Why does Thailand use a Hindu God as it’s national emblem ?. First off let’s discover who this Hindu God is, The Hindu God used by Thailand as a national emblem is Garuda, known as ‘Krut’ in Thailand. In Hindu mythology Garuda (Krut) was the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, Garuda is half man, half bird, he has the body of a man but his head, his wings and talons are that of an eagle.
The reason Thailand as a Buddhist nation adopted Garuda, a Hindu God as a national emblem is not illogical, there is a long history of Hinduism in Thailand, and there are very close ties between Buddhism and Hinduism. Thailand’s cultural roots are actually based on a religious and spiritual fusion of Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism, which is why so many Hindu deities such as Brahma and Ganesh are commonplace, and Animist Spirit Houses are found outside just about every household.
Hinduism has played an influential role in the Thai Royal Household for centuries, according to legend the Kings of Thailand are an avatar or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, it is this historic role which led to the adoption of Garuda as the national emblem of Thailand’s royalty many centuries ago. Garuda was not officially accepted as the national emblem until Rama VI officiated it in 1911, since then it has been used to officiate both royal and governmental documents.
Garuda may take on slightly different forms, as you see in the photos below, you will most commonly see examples of the first photo (below) on royal and government documents, and used by many official organizations such as banks as a motif or seal of approval. The statue form of Garuda in the second photo below is commonly seen on and around temples and official buildings.