Phra Lak-Phra Lam
  A Previous Life of the Buddha

 
And when everything was put into order, Phra Lam and his wives, and his brother Phra Lak, his children and the entire army, left Lanka to return with solemnity to Chanthabouri Si Sattanak where, in the peace finally recovered, and with a wife finally rescued, he went on living in well-earned happiness.
 

 
An accident came about, however, to trouble the conjugal life of Phra Lam.  One day, upon the request of her ladies-in-waiting, who wanted to know what Hapkhanasouane, whose charm could not however captivate her, was like, Nang Sida drew his portrait from memory.  She had hardly finished it when Phra Lam suddenly entered her room.  She hid the drawing quickly under the cushion of a chair, Phra Lam sat down on it and with great amazement, he heard a voice under the cushion say: "I am, like you, a great king.  Sit not upon my head".

Phra Lam turned up the seat and found Hapkhanasouane's portrait.  A great anger seized him and without listening to her explanation, he condamned Nang Sida to death, suspecting her of still having sympathy for the monster who had once snatched her from him and caused such tribulation.  The execution was to be carried immediately and outside the palace.  Phra Lak was charged with the painful work, but taking pity on his sister-in-law, he conceived a plan to save her.  He ordered Manikap, the marvellous horse, to take Nang Sida to her foster-father, Chao Laksi, then he returned to show to Phra Lam a sword covered with blood of a dog.

Three months later, Nang Sida gave birth to a boy named Thao Phra Bout.  In order that the latter had a companion and that his mother did not suffer much from his absence when he left her to go somewhere, Chao Laksi moulded a double of Thao Phra Bout, into whom he breathed life and gave the name of Thao Phra Houp.  When they grew up, the two brothers became good-looking boys and received from their grandfather teachings in the field of occult sciences.

One day, when Nang Sida made known to them that they were the sons of Phra Lam, King of Chanthabouri Si Sattanak, Thao Phra Bout and Thao Phra Houp asked her to take them to see their father.  All three then disquised themselves as merchants of mat teng (melons) and entered the capital of Phra Lam.  But at the palace gate, Houlaman's soldiers came to take their melons away without paying for them.   A quarrel broke out in which Houlaman had to intervene to defend his men, but he was also beaten by Thao Phra Bout and Thao Phra Houp.  At the end, seeing that things were going badly, Phra Lam, in person, joined in the fight and was surprised to be at grips with these men, still very young, but full of force and talents.  Phra Lam asked them to tell their story, and when he found that they were his own sons, he embraced them and invited them to the palace.

Thao Phra Bout and Thao Phra Houp accepted the invitation, provided that their mother came with them; whereupon Phra Lam rushed to Nang Sida and asked her, humbly, to forgive him.  And having obtained from Phra Lam the promise not to take decisions thoughtlessly in the future, Nang Sida, being tolerant and charitable like all the Lao women, agreed to return to the palace in order to resume a life in which nothing could make trouble again.

Phra Lam ruled over Chanthabouri Si Sattanak for many years.  Upon his death, Thao Phra Bout succeeded to the throne, while Thao Phra Houp became viceroy.

"Thus ends this great and long epic that is the Phra Lak-Phra Lam."

 
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Page 22 | Buddha's Teaching | Characters

 

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