Like the Buddha in his last meditation before attaining enlightenment.
As the Lord was approaching his most enlightening phase in his meditation,
Phya Mara, the great tempter,
The conqueror of great magical knowledge and power
Appeared to lure the Buddha in his mediation,
As he had done to every Enlightened One before.
Mara was obsessed with great jealousy for the Enlightened One,
Fearing that the Buddha Lord
Might become most distinguished of all in his enlightenment.
Thus, Mara mounted his great elephant named Mekkhala Luang
And led his army to bait the meditating Buddha.

    1. There is an inconsistency in the original modern Thai text in this section. The teller intended this story to be a past life of the Buddha; yet the hero's sermon was about events which happened long after his lifetime. Perhaps, it is about the other four Buddha before the historical Buddha! Perhaps, this part of the sermon is added because this tale is told and retold in ceremonies by monks yearly.

In this story, Mekkhala is also the name of the elephant of Mara, the Buddha's tempter.

Phya Khankhaak's Army Against Thaen, the Rain God
Retold by Wajuppa Tossa*


The king and queen of Inthapatthanakhon gave birth to a meritorious son who was as ugly as a toad. The prince was named Khankhaak, which means toad. When Khankhaak was twenty years old, Indra came to make him handsome, give him the most beautiful wife, and build him the most splendid castle. Realizing the prince's merit, the king resigned from the throne to allow his son to become king.
Phya Khankhaak became a powerful king, with all the kings from all human, demon, animal, and angel lands as his protectorates. Every creature in the universe came to pay tribute and homage to Phya Khankhaak, but neglected to pay tribute and regards to Phya Thaen, the rain god. This behavior so humiliated Phya Thaen that he became infuriated with Phya Khankhaak. Phya Thaen then refused to let the naga play in his lake in heaven. As a result, the whole universe was faced with the catastrophe of drought.
After asking the Naga King for the cause of the drought, Phya Khankhaak organized a great army of all humans, animals, demons, and angels and marched up to heaven to fight Phya Thaen.
    At this point, a particular tune of song called soeng is used to sing to recruit all kinds of creatures to march to fight Phya Thaen, the Rain God.

_____________________________
    *Original version of the story is from Phra Ariyanuwat Khemajari, Phya Khankhaak, 1970.


Oh, oh, What a woe!   Thaen has been our foe,
For he refused to bestow rain to earth.
Come all of us.   Let us go to fight Thaen.
From that crowd come wasps, hornets, and bees.
Those beautiful creatures are deer with bright eyes.
Those with golden bodies are beautiful angels or devata.
This crowd of beings are frogs and toads of all kinds.
Those dignified animals are garuda, naga, and lions.
Oh, oh, What a woe!  Thaen has been our foe,
For he refused to bestow rain to earth.
Come all of us.   Let us go to fight Thaen.
Those approaching are woodmites, termites, dogs and bears.
And these are eagles, porcupines, civet cats, and tigers.
Those splendid creatures are pheasants and swans.
Those cheerful creatures are apes, monkeys, elephants and horses.
Those in the front row are flying lemurs and cuckoo birds.
Oh, oh, What a woe!  Thaen has been our foe,
For he refused  to bestow rain to earth.
Come all of us.   Let us go to fight Thaen.

When the army was ready, Phya Khankhaak marched up to heaven to fight Thaen. After a long, perilous, and miraculous battle, Phya Khankhaak won. He then taught Phya Thaen to be just and to bestow rain to the universe seasonally. After enjoying Phya Thaen's heaven for a few months, Phya Khankhaak came back to rule the fertile earth happily. Every once in a while, Phya Khankhaak would recount the story of how he led a great army to fight with Phya Thaen and how he enjoyed spending some time in heaven after his victory. Later, many people retraced Phya Khankhaak's way to heaven and went to learn all kinds of magical knowledge and power. They came back to earth and began to test their powers. They fought until everyone on earth was completely destroyed. Corpses piled up and became a mountain. At the foot of the mountain grew a lake called Nongkasae. The story ends with the narrator relating each character to a person in the historical Buddha's lifetime.