|Phra Lak-Phra Lam
A Previous Life of the Buddha
|Phalichanh soon came into Sang Khip's
capital and the two brothers fought a great battle in the air. Nang Kottarat joined
her husband to attack Phalichanh, who succeeded in putting her eyes out. She fell
out of the sky and then lost her way in the forest. Sang Khip gave up the fight to
go in search of his wife, but it was unsuccessful.
With this respite, Phalichanh spoke to Phra Lam who promised that he would shoot Sang Khip in the course of the fighting. Phalichanh then went to his brother and again challenged him to a single combat. Sang Khip accepted the challenge and the duel began in the air.
|The two brothers were nimble in their
movements and it was difficult for Phra Lam to pick out his victim. So he commanded
Phalichanh to tie a white shawl round his head as a mark of recognition.
Sang Khip, noticing this strange garb, put on the same raiment, so that Phra Lam could not distinguish whom he should shoot. The next day, when Phalichanh wore a red shawl, Sang Khip put on a rig of the same colour. Phra Lam was still unable to pick him out.
Finally Phra Lam painted Phalichanh's soles with white lime, and because of this distinctive mark that Sang Khip did not have time to imitate, he was able to kill Sang Khip with one of his magic arrows.
Meanwhile, in the forest, losing patience after a long wait, Nang Phengsi and Houlaman left their prasat in order to try to rejoin Phra Lam and Phra Lak. The mother and child still preserved their simian appearance. The marvellous horse, Manikap, took flight to the forest where the Manikhod tree grew, to fetch the fruit borne on the vertical branches to enable Nang Phengsi and Houlaman to resume human form.
The fruit benefited only the mother, who once again became a young woman of great beauty. Houlaman remained a monkey as before, his Kam ven not having yet reached its end.
|At that time, in Muong Nhou Khanh Thone
of Aysouane, there was a demon who had the power to kill any person at whom he pointed his
index-finger. He caused much grief to the population. As no one was able to
kill him, a young girl named Nang Thip Pasod tried to set a trap for him. She
invited him to dance and make him point his index-finger at his own skul, which suddenly
burst. He was killed there and then. This same Nang Thip Pasod saved the life
of Nang Kottarat whom Phra Lam sheltered and cured her eyes. As a sign of gratitude,
Nang Kottarat offered herself as a wife for Phra Lam even for a short period of time.
A son was born from this union, Thao Khouan Thau Fa, who lived without ever seeing
his father, who earlier had left to prepare an expedition against Lanka.
In fact, Phra Lam received great military assistance from Thao Phalichanh, who succeeded to the throne of Muong Kasi after the death of Thao Sang Khip, his brother. Phalichanh offered this assistance in gratitude for the service rendered to him during his fight against Thao Sang Khip. Phra Lam considered that he still needed more troops. He then led his army towards Inthapatha Maha Nakhone, where he received considerable reinforcement in men and material from the king of that country.
After having given formal orders to the troops to respect the life and property of the population of the regions that they would have to cross, with a death penalty if this was disobeyed, Phra Lam asked Phalichanh to recruit from among the population some one who could fly like a bird to Lanka, in order to bring him news of Nang Sida.
Phalichanh, hovering in the air, beat a drum and made the proclamation of Phra Lam. He was questioned several times by young girls, who asked him why the king had not sent him to Lanka, he who could fly in the air as easily as a bird; and why the king took so much trouble and sacrificed so many men to rescue a women like Nang Sida.
These girls considered themselves beautiful and charming enough to replace Nang Sida for the pleasure of the king and together they offered themselves for enrollment in the harem. Phalichanh could not reply, nor could he accept an offer so strange and so unexpected.
A young man emerged from the crowd and presented himself to Phalichanh as volunteer for the royal mission. It was Thao Khouan Thao Fa, son of Phra Lam and Nang Kottarat. The latter also found her first two sons: Thao Sataphagna and Thao Phanh Lahaphagna, whom she bore with Thao Sang Khip, and the three brothers put themselves at the service of Phra Lam.
Accompanied by Houlaman, Thao Khouan Thau Fa was sent to Lanka to inform Nang Sida of the forthcoming rescue. He would return to her the ring that Hapkhanasouane had taken from her to cut the wings of Phagna Khout. He would also tell her that Phra Lam had recovered it after cured Phagna Khout.
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