Thao Hung Thao Cheuang
Summaries of Tamnan Phraya Cheuang, the Northern Thai Version
The legend of Phraya Cheung or Thutiyawangsamalini to give its Pali title, was written by Phra Buddagosacharn in about 1661 B.E. The original palm leaf manuscript is made up of 11 fascicules and came from Luang Phrabang, Laos.
1st fascicule related that Phraya Cheung was the son of Phraya Chormaraja of Muang Chai Nakorn also known as Muang Kha-chai. His royal mother was Lady Chorm-muang. Phraya Cheung had an elder brother whom his father installed as ruler of Muang Kha-chai. Phraya Cheung also known as Phraya Ji Cheungrur was installed as Uparacha Saen Muang (deputy ruler). Phraya Cheung had an auspicious elephant called Chang Phankham. He had a friend called Aeng Khorn. He had an uncle called Phraya Sim, the ruler of Muang Ngern-jang. Phraya Sim had two daughters, Lady Ongkha-maung and Lady Armkha-janhorm. He had an aunt who ruled Muang Chiang-khruu. She had a daughter, Lady Ngorm-muan, who became the royal concubine of Phraya Cheung.
2nd fascicule. There was a country called Muang Pagan (not Pagan Burma, but Vietnam). The lord who ruled over it was Phraya Kwa. He had a daughter called Lady Ok-kaew (Uk- kaew). He also had a nephew named Aengka who was the ruler of Muang Jort-nam-rong-hin. Aengka was a young man who wanted to marry the daughter of Phraya Sim of Muang Ngern-jang. He had sent gifts to her father and asked for her hand in marriage three times, but Phraya Sim refused. Phraya Kwa and Aengka were offended. In about 1684 Phraya Kwa and Aengka raised an army and laid sieze to Muang Ngern-jang of Phraya Sim. Muang Ngern-jang called on Phraya Cheung to their aid.
3rd fascicule. Phraya Cheung went to the aid of Phraya Sim his uncle. He went to Muang Chiang-khruu to give the news to Lady Ngorm-muan, his beloved. Muang Chiang-khruu performed a sukhwan (a blessing) ritual for Phraya Cheung and gave him support with men and arms, twenty elephants, twenty horses, twenty swords, and 51, 000 soldiers. Then, they proceeded to Muang Ngern-jang.
4th fascicule. On their way to Muang Ngern-jang Phraya Cheung sent the army on ahead to announce his arrival to Phraya Sim. Phraya Sim, the uncle, provided a splendid welcome. In the battle Phraya Cheung divided his army into four units--elephants, cavalry, chariot and infantry. Each unit wore distinctive uniforms, clothes and headgear each of a different colour, green, yellow, red and white. Phraya Cheung himself went into battle in splendid uniform. Phraya Kwa was defeated and died in the battle field.
5th fascicule. Phraya Cheung did not kill Aengka, the nephew of Phraya Kwa. He made him drink the water of fealty and swear an oath of loyalty to the king and then sent him to govern his old domain. In return for his having engaged in battle on Phraya Sim behalf, the uncle gave his daughter Lady Armkha-janhorm to Phraya Cheung to be his concubine. There were great celebrations in honour of the victory in Muang Ngern-jang. Phraya Cheung then set out to return to Muang Pagan. On his way, at the Mekong River he met a group of Lawa they paid homage to Phraya Cheung and gave him tribute. Phraya Cheung made these Lawa his followers. He proceeded to Pagan.
6th fascicule. Phraya Cheung reached Pagan. Lady Kwa, Phraya Kwa's wife ordered her daughter, Lady Okkaew, to receive him with gifts, and to do his bidding. Phraya Cheung stayed a while in Pagan with Lady Okkaew as his concubine. During that time the Phraya of Muang Witheharaj sent tribute and declared his friendship. Phraya Chueng, while he was in Pagan installed Aw-khwang as its ruler. Phraya Cheung adviced and instructed Aw-khwang.
7th fascicule. After that Phraya Cheung instructed him on many subjects, for example, the seven aspects of the art of kingship, the oaths sworn by a king, and kingly behavior. He then left for Muang Ngern-jang. He passed the country of Suwannaphum and other cities. The rulers of these cities offered him much tribute and submitted to his bidding. When he reached Muang Ngern-jang Phraya Sim gave him a great welcome.
Phraya Cheung dwelt in Muang Ngern-jang for a while with his three queens. Phraya Cheung installed Hernphai, his younger uncle, as the ruler of Lan Chang. He installed Aengkorn as the Uparacha (deputy king) of Muang Ngern-jang Chiangmai. As for the rulers of those countries who came and submitted themselves to him, he ordered them to send trees of gold and silver each year.
Phraya Cheung missed Lady Ngorm-muan and ordered his ministers to invite her to come to Muang Ngern-jang. The ministers also humbly inform Phraya Cheung's mother about her son's duties and activities.
9th fascicule. The royal mother of Phraya Cheung ordered the ministers to take gifts to Muang Chiang-khruu to offer to Nang Ngorm-muan and to invite her to go to Muang Ngern-jang. The three royal concubines of Phraya Cheung graciously received Lady Ngorm-muan. Phraya Cheung installed his royal mother as the ruler of Pagan.
10th fascicule. The royal mother adviced and instructed her son Phraya Cheung then proceeded to Muang Pagan of which she had been appointed ruler. Phraya Cheung recalled Aengka and the instructions he had given Aengka before he had gone to govern Muang Jort-Nam-Rong-Hin.
The elder brother of Phraya Cheung died. Phraya Cheung ruled the country Muang Kha-chai for many years. Phraya Cheung had many sons. The prince named Rung Racha was born of Lady Ngorm-muan. He went to rule Chiang-khruu. Two princes born of Lady Ok-kaew went to rule in Muang Pagan. The last sone born of Lady Okkaew went to rule Chiang-rung. Phraya Cheung ruled over Muang Ngern-jang for 25 years. He died at the age of 80 in Muang Pagan. The two princes, his sons took his ashes to Muang Ngern-jang. The fame of Phraya Cheung was known through out the land.
11th fascicule. Phraya Witheharacha sent a royal Ambassador to express his friendship with Phraya Cheung. There was at that time a city known as Meru Nakhorn Phraya Meruracha was its ruler. He had a very beautiful daughter. Phraya Cheung desired to make her his royal concubine. He sent gifts to Phraya Meruracha and asked for her hand in marriage. Phraya Meruracha did not approve and refused.
Phraya Cheung decided to go to war against him. Phraya Meruracha asked for help from Muang Mithila which was ruled by Phraya Faruan, the father of Phraya Meruracha. Phraya Cheung was defeated in this battle and died on the battle field. Muang Ngern-jang became a dependency of Phraya Faruan and had to provide a yearly tribute of two thousand baskets of rice.
The story ends with the statement that in his previous birth Phraya Cheung had made offering of honey to a Paccoka Buddha which gave him the merit to be born as the great Phraya Cheuang in this life.
Nangsue pariwat cak khamphi bailan chud tamnan muang lae kotmai lanna tamnan Phraya Pariwat cak (Transcription of palm leaf manuscripts on local legends and law in lanna--Phraya Cheung's Legend), Original transcription by Arunrat Wichiankheo and Srithon Khampaeng, editted by Dr. Prasert Na Nakhorn, Chiang Mai: Mahawittalai Chiangmai Book 1 and 2.., n.d, pp. 34.
2002 SEAsite Laos.