Talisman, Amulet?

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Talisman, Amulet?

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:42 pm

I read on a website, I think it was buddhanet. Either way it says Buddhism do not endorse or really believe in talisman or amulet/charms. The Buddha considered it low art and incorrect livelihood. My question is, if that is the case, how came we see so many temples and Buddhist shrines selling them? In Japan they have omamori which is an amulet/charm that can be found at both Jinja and temple. I can see that was probably the result of shin-butsu shugo. But you also see temples in Thailand and various countries (including Tibetan?) that sell them.

What do Buddhists really think about talisman or amulet? Does it yields any immediate benefits/protection? Or is it just a scam for money?
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby hop.pala » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:21 pm

You can buy amulet,picture,statue and so on when you find that it is nice.No problem.Maybe to much expectation can not be compared with a statue or talisman.Your mind is important.
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:55 pm

TheSpirit wrote:I read on a website, I think it was buddhanet. Either way it says Buddhism do not endorse or really believe in talisman or amulet/charms.


This is an interesting topic. It would help if we had a link to an article that took this point of view. The reality is that there are many Buddhist traditions in which it is common practice to distribute different kinds of objects such as amulets or other items to carry about oneself as means to a virtuous end (upaya). For instance: In Thailand there are temples in which certain kinds of tattoos are given--permanent amulets if you like. Tibetan schools use different kinds of amulets in different kinds of ways. I think you'll find it everywhere.
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:02 pm

well at least its an auspicious interconnectedness that wearing in example an avalokitesvara amulet/talisman brings.
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby TheSpirit » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:07 pm

Does wearing these Buddhist objects/amulets bring about protection? Or is it just to be a constant reminder of mindfulness of the Buddha and practice?
“To be fully alive is to have an aesthetic perception of life because a major part of the world's goodness lies in its often unspeakable beauty.”
― Yukitaka Yamamoto
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby hop.pala » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:44 am

Partially relevant:
"Translator's note: This is one of the few protective charms mentioned in the Pali canon and specifically allowed by the Buddha for monks to use (another charm, also allowed to the monks, is contained in DN 32). Note that the power of the charm is said to come, not from the words, but from the mind of good will with which they are said. It thus differs from charms taught in later forms of Buddhism, where the words themselves are said to contain power."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:38 am

TheSpirit wrote:Does wearing these Buddhist objects/amulets bring about protection? Or is it just to be a constant reminder of mindfulness of the Buddha and practice?



Sort of a combination of the two lol, or maybe the two are not hugely different, some guesswork here:

In the Mahayana it's asserted that to a degree you can affect Karmic fruits, a position which Theraveda (as far as I know) claims is impossible (someone correct me if i'm wrong on this). I haven't read that many actual Mahayana explanations of amulets per se, but if you were to look for a detailed explanation I'd expect it would have something to do with the effect of a given Bodhisattva etc. clearing out obscurations or burning up negative Karmic seeds. you can decide for yourself if that sort of thing is the same animal as a "good luck charm". And as with anything, the explanation and view of an average layperson is not necessarily the view of a teacher, monastic, what have you.

Another way to view this (maybe even related to the above) is actually quite simple and requires no "belief" in anything unusual, if you have around you images that inspire you, calm the mind, then you will progress faster spiritually, and you will actually affect the world differently as a result..there is nothing particularly mystical to that, and it can be observed pretty easily..something as simple as smiling or not has a similar sort of global affect on your outlook, and how others perceive you..which in turn affects myriad things.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby Lhasa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:04 am

Garchen Rinpoche gives out Blessing Pills, Liberation by Seeing cards and pins, also some kind of amulet to wear and protection cords. There is a special picture of White Tara as she appeared to him, and he said that anyone who has that picture, he is there with them. He also gives out small booklets of different scriptures and some of them he has said to keep close to or on your body.
When he gives refuge, he cuts a small lock of hair from the person's crown and puts it in a bag with the hair of everyone he has given refuge to, along with that picture of Tara, and he keeps that with him wherever he goes.

This isn't an amulet you buy, but an example of how a Vajra Master uses them.
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:01 am

It's just a scam for my money in my opinion.
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby TheSpirit » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:18 pm

Thank you for all the responses!

It looks like there is a bit of mixed view on talisman and amulet and its functions. I suppose it can't hurt having one if it somehow benefits an individual in practice.
“To be fully alive is to have an aesthetic perception of life because a major part of the world's goodness lies in its often unspeakable beauty.”
― Yukitaka Yamamoto
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Re: Talisman, Amulet?

Postby montana » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:54 pm

I am not that familiar with monastic codes but isn't the real issue whether or not these talismans are a means of livelihood? Like a job. Where you get stuff for it.
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