In the annals of Thai literature, there exists a poem detailing the exploits of Khun Paen, a renowned sorcerer, warrior, and ladies man. (Please refer to our article on Khun Paen for the full details of his life.)
Khun Paen was able to win many battles as he possessed a veritable arsenal of enchanted weapons and tools of war. Most notable of these were his ghost armies (Pee Prai
As the legend goes, the Guman Thong, one of his principal sources of power, was actually his son.
The Birth of the Spiritual Golden Boy
While wandering through the forest, Khun Paen met the brigand Muen Han
After an incident where Khun Paen saved Muen Han’s life, the grateful father betrothed his daughter to him. They were married, and Bua Klee was soon pregnant. Muen Han and Khun Paen however, were constantly locked in conflict, as Khun Paen refused to engage in the bandit life of robbing and stealing from villages.
Khun Paen acted like a loafer, constantly eating and sleeping, all while refusing to contribute to the group by robbing villages. Infuriated, Muen Han tried to shoot Khun Paen. Every gun he tried, however, mysteriously refused to fire when pointed at Khun Paen.
Fearing that he would be overthrown, Muen Han instructed Bua Klee to poison Khun Paen’s food. He pressured her with filial piety and offered her significant financial reward for killing her husband. In the end, she only obeyed because she loved her father more.
Bua Klee gleaned the poison from the gallbladder of a cobra, a peacock, rats mixed with arsenic, and drops of lemon juice. She wrapped it in betel leaves before stewing it into a curry. The poison was so potent that she too risked perishing from inhalation while she prepared the fatal meal.
Her father urged her to poison him that very night. Khun Paen’s ghostly informants, however, caught wind of her plan and warned their master about it.
Khun Paen could not believe that his wife would have the heart to murder him. Erring on the side of caution however, he shaped the food into little balls and fed them to the crows gathered on his rooftop. The crows he fed immediately died. Enraged, he decided to kill Bua Klee in retaliation. He tricked her into believing that he had consumed the poison and needed to rest in bed for a while.
He sought permission from Bua Klee, asking if she could give him the child she was carrying. In the esoteric realm, any act committed against the will of another individual constitutes a great sin, and in some cases, is believed to nullify the powers of the sorcerer.
Bua Klee was caught off guard, as the child was ostensibly already his. Khun Paen reiterated and sought permission another time, asking Bua Klee to agree to give him the child and to proclaim that the child belonged to him and him alone. Bua Klee’s provided yet another non-committal answer, which led Khun Paen to reiterate his query a third time. Agitated, Bua Klee blurted out that he could do whatever he wanted with the child.
At midnight, Khun Paen recited a spell that charmed everyone into a deep slumber. He then hurried to prepare 3 candles, saisin, metallic matchbox (for starting a fire) and food offerings) and used a knife to slit Bua Klee open from chest to womb, freeing the unborn fetus. He was elated to discover that it was a baby boy. He hid the baby in his yarm and hurried to the nearest temple. He entered the Wiharn, and began to perform his intended ritual behind safely locked doors.
He lighted the candles, brought out two sticks of Mai Chaiyapluek, and arranged them in the visual representation of the support struts of a spit-roasting pit. He inscribed Yant Narai (Phra Narai) atop the Mai Chaiyapluek, and Yant Racha
The next morning, Muen Han found his daughter dead and swore revenge. He rounded up a posse to hunt down Khun Paen, following the trail of blood to the temple.
Finding the temple completely surrounded, Khun Paen recited spells, awakening the Guman Thong, who manifested before him in the form of a toddler. Khun Paen held his hand and asked the Guman Thong to help him escape.
Khun Paen hid behind the Guman Thong, rendering him invisible as he crept out of the temple. Once outside, he stepped out in dramatic fashion, appearing to his aggressors as having materialized out of thin air. Still angered, Muen Han confronted Khun Paen, demanding that he explain his actions. Khun Paen retorted that he did it out of retaliation, as they had planned to murder him. A fierce battle between the two ensued.
Eventually, Muen Han admitted defeat, and Khun Paen chose to show mercy by sparing his life. He warned Muen Han not to pursue the matter, before once again displaying his spiritual prowess by commanding his Guman Thong and retinue of spirits to fly him away from the scene.
Forging the ultimate sword
In the wake of this incident, Khun Paen sought to forge a legendary sword he had learnt about from ancient sorcery texts. This enchanted sword, known as Dap Fa Fuen, could only be forged through sorcery. The source of its power, was the esoteric materials required in its forging, such as hair from the heads of restless spirits who died from violent deaths, which were incorporated into the hilt. In addition to this, there were several other very specific requirements.
1. Metal be excavated from a Jaydee which contains relics of holy monks
2. Metal from the sharp points that are found atop most palaces.
3. Lek Khanan – it is used to obstruct, deter and oppose Pee Tai Hon
4. Coffin nails from 7 cemetery
5. Broken swords used in warfare
6. Lek Patak
7. Lek Salak Pratu
8. Lek Benjaphan – A metallic compound that displays 5 colours, red, black, dark blue, yellow and white. It is an alloy consisting of gold, tin, silver, copper, lead.
9. Lek Lai – an ore with mystical properties
10. Lek Lor Bor Phra Seang
11. Lek Nam Pee
12. Nak – an amalgam with a golden appearance, alloyed from copper, gold and silver
13. Ya Phong
Khun Paen took a long time to collect the materials. He went to the most renowned blacksmith to have the sword forged. All who were involved in the process has to undergo rigorous physical and spiritual training beforehand and had to wear white during the ceremony. A square perimeter was set up using saisin and flags were erected at the corners.
At the front of the perimeter a phayant called “Yant Peydanna
- Matchamang-sarhan(offerings of pig’s head, duck, chicken, crab, prawns and fish – all boiled and cooked),
- Kreung Krayabuad(desserts – can be made using pumpkin and yam),
- 9 different types of Kanom Haeng,
- 9 different types of Kanom Warn,
- 9 different types of fruits,
- 1 silver candle and 1 gold candle (the candle must have weight of 4 baht each),
The forging of the sword had to be carried out at the most auspicious time of day, right near noon when the sun was at its peak and had to take place entirely within the perimeter. All the materials were personally incorporated by Khun Paen, who recited the requisite spells over them as they were mixed. The sword was then cast by a master blacksmith. The length was specified as “nerng sork
The smelted alloy possessed a greenish hue, described as having the look of “see khiaw malaeng thub
The hilt was also crafted on that day, using Mai Chaiyapleuk, and inscribed with “Yant Puttajak
The scabbard was made from word and longrak, and gold plated. Feeling victorious from successfully forging the sword, Khun Paen then waved it in the air. Almost instantaneously, the sword summoned a violent storm, calling a deluge down from the sky, and awakening a cacophony of lightning and thunder. The sword was thus christened Dap Fa Fuen or the Sword that Awakens the Sky.
Dap Fa Fuen can suppress evil and demons, and cast spells on entire armies during the battle.
Mah See Mok, a greyish enchanted horse
Upon entering Muang Petburi
Khun Paen happened by the scene and witnessed what ensued. He immediately recognized Mah See Mok’s magical potential. Without hesitation, he acquired the horse, for 15 tamleung
Khun Paen grabbed some hay, recited Katha MahaLaLuay, and said to the horse; “If you are destined to follow me, come and partake of this hay.” The horse readily accepted the consecrated hay. It would go on to become Khun Paen’s loyal companion through countless battles to come.
It is said that KP was only able to acquire and wield these 3 powerful mysterious “weapons” because he was adept at many esoteric arts.
In the modern world, wealth and power are seen as the primary commodities sought by all. In the past, when economic wealth was less important than living, survival was the principal concern. War, poverty, and conflict was a daily fact of life, and people turned to sorcery and martial skills as a means of improving the odds that they had been dealt with.
Medical and technological advances have allowed modern people to live longer, fuller, less unstable existences. The rule of law and the development of society has meant that war is often completely isolated from the daily lives of normal people, and this has meant that interest in arcane knowledge to enhance it, has waned.
Knowledge of the arcane, however, still maintains a stronghold in Asia, where it has been adapted to suit the concerns of modern people. Globalization has also seen the pursuit of this knowledge gain traction in the US, Canada and even Africa.