For those who have passion in Thai amulets, you may hear the word “Benjapakee” quite often. The meaning of benjapakee in Thai amulets is “set of 5 Grand Amulets”

Benja means five and Pakee means Associates. In Buddhism, the word Benjapakee refers the first five associates of Buddha who received his first sermons of Dharma after his enlightenment.

At the age of 29, Prince Siddhartha abandoned his throne and became an ascetic to find the truth of the life in this universe.  He studied and followed the systems and methods of the prevailing sages of the time Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramputta.  He soon mastered all that was to be learned from the teachings.  Realizing that the results of the practices were not the knowledge he was seeking, he abandoned all those teachings and wander alone to the forest to achieve success by his own unaided effort.

There he met with those five sages who were finding the truth like him. He set forth strongly to rigorous practices and all form of severe austerities, vigil after vigil, penance after penance for six tedious long years.  During his years of extreme search for truth, these five associates helped and taken care of him in many ways, finding food, water and looked after him while he was adhered only on meditation to find the truth.  He barely eat or sleep at all in this six long years, he could continued his life due to the help and care of this five associates only.

But the painful practices proved absolutely futile.  The utter futility of self mortification only weakened his body, resulted in lassitude of spirit and was reduced to a skeleton without achieving anything.  One night at the verge of pains and death, an angel came to him and played the harp.  First the angel played with very loose strings, the music was too soft and bad. Then played again with the high tensioned strings, the music was so hard and awful also. Finally the angle played with balanced strings, the music was superb, and then without saying anything, the angle vanished. This incident made him realized that only being balanced or middle could achieve the optimum results.

Benefited by the invaluable experience, he finally realized that self indulgence retards one’s spiritual progress and self mortification weakens one’s intellect and that those two extreme ends are not conducive to his objectives.  He decided to avoid the two extremes and followed an independent course known as “middle path”.  He started to take food and rest to rebuild his body to be normal.  At this point, his five associates thought he left his old hard working methods, was not trying hard and serious in finding the truth anymore and feeling disappointed, they decided to abandon him and he was left alone.

His middle path meditation practice gained him his final enlightenment. One happy morning in the full moon day of Kason (May) 589 BC, at the ripe age of thirty five, sitting under the spreading banyan tree on the bank of the Naranjara river at Buddha Gaya, he gained final enlightenment and became the Supreme Buddha, the Gotama Buddha the fully enlightened one.

Upon his enlightenment, he realized that the Dharma that he attained is very delicate and difficult for many normal people to understand.  So at first he was so hesitated to deliver his knowledge to anyone.  Later he re considered again that his Dharma could selvage and save many beings in this universe.  So he wanted to test the understandability of his Dharma by firstly explaining to his five Associates.  Upon this decision, he re located his five associates and delivered his first sermon to the Benjapakee in the deer park at Isipatana (modern Sarnath near Banares).  After receiving the first sermons of Buddhism, they became the first five monks in Buddhism following Buddha.  They are Phra Annasikondanna, Phra Vappa, Phra Baddhaya, Phra Mahanama and Phra Assaji.

In paying homage to the first five associates of Gotama Buddha, in Thailand the master of Buddha amulets, “Tri Yumpawai”Benjapakee) classified five most famous and well worshipped Amulets  as the “Grand Five”( Buddha amulets in Thailand.

Benjapakee Grand 5 Amulets

The set of Grand 5 Benjapalkee Amulets

The Benjapakee Amulets are:

  1. Phra Somdej Wat Rakhang blessed by LP Toh Phromarangsri  (King of Amulets)
  2. Phra Nang Phya Phitsanulok ( Queen of Amulets )
  3. Phra Rod Mahawan Lumpoon
  4. Phra Phong Suparn Suparnburi
  5. Phra Kampangpeth Soomgor

How to wear Benjapakee:

In the old times, the right way to put Benjapakee in the right place is:

Phra Somdej in the center.

Phra Rod (near left) and Phra Nang Phya (near right)

Phra Phong Suparn (far left) and Phra Soomgor (far right)

Also person can wear 3 amulets called “Tripakee”: Phra Somdej at Center, Phra Rod (left) and Phra Nang Phya (right)