Friday, 8 June 2007


Seems like not only all of Thailand is in the grip of Jatukam fever, but nowhere else is it so all-consuming as in this southern Thai city, where it all began. Here it seems like every other citizen is wearing one of the amulets.The Jatukam craze has become a huge bonanza for Nakhon Si Thammarat and the Buddhist temples that give the medals their blessing. Of the city’s 560 temples, 200 produce the amulets, and more are planning to do so. There’s this fever is Singapore too. In our temple, there is a few samples from Thailand too ( I’ll put the photo in rear soon) This probes me to find out more about this amulet.

What is Jatukam?It is actually two people, Jatukam Rammathep. By some accounts, they were princes in the Srivijay Kingdom of which Nahkon Si Thammarat was the center.
Another theory is that the names are a corruption of Khuttugama and Ramadeva two Hindu guardians, that can be seen alongside the stairway leading into the inner sanctum of the Great Stupa of the Wat Pra Mahathat, which is said to be the most important and historic Buddhist temple in southern Thailand.

The first batch of Jatukam amulets was introduced with little fanfare in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat 20 years ago. Now, the amulets bearing the image of this once-obscure deity have become very popular and their prices are skyrocketing.
Jatukam amulets are gaining a huge following based on claims of magical powers and the good fortune they can bring to their owners.

Most Jatukam enthusiasts associate the amulet with Police Major General Phantarak Rajadej, a highly respected and honest police officer in Nakhon Si Thammarat who was reputed to possess knowledge of the occult. He died last September at the age of 103. He was said to have magical powers & instrumental in building the holy site called City Pillar, now a center of the Trade.
Merit-making through donations to temples is widely practised by Thai Buddhists, but not many people attach as much importance to the study of the Buddha's teachings.

Amulet collecting is something that many people rely on for peace of mind, and Buddhists who collect amulets should be allowed to pursue their beliefs and preferences, within reason.


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