Phra Lak-Phra Lam
  A Previous Life of the Buddha

 
Houlaman and Thao Khouan Thau Fa flew like birds in the air.  When they arrived in Lanka, they presented themselves at the abode of a hermit named Ta Fay ("Eyes of Fire") to ask him for advice and information on the island.  They came when the holy man was meditating behing closed doors in his abode.  Being impatient to see him, they rang noisily, and when Ta Fay opened his eyes to see who they were, flames shot forth from his pupils to burn the visitors.
 

 
There remained only two small hearts when he went out to welcome them.  He then spat on these piece of human flesh and suddenly the two brothers were resuscitated.

Once again delivered from the terror, Houlaman and Thao Khouan Thau Fa were warmly welcomed.  Among other warnings, Ta Fay expressly advised them not to go near the pool at the back of his abode.  The two brothers promised to obey him, but secretly they were excited by this warning.  They took risks in the vicinity of the pool and were caught in the forehead by two enormous leeches.

Fortunately, Ta Fay came in time to tell them to spit their own saliva on these beasts which, suddenly, let go off their victims.   The two brothers were saved, but their magical powers were reduced.  (It is because of this that, since then, when one is caught by a leech, he always spits on the creature in order to make it fall off.)

Houlaman and Thao Khouan Thau Fa left the pool as soon as they could in order to devote themselves to the mission entrusted to them by their father.

It must be remembered that Houlaman, in the guise of a young man, presented himself to Nang Sida to return to her the ring and the message of Phra Lam.  Later, using their magical powers, the two brothers put the people in the palace to sleep, including Hapkhanasouane and Nang Chantha, and they tied the hair of one to the other's.  Before leaving them, they left in Nang Chantha's hands a small word advising her, once awake, to slap three times on the head of her husband in order to untie her hair.  This was a means to weaken the magical powers of Hapkhanasouane before giving him the final blow, which would kill him easily.

Leaving the palace, Thao Khouan Thau Fa transformed himself into a monkey like Houlaman, and following their plan, the two brothers allowed themselves to be arrested by the soldiers.  At the moment when they were about to be executed they said to their executors that they would be able to be killed only if they were burned in fabric soaked with oil.  The soldiers did as they were told.  With their magical powers, Houlaman and Thao Khouan Thau Fa were not burnt, but jumped from the fire as live torches, and landing on the roof of the houses, they ended up by setting on fire the entire city of Lanka.

 

 
Resuming their flight by air, Houlaman and Thao Khouan Thao Fa immediately returned to report on the success of their mission to Phra Lam.   A remnant of fire still burnt their faces and tails when they appeared before their father, and they requested his magical powers to extinquish it.

Phra Lam advised them to return to Lanka where they would find a water to be used for that purpose.  "Because", he said, "to extinguish the fire which burns in a country, one must use the water of that country." (This is a Lao proverb which is equivalent to the expression "You must wash your dirty clothes at your own house.")  With water drawn from a well of the garden of Nang Sida, the two brothers were able to extinguish the fire.  (Because of this, monkeys of our days have hair of their face and their tails scorched.)

Phra Lam later gave orders to Houlaman and Thao Khouan Thau Fa to go to the waves in the sea, in order to find a shallow place where he could build a bridge to link the island of Lanka with the continent.

 
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