Phra Lak-Phra Lam
  A Previous Life of the Buddha

Thao Loun Lou's accurate answers amazed Phra In so much that he took him to Heaven and ordered the Then (Gods) to eliminate his infirmity.

The Then couldn't succeeding melting Thao Loun Lou in their bronze, silver and gold moulds.  Phra In had to take him in to his palace and only in a diamond mould he could have Thao Loun Lou changed into a handsome young man.  Phra In predicted that no one would be able to vanquish Thao Loun Lou except the Buddhisattva.

Following this transformation Phra In ordered Thao Loun Lou to be born as Hapkhanasouane, son of Thao Viloun Ha, King of Inthapatha Maha Nakhone.

When he was only three years old, Hapkhanasouane already had invincible powers and his indomitable courage and spirit brought him the implicit obedience of his subjects and soldiers alike.

One day, Hapkhanasouane heard of the beauty of Nang Chantha, his uncle's daughter.  He rushed to Chanthabouri Si Sattanak, and after overcoming all resistance, carried off his charming cousin.

Unable to fight by himself against Hapkhanasouane, Thattaradtha requested Phra In to give him the aid of powerful descendants who would be able to defeat his daughter's ravisher.  A Buddhisattva was sent to incarnate as Phra Lam and Phra Lak, the twins sons of Thattaradtha.

When they reached the age of one year, the father of the twins ordered them to go to Inthapatha Maha Nakhone to deliver their sister Nang Chantha.  After overcoming numerous obstacles, they succeeded in penetrating into their cousin's capital.  In Hapkhanasouane's absence, they carried off Nang Chantha, but before leaving the city, they called on Thao Viloun Ha to inform their uncle of their legitimate mission.

Alarmed by the news of the ravaging of his wife, Hapkhanasouane hurried to his palace which lay vacant and desolate, no longer made happy by the presence of Nang Chantha.  He immediately started to pursue Phra Lam and Phar Lak.

All the three cousins fought a brave fight but victory came to none.  Finally, by dint of his supernatural powers, Phra Lam threw miraculous lotus filaments and succeeded in binding up Hapkhanasouane.

Nang Chantha requested her brothers not to kill her busband, who surrended at once and promised to join them at Chanthabouri Si Sattanak in order to present his apology to Thattaradtha.  As evidence of his gratitude to Phra Lak and Phra Lam, Hapkhanasouane offered them a marvellous boat of 120 va (218.40 meters) which could either sail on the water, or wheel on the earth, or fly in the air.

The journey of Phra Lam, Phra Lak and Nang Chantha from Inthapatha Maha Nakhone to Chanthabouri Si Sattanak, on this marvellous boat, was full of unexpected adventures: when they arrived at the Muong of Tatkasila, Phagna Sinphalika offered his young sister Nang Chantha Moukkhi to Phra Lam and his daughter Nang Ousourika to Phra Lak.  At Muong Thoay, they married Phagna Phommachack's daughters: Phra Lam, Nang Phimmasone, Nang Thipha Adsamon; Phra Lak, Nang Phonchaodi, Nang Phiphalo Laognam.

Then, at Muong Khom, a Muong of Hindu inhabitants, Phagna Chanthasene gave them his daughters: Nang Khamsao to Phra Lam; Nang Ekkhay to Phra Lak.  And at the two last halting places of this long journey, Phra Lam espoused Nang Khamkhao, one of Khoun Phiphak's daughters, and four Nang Thevada (angels) of the island Done Keut didn't hesitate to ask the two brothers to marry them.

After a seven-year expedition, Phra Lam and Phra Lak came back to their father's capital, with their charming sister Nang Chantha as a trophy.  They had delivered her and taken her from Inthapatha Maha Nakhone...   To reward their glorious exploit, Thattaradtha installed Phra Lam and Phar Lak respectively as King and viceroy of Chanthabouri Si Sattanak and appointed two beautiful girls of the home city, Nang Si Phimpha and Nang Kan Nha, as Great Queens of the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Hapkhanasouane came to Chanthabouri Si Sattanak and humbly presented his apology to Thattaradtha who forgiving the repented ravisher, allowed him to celebrate a traditional wedding ceremony with Nang Chantha.  From Inthapatha Maha Nakhone a large group of young people, led by Khoun Chong, went with Hapkhanasouane to the festival to attend.  They were welcomed with great enthusiasm by those of Chanthabouri Si Sattanak.  Flirtation kindled the flame of passion in their hearts, so much so that most of the young guests wanted to settle for ever at Chanthabouri Si Sattanak and refused to go home.  Naturally, neither Phra Lam nor Khoun Chong could approved of this.  So they eloped with their lovers and built new districts far from Chanthabouri Si Sattanak City.  These marriages were the origin of the following toponomic legends:

One of Khoun Muong Kang's sons at Chanthabouri Si Sattanak was called Thao Xieng Khouang, for he was ex-monk (=Xieng) and used to lie across (=Khouang) the road to tease passers-by.  Unable to obtain permission to get married, Thao Xieng Khouang and his lover Nang Kham Phouane eloped to the North and settled in the Plain of Jars.  The new district they built was named Muong Xieng Khouang or Muong Phouane.

After the fashion of their friends, Thao Say, son of Khoun Muong Khoua at Chanthabouri Si Sattanak, and his sweet-heart Nang Kham Mala, eloped to the South of the river Nam Hin Boun.  The place was full of birds which ravaged their crops.  So they put pebbles (=Hint) inside hollow wooden cylinders (=Heup) which produced big sounds when swung by the wind, to prevent birds from approaching their fields.  The place where they settled was named Muong Hin Heup.

Another young man at Chanthabouri Si Sattanak was called Thao Long, which means "Falling in love temporarily", for he was a bastard.  He loved a girl who had as her name Nang Bong Ling, because the day she was born, her father had just caught (=Bong) a monkey (=Ling).  This young couple eloped to the South, halted on the bank of a junction of the Nam Hin Boun and swore that they would stay together until their death.  So this river was named Nam Pakan or "Swearing River" and the district they built, Muong Bong Ling.

In the same way, other Muong of Middle Laos were called Muong Kham Keut, Muong Sikhotaboun, Muong Salavan, Muong Adtapu... respectively from the name of Nang Kham Sin combined with Thao Khan Keut's, the name of Thao Sikhota with Nang Boun Thanh's, the name of Nang Kham Lod Sa with Thao Van Veun's, the name of Nang Adta with Thao Pu Lu's...

On the other hand, numerous young couples, instead of eloping absolutely, would go away to hide on an island not far from Chanthabouri Si Sattanak city in order to enjoy life more freely; so this island was named Done Suong Sou or Done Xieng Sou, which means "Hidden Lovers' Island".

Mention may here be made of a great festival lasting for days at a place to the South of the river Se Bang Hieng, where young people from Inthapatha Maha Nakhone and those from Chanthabouri Si Sattanak could enjoy themselves without any restraint and where they were so excessively happy, so ecstatically delighted, that they named the place "Savan Nakhone" or "Savannakhet", which means "Paradise".

On his return to Inthapatha Maha Nakhone, Hapkhanasouane noticed that most of the young people he had previously taken with him to Chanthabouri Si Sattanak had deserted.  Suspecting that Khoun Chong had favoured these doings in connivance with Phra Lam, he vowed to kill him.  Khoun Chong came to seek the protection of Thaphoramasouane and Thao Viloun Ha.  Not satisfied with such a behaviour, both the grandfather and father of Hapkhanasouane left Inthapatha Maha Nakhone and started for Mount Nhou Khanh Thone, where, later, Thattaradtha came and stayed with them.  Then, Phra In appeared, built a city for these ex-kings, taught them supernatural powers and changed the name of Thaphoramasouane into Aysouane.  A short time later, Aysouane had two more children: Thao Viroupakkha and Thao Kouvera.  He appointed his four sons:  Thattaradtha, Viloun Ha, Viroupakkha, Kouvera, respectively, as Kings in the East, the South, the West and the North.

[The four sons of Aysouane have the same names as the four Buddhist Guardians of the four cardinal-points of the World: Dhataradh (Thattaradtha), Guardian of the East; Virulhaka (Viloun Ha), Guardian of the South; Virupakkha (Viroupakkha), Guardian of the West; Kubera (Kouvera), Guardian of the North.]

In his palace, Hapkhanasouane growled in rage when the news of Thaphoramasouane and Viloun Ha's departure reached him.  Who had favoured the elopements of his young people?  Who had instigated the desertion of his old parents?  Was it plain coincidence that Thattaradtha had joined them at Nhou Khanh Thone?  This must be a sneaking trick of his cunning cousin Phra Lam, he thought.

So, looking for new hope and new alliances, Hapkhanasouane left Inthatpatha Maha Nakhone and settled on the island of Lanka with his wife, Nang Chantha, and his young brothers, Thao Phik Phi and Thao Inthasi.  Then, he went up to Heaven to seek help of Phra In.

Once again, Phra In put Hapkhanasouane in his own mould and had him changed into a very handsome man whose face and stature were exactly similar to those of Phra In himself.  During his sojourn in Heaven improving his supernatural powers, Hapkhanasouane took advantage of this likeness to make love with the two hundred and four million wives of Phra In, including Nang Soudsada, one of the Four Great Queens.


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