The four faced Buddha
a misnomer?

By Eric Lim

The four faced Buddha at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok has four faces but it isn't Buddha. It is actually Lord Brahma who is one of the Trinity of Hindu Gods.

The other two are Lord Vishnu, the sustainer and Lord Siva the destroyer.

Brahma is said to be born from a lotus leaf sprouting from the navel of Vishnu.

The Thais call Brahma, Than Tao MahaProm or Phra Phrom.

When Indian scholars spread Buddhism to Thailand, they brought with them Hindu culture and folklore, which has been inextricably linked with Thai culture and beliefs.


Brahma in gold

Were your prayers answered at the four faced Buddha? Tell us your story

Read the stories of others who had their prayers answered

For the location of the shrine

Brahma has four faces and eight hands; a feature that could have given rise to the name four faced Buddha. He is the god of creation, mercy and benevolence. He sits atop a lotus leaf; the lotus flower is commonly used for prayers at Thai shrines and altars.

The shrine of the four faced Buddha was named the Erawan Shrine after Erawan, Indra's three-headed elephant. The original version actually has 33 heads! However Erawan is symbolically represented with three.

  • The four faces symbolize the four books of the Vedas, the Hindu scriptures and the source of all knowledge in the creation of the universe.
  • The eight hands, symbolize the omnipresence and power of Lord Brahma.
  • The upper right hand carries a rosary, symbolizing the cycle of life from creation to death. The upper left hand carries the Vedas, symbolizing knowledge and intellect.
  • The lower left hand carries a pot of water representing cosmic energy of creation. The lower right hand bestows grace and protection.


The golden swan, the mythical steed of Brahma, is also revered in Thai culture. The royal barge, Suphannahongsa was named after the golden swan, which has been the name of the King's personal barge since King Rama I.

Over the years, Brahma's knowledge and power has granted the wishes of many. Word of the power of this famous deity has spread far and wide and the legend of the Erawan Shrine has been the source of hope and sustenance.

Thais and ethnic Chinese from SE Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, who are mainly Buddhists and Taoists, flock to the shrine to pray and seek the blessings of the four-faced Brahma. 

The four faced statue at the Erawan Shrine is a Hindu legacy in Bangkok that has become a fusion of faiths.


Location of the shrine



View Bangkok Shrines in a larger map

Your prayers answered at the four faced Buddha?

Hundreds of devotees pray every day and night at the Erawan Shrine or what’s commonly called the four faced Buddha. Were your prayers answered? What was the ritual you went through?

How did you feel when you got what you prayed for? Did you go back again?

Share your story of good fortune with us.

Title e.g. My prayer….

Other stories of good fortune

Read the stories of others who have had their prayers answered.

Prayer for my daughter answered 
I was in Bangkok last September for a business trip. Three colleagues X,Y,Z and I decided to stay on for few days after that. We were happily eating …

Four-faced Buddha answered my prayer 
On October 2012, my hubby told me that he borrowed a big sum of amount from a legal money lender. I was shocked, my mind went blank. It seemed like the …

Pray for my true love 
Today is March 28 and I prayed to the four-faced Buddha in February during a trip to Bangkok. I prayed for a boy friend that is my true love to appear …

Thank you Lord Brahma 
I went to the Erawan Shrine back in 2009 asking for the return of my ex. I did a vow like many others. Within three days my prayers came true. The …

Magic of the four-faced Buddha 
Back in 2008, I went to the four-faced Buddha as I was establishing a new clinic with partners. At the same time, I was in search of true love. A few …

My prayers at the Erawan Shrine 
I have been looking for a job for two months now and have no luck yet. I was at the Erawan Shrine in May to wish for a job. Been to two 2nd interviews …

Four-faced Buddha
correct way to pray?
 
I am a bit confused and I wish someone could help me with the correct way of praying to the four-faced Buddha. Is it clockwise? What do we ask from each …

Four-faced Buddha - prayers answered. 
Seriously, the first time I saw Lord Brahma (by the way, the four-faced Buddha is not Buddha but Brahma), I was skeptical. Hundreds of people were …

I truly believe in the Erawan Shrine waiting for my prayers to come true 
I have heard of the Erawan Shrine since I was a kid. I'm in my mid 40's now. This year (2010) I had the worst luck ever in my life. Lost my job and had …

Four-faced Buddha's birthday 
When is the four-faced Buddha's birthday? Tomorrow? Nov 9 ?

Four- faced Buddha - hopefully not my last prayer 
I used to be quite a successful professional working in an investment field and happily married. Things changed dramatically few years ago when I took …

Four-faced Buddha has been guiding me all along..... 
1 July 2010, Thurs night - I fetched my son from his tuition class and we were casually joking about having a number plate for his bicycle when I was teaching …

My prayers at Erawan Shrine 
I went to the famous Erawan Shrine in 2007 to pray for wealth, career, health, power, peace, marriage and for my face to be cured of acne scars, pimples …

Four-faced Buddha story of my own 
I went to Bangkok early this year 2010. It was our first night in this hotel. I woke up early in the morning and looked for water to make a hot coffee …

Pay my debts and be worry-free 
I went to the Erawan Shrine last month to pray to the four-faced Buddha to clear off my debts soon so that I could live a worry-free life and support my …

About my daughter's studies 
I went to Bangkok in March 2009 to pray to the four-faced Buddha. I prayed for my 11 year old daughter, I told the four-faced Buddha my daughter wasn't …

Prayer answered at Erawan Shrine 
Thanks a lot four-faced Buddha for prayer answered. From the depths of my heart, my gratitude, words just can't explain the immaculate power and kindness …

Still waiting...for the four faced Buddha 
Like many people, I have heard of the four faced Buddha when I was very young. I dare not pray to Him as I heard from people that He is very powerful …

Prayed for luck and fortune at the four-faced Buddha 
I am not a very religious person though I respect all sorts of religion in the world. I am the kind of person where something must happen right in front …

Talk to the four-faced Buddha with your heart 
In 2004 I was a poor, near penniless man, 32 yrs old then, with a family to feed. I went around looking for jobs and always ended up with none. Miraculously, …

Come back to me 
Hi Last year 2008 I made a wish at the four-faced Buddha for my brother and that helped him. So this year I returned to the Erawan Shrine to keep …

Four-faced Buddha a prayer for everything 
I'm a girl with very good luck when I was a child. However, as I grew up, it changed and I often found myself faced with bad luck and surrounded by nasty …

My prayer for a girlfriend 
This is really happened to me many years ago during a tour at Bangkok, Thailand. I was told that the four faced Buddha is very famous for answering your …

My four faced Buddha experience  
I’m just a simple guy out there. In mid 2007, it was the first time it happened to me when I prayed to four faced Buddha. I was almost at the end of my …

Click here to write your own.

Four-faced Buddha - I found my love 
Here's Suwandi's experience with the four-faced Buddha. Hi friends, I'm Suwandi and I live in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. I'm 23 years old. I've …

Good school results 
When I was Secondary 4 my parents brought me to the Phra Phrom shine. My mother ask me to pray for good results. I did. Later I was surprised …

Window to Shunyata 
I asked for nothing. I simply wanted to be in the presence of the divine. I felt an inexplicable power present at the Erawan Shrine, and I felt transformed …

Prayer answered 
I am a 33 year old businessman and left my previous partnership after a spate of bad events that resulted from some poor judgement and wrong partnership. …

Pray for Mum's health 
Mum went for a CT scan and the doctor said she must go for an operation. Doc says hopefully it's not a cancerous lump. Me and sis went to Bangkok in …

Prayers heard by the Erawan Shrine 
In June 2008, I was so depressed when the position in my company promotion I was expecting was taken by a lady from another branch. I went to the Erawan …

Success in my exams 
I had experienced this when I was student. I always prayed before taking my examinations during my last course in my MBA. Why did I pray? Because I …

Back to the Erawan Shrine 
I first went to the Erawan Shrine in 2009 to pray for the return of my ex who left me after two and a half years. Miraculously, he came back three days …

Please answer my prayer 
I'm a medium, one night I prayed to the four-faced Buddha and asked why my fortune is bad these last few years. He heard my prayer this time. Several years …

Four-faced Buddha
prayers not answered
 
I made my sincere prayer and wish for help. And even made a promise once my prayer has been answered. Apparently the four-faced Buddha did not answer/does …

Returning the favour 
My first visit to Bangkok was in late October 2009 and I requested for a smooth job change and also to forget my ex then, who has bugging me for three …

Four-faced Buddha help me 
I came across with the four-faced Buddha just two weeks ago. When I was in my deepest depression, I felt so sad, no hope, no nothing. Didn't even know …

Peace and love 
I met my Civil Partner almost 20 years ago. Shortly after this, we went to the Erawan Shrine and prayed for many things. We prayed for a lasting relationship. …

The answer to my prayer 
I have been praying to Phra Phrom for about four years. Phra Phrom always listens to my prayers. Recently a miracle happened to me. It's been two years …

Power of the four-faced Buddha  
This story happened 20 years ago. One night I came down from my shop house and was just about to turn off the lights before going to bed. I saw a black …

I saw the four-faced Buddha 
When I was about 30 years old, I wore a four-faced Buddha amulet and I had a very unusual experience. I've been wearing the four-faced Buddha amulet for …

The Miracle of four-faced Buddha  
In my mid 20s , I was possessed by an evil spirit that took over my life . During that attack, my whole body felt very cold, I had difficulty in breathing …

My first visit to the Erawan Shrine 
My first visit to the Erawan Shrine was five years back and like many tourists I went to see the dancers. I just sat there on the bench and felt myself …

The four-faced Buddha helped me 
Just last year when I was 15, I was anti-social and didn't have any social skills. I didn't have friends since then and have always been alone and sad. …

Four-faced Buddha I am blessed...  
Between 2006 and 2009, I had serious financial problems and almost went bankrupt. I had car and home loans to pay every month and my child to take care …

Four-faced Buddha - a prayer to find my niche in life 
I was in Bangkok in July and one of the things I prayed for at the four-faced Buddha was to find my niche in my career. Things had not been going well …

Getting into a prestigious university 
I do have a good academic score but I went through bad times before I hit university. I prayed at the Erawan Shrine , to the four-faced Buddha. I said …

For education and peace 
Hi everybody, The experience I had was not very dramatic but I think I was blessed in some way by the four-faced Buddha. I was facing a hard time …

Miracle by the four-faced Buddha 
It has been a long time since I prayed to the four faced Buddha. Since that time I feel a lot of prayers were answered but among of them there is one that …

Four-faced Buddha - my first encounter 
My first encounter with the four-faced Buddha was during my junior high school when I was around 14 years old. At that time I felt that this God was unique …

Click here to write your own.

Question on the four-faced Buddha 
I haven't prayed to the four-faced Buddha yet so I can't talk about answered prayers. But does he only answer prayers when people make a promise? …

My prayer to the four-faced Buddha 
I am flying to Bangkok next month to pray to the four-faced Buddha asking him to help me. This year is not a good year for me. I have problems one after …

My prayer for my girl friend 
The first time my family came to Bangkok to pray to the four-faced Buddha was on 6 April 2009. My mother, my daughter and I prayed for my girl friend who …

Four faced Buddha saved my life! 
Hi everyone, I'm Chris from Malaysia. Back in 1995 when I was only 13 years old, I went over to my friend's house to play video games (SEGA). It …

Click here to write your own.


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