turtle is a kind of good fortune symbol in various cultural beliefs simply because they just kept on walking forward and onward and never backwards - a sign of prosperity, fertility, and long life. In the Thai amulets circle this turtle talisman is referred to as Phra Taoreuan amulets.
Origin of Phaya Taoreuan
These talisman were originally called “Phaya Taoreuan" amulets because the Thai word “reuan” means “erasing”, and it was believed that these amulets could help worshipers erase bad luck or gain victory. This is one of the many reasons they are popular among lawyers and other members of the legal profession. In addition to another popular belief, the Thai word “reuan” also means house or building where it will bring good fortune to the householders.
There’s also other beliefs associated with this amulet and in particular that during Lord Buddha's life as a turtle it was said that his body was as big as a house (or “reuan”), another reason why the amulet is now known as Phaya Taoreuan.
The Legend of Phaya Taoreuan
Based on local legend, Lord Buddha was once born as a Phaya Taoreuan (giant king turtle) in one of his former existence. In that life form, he lived on the top of a mountain. A part of Lord Buddha’s legend called “Prachao 500 Charti” in Thai folklore says Lord Buddha told his disciples about his birth as Phaya Taoreuan and had given his own flesh to save some merchants’ lives. Subsequent rebirths in Samsara, Lord Buddha was reborn many times in order to achieve the highest merit succeeding to his final enlightenment.
According to the legend, one day a group of starving merchants who had been travelling for many days without food reached a mountain. Phaya Taoreuan said to himself "I do not have anything to help save these hungry men, except my body, therefore I would like to donate my life and body as their food to help save them from death. And in return for my merit, I would like to achieve enlightenment in the future.”
Phaya Taoreuan rolled down from the top of the mountain and sacrificed his body as sustenance for the merchants. After the merchants ate the meat of Phaya Taoreuan they were saved from otherwise a sure death. They took the shell of the giant turtle back to their home to worship and ultimately the merchants were again been blessed with great wealth.
Master Makers of Turtle Amulets
Highly sanctified Phaya Taoreuan Turtle Amulets were believed to possess magical powers to help protect against dangers and at the same time attract good fortunes. Most of Phaya Taoreuan amulets that you are likely to see are made of wood, ivory, coconut shell, sacred powders, soils, metals with mixed gold, or in some cases the shell from a real turtle.
|LP Ngern, Wat Donyaihom|
Historically Phaya Taoreuan were created either from cloth, upon which the sacred spell was written, or from auspicious trees. Both would be chanted using a sacred spell to activate the amulet which would call upon good fortune and protection against danger or evil attack.
|LP Ngern, Wat Bangklan|
Although the small-sized Phaya Taoreuan amulets were popular among experts, they were not particularly popular until Luang Phor Ngern of Wat Bangklan, Pichit created it using alloy mixture that are similar to other LP Ngern's famous amulets. People adored these turtle amulets and its popularity has grown ever since. Over the years many Luang Phors had created Phaya Taoreuan amulets in various sizes. Some with appearance of a giant turtle for devotees to offer prayers and others small enough to be hung from a chain around the neck.
|LP Kram, Wat Phra Ngern|
Luang Phor Kram, a former abbot of Wat Phra Ngern in Nontaburi Province also made very good Phaya Tao amulets with baked clay containing a kind of sacred powder called "Phong Taoreaun". The most unique feature is often the turtle emblem on the reverse side of his amulet creations.
With advancement in printing block and molding technology today, most metal type amulet could be mass produced and the designs are much more refined than using old casting techniques. As seen above is a molding block for the stamping machine to cut out the shape of this turtle amulet. Whether it's old or new technology being used in creating the shapes of amulets, when blessed under the hand of a highly attained monk, it could be just as efficacious.
Turtle amulets are very popular among enthusiasts especially businessmen as they are generally being worn for wealth and good fortune, protection against harms, changing of luck, success in business and victory in litigation (getting out of troubles). Among some of the well known Thai Buddhist masters in making Phaya Taoreuan amulets such as;
Luang Phor Suk of Wat Klong Makhamtao,
Luang Phor Ngern of Wat Bangklan, Pichit Province (sacred alloy turtles)
Luang Phor Ngern of Wat Donyaihom (ivory turtles)
Luang Phor Koon of Wat Banrai (made 1 batch jointly with Luang Phor Liew in B.E.2536).
There're still a small handful of masters in Thailand today that has the knowledge in making good turtle talismans following their predecessors footsteps. Most experts can concur that these amulets are very efficacious particularly in court cases and legal battles. As such this is often the amulet of choice for those in the legal fraternity or anybody wanting a safe passage in facing life challenges.
|Wat Klang Rajcha Kru Tharam, Ang Thong Province|
As mentioned before, these lucky tortoise amulets are still being consecrated today but it's rather a rare occasion as compared with other different types of amulets.
Phaya Tao for Longevity and Good Fortunes
Luang Phor Liew (ex-Abbot of Wat Raitangthong, KamPangSan District, Nakorn Pathom Province) is very well respected for making effective Phaya Taoreuan amulets in our times. He studied magical turtle incantation spells from Luang Por Yon of Wat Ban Kong Yai, Ratchaburi Province.
Incantation Spell to activate LP Liew's Phaya Tao
Namo Tassa Bhagavato, Arahato, Samma Sambuddha (x 3times)
Na Ma Pa Ta
Na Sang Si Mo
Sang Si Mo Na
Si Mo Na Sang
Mo Na Sang Si
Na Ut Ta Ka
May Ma Ah Ut Ark (this line recite x 3times)
The first batch of Luang Phor Liew's turtle amulet was made at Wat Raitangthong in 1973 (B.E.2516). Luang Phor Liews amulets are now by far the most popular and best known among the younger generations and collectors alike. Remembering a story told by one of Luang Phor Liew's "luksit" (follower), in those days Luang Phor Liew blessed all his turtle amulets by putting it inside a big jar filled with holy waters. Only upon finished chanting sacred verses and when these turtles miraculously floated up to the surface then only it could be considered ready for giving out to devotees. That's how painstaking Luang Phor Liew's turtles are made in those days.
In recent years another master whom could make highly efficacious and powerful Phaya Taoreuan amulets is Luang Pu Boon Tha from Roi Et Province in Northeast Thailand. A great and merciful monk whom passed away at the age of 102 years old in B.E.2555 (B.E.2012) with an impeccable record of 82 years in Buddhist priesthood.
Known for his strict adherence to the Tipitaka studies and extremely knowledgeable in Wicha and Katha Akom, Luang Pu Boon Tha didn't make any amulet until the age of 99. For this reason nobody have heard about this reclusive monk simply because he don't wish to be famous and had stayed low profile.
Within a short span of 3 years prior to Luang Pu Boon Tha's passing away, there were at least 2 batches of Phaya Tao being consecrated. One of this beautiful Phaya Tao batch was consecrated at Wat Bansuanpor where the venerable resided and another was created at Wat Suknantaram. Both temples are located at Roi Et district in Isan Province, Thailand.
Lay followers and supporters strongly believed that Luang Pu Boon Tha possessed the supernatural 'Abinna' psychic ability which normally could only be achieved upon high Dharma attainment. People who are in possession of his amulets have repeatedly reported amazing experiences and good fortunes in many ways.
Based on research information, Luang Pu Boon Tha is a more senior monk than Luang Phor Liew in the aspect that he had learned Wicha in creating Phaya Tao much earlier than Luang Phor Liew. Hence, it only make sense that Luang Pu Boon Tha's turtle amulets are less famous when comparing with Luang Phor Liew's amulets. Nevertheless, the Phaya Tao amulets from both masters gives businessmen the effects for Metta, luck, wealth and protection apart from being highly sorted by those in the legal profession.
Different variations of Luang Phor Boon Tha's Phaya Tao extracted from magazine source to serve as study reference here. The numerical numbers on most of the amulets with Thai numerical '๑o๑' signifying his age 101 years old.
Incantation Spell for LP Boon Tah's Phaya Tao
Namo Tassa Bhagavato, Arahato, Samma Sambuddhasa (x 3 times)
Na Lian Pian Sak Tern,
Na Long Lai,
Mo Wang Weng,
So Sak Won,
Sang Prak Chak,
Hai Kert Kea Ta,
Kea Chao Phaya Tao Reung,
Om Sa Hom Tit
Because of Luang Pu Boon Tha's advancing age, out of mercy and compassion from the many requests, the venerable monk agreed to bless amulets with the intent to help devotees in their life. Within a short period of issuing the Phaya Tao amulets, a lot of wearers had super great life changing experiences. There are cases where the wearers escaped from dreadful accidents, some had good turn in life aspect, and others experienced miraculous turn of events.
|Phaya Tao made from coconut husk|
Perhaps the most powerful function of Luang Pu Boon Tha's turtle amulets can only be felt with one's own-self particularly in the aspect related to luck and money matters. According to one close follower in Luang Pu Boon Tha's turtle amulets, the materials used in the making of Loket Pendant (made 299 pieces) for example is mixed with some highly sacred ingredients; Phra Nadun (a 1700 years old Buddha powder from Wat Phrathat Nadun), 9 different types of Lea Leklai, Phong Ittijhe and some other magic powders.
The Venerable Luang Phor Koon from Wat Banrai once sought tutelage and learned Wicha arts from Luang Pu Boon Tha presumably back in the 50s or 60s. From the accounts of some close followers, Luang Pu Boon Tha also went to assist Luang Phor Koon in building temples during the early 70s. With high respect they are considerably remarkable miracle workers in the Buddha's Dispensation as seen in our lifetime.
We hope this article story help shed some lights into this sacred Phaya Tao turtle amulets made by some of Thailand's finest masters in accordance to its magical sciences. By no means we do not wish to limit other similar amulets or talismans that are equivalently sanctified by some other unknown makers not mentioned here. In general this article had paid particular attention onto masterpieces made in recent times by Luang Phor Liew and Luang Pu Boon Tah. The legacy these masters left behind is enormous in helping all firm believers to overcome life obstacles.
Longevity and The End of Lifespan
Birth, Old Age, Sickness and Death are the 4 Noble Truths in Buddhist doctrines. Given the Law of Karma, our human lifespan also has a limit just like these turtles or any living beings (seen or unseen). If we wish for longevity and success - do not cause harms or killings. In this case causing undesirable acts on turtles by consuming it as an exotic meat. That's just a thought of respecting these amphibian creature by linking it to the Jataka story of how Sakyamuni Buddha was once born in the realm of turtle.
From an auspicious viewpoint, turtle represents good health and longevity with its hardback shell symbolizing protection. Speaking about longevity, good health and to be successful in life dealing with the ups and downs as mortal human beings, the merit from this article is specially dedicated to my late grandma (1921 - 2014) whom will be deeply missed by those who knew her. May her mind remain peaceful at all times, safe and always be guided by Avalokitesvara Boddhisatta. May we also strive toward the Dhamma in our mind, speech and body to attain Nibbana bliss at the right opportune moment.
ldam me natinam hotu
Sukhita hontu natayo
Let this merit accrue to our departed relatives
and may they be happy.
Imina punna kammena
Mame bala samagamo,
Satam samagamo hotu,
Yava nibbana pattiya
By the grace of this merit that I have acquired,
may I never follow the foolish;
but only the wise up to the time
I attain final happiness
Special thanks to Larry Lim and Chris Jones for sharing their invaluable resources to make this article possible. We hope all friends and readers will find the content presented here is meaningful in seeing the lights of longevity, luck, and happiness in relation to Phaya Tao's mystify blessings that are wholeheartedly consecrated out of compassion by those highly attained masters in accordance to the Triple Gems.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
The road in life is a long way ahead, life after life, from one world to the next.
Be Thankful With What You've Got.
Use, ใช้, 利用, Verwendung, Utiliser Cette
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