Phra Lak-Phra Lam
  A Previous Life of the Buddha

 
One day, to his devoted disciples gathered at the Vat Savathi, the Buddha narrated one of his previous existences, the story of Phra Lak-Phra Lam:

"Once a Brahma (God) and his wife came down from Heaven to Earth, and because they tasted the flavour of the soil through curiousity, they lost their supernatural powers and were unable to return to their celestial dwelling.  They resigned themselves to a stay on Earth and built a kingdom named Muong Inthapatha Maha Nakhone.

They had a son, named Thaporamasouane.   After the death of his father, the Brahma, Thaporamasouane was crowned king.   But he shortly ceded the throne to his second son, Thao Viloun Ha.  This disappointed his elder son, Thao Thattaradtha, so much that he left the country, went to the north, and settled at Phan Phao, a place on the right bank of the Mekong, where he built a city called Maha Thani Si Phan Phao."

 

 
A seven-headed Naga, the king of snakes, came and suggested that he move his city to the opposite bank of the river.   "There", he said, "you and your descendants will enjoy a long and properous reign."  Thao Thattaradtha did as the Naga recommended.  The new town was named Chanthabouri Si Sattanak or splendid city of the seven-headed Naga." (This was the city of Vientiane.)

At that time, another Brahma was incarnated as the son of a peasant, Thao Loun Lou, in the kingdom of Inthapatha Maha Nakhone.   But the limbs of this child were extraordinary short and withered.

 

 
One day, while Thao Loun Lou's father was ploughing his rice field, the king of the Gods, Phra In, came from his celestial palace on a marvellous horse, and asked him to explain several enigmas.  "I'll kill you," he said, "if you can't solve them."
 
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