A man who had always worn his protective armour made of dozens of blessed Buddha amulets killed by a truck the day he forgot to wear the armour.
Sanom Chantaraphirom, a 58-year-old man from Thailand who had become famous for wearing an eye-catching “Buddha armor” made up of dozens of blessed Buddha amulets to enhance his luck, recently died in a tragic car accident after leaving his house without his protective garment.
Chantaraphirom, a dedicated Buddhist, first made news headlines in Thailand two years ago, when a video of him wearing one of his several Buddha armors on the streets of his native Sawaeng Ha district, in Ang Thong Province, went viral. Reporters soon got in touch with him and learned that the man, who earned a living making errands with his rickshaw, had accumulated hundreds of blessed Buddha amulets from various temples around the country and had fashioned them into a chain mail-like armor complete with a helmet. Buddha amulets are considered tools to increase the wearer’s luck in different aspects of life, and virtually every Buddhist in Thailand owns at least one, but Sanom Chantaraphirom wore dozens of them over his clothing as a sign of his dedication to Buddhism.
Blessed Buddhist amulets, also known as votive tablets, are usually offered as temples to devotees donating money or oil. They vary in size and shape and can be made out of different materials, like plaster, bone, wood, or metal. The amulets usually depict Buddha, a famous Buddhist monk or just the monk who made it, and are encased in a protective plastic casing. It is believed that they protect the wearer and enhance their luck in different aspects of life, such as marriage, wealth, health or romantic relationships.
Sanom Chantaraphirom started wearing one of his three amulet armor sets every day a few years ago, and people took notice. They started asking him about them, and some even asked if they could borrow them on days they needed an extra bit of luck, but he always refused. Back in 2017, Aeconline News reported that Sanom advised people against making their own Buddha armor sets if they lacked the necessary faith, because they wouldn’t work without it.
Last month, people who remembered Sanom from the wide media coverage he had received for his Buddha armor two years ago were shocked to learn that he had died in a tragic car accident. He was driving his rickshaw home when an incoming truck crashed into him before stopping into a shop on the side of the road.
Such tragic accidents unfortunately happen more often than they should, but what really drew people’s attention to this particular case was the fact that the dedicated Buddhist was not putting on his famous amulet armor.