Phra Lak-Phra Lam
  A Previous Life of the Buddha

 

 
"It's as light as a toad", he said to the rishi.  "Well, where do you want me to shoot this arrow?"

"That's enough," Chao Laksi replied, "you need not shoot it, for it will burn everything, even the rocks of a mountain!  Now you may become the coveted husband of my foster-daughter.  Just a moment!  I will bring the Nam A Mon (holy water) for your wedding ceremony."

When the rishi had gone, Phra Lam and Phra Lak entered his dwelling and met eleven beautiful girls who resembled one another than ever peas were like peas.  They could not distinguish who was Nang Sida.  Phra Lam asked their lady chaperone for help and she said:

"Point your forefinger at their eyes.   She who closes hers, is Nang Sida".

Phra Lam did as he was recommended and thus found Nang Sida among these girls.  In no time the rishi came back: he watered Phra Lam and Nang Sida with the Nam A Mon and predicted: "Alas! in the future, you will be separated for a long time.  This is your destiny".

No sooner that Phra Lam, Phra Lak and Nang Sida said good-bye to Chao Laksi than the dwelling, the ten girls, the lady chaperone and the holy man himself disappeared mysteriously.

As for Hapkhanasouane, what prevailed in his mind was how to get Nang Sida back.  By strategy, he ordered a demon to take the form of a golden deer and enticed Phra Lam and Phra Lak to depart from Nang Sida's side.

The deer began to graze gracefully in front of Nang Sida.  The sight of this lovely animal roused her desire to make it her pet.   So, she requested her husband to catch it.  Phra Lam asked Phra Lak to take care of his wife and went after the deer.

 

 
The demon imitated the voice of Phra Lam and cried: "Help! Phra Lak, help!"  This cry made Nang Sida think that Phra Lam must be in some fatal danger.  She urged Phra Lak to go at once to his brother's aid.

As Phra Lak hesitated, suspecting that this was some trick of the demon, Nang Sida said: "You want to let my husband die in order to marry me, don't you?"

Consequently, Phra Lak invoked the help of Nang Tholani, the Goddess of the Earth, to protect Nang Sida and went away in search of Phra Lam.

 
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