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The Biography of Phra Khun Paen

In Thailand, Khun Chang Khun Paen originated from a legend of Thai folktale and is one of the most notable works in Thai literature. The story is a classic love triangle, ending in high tragedy. Khun Chang and Khun Paen are the leading male characters. Khun Paen is dashing but poor, and Khun Chang is rich; he competes for the lovely Wanthong from childhood for over fifty years. Their contest involves two wars, several abductions, a suspected revolt, an idyllic sojourn in the forest, two court cases, trial by ordeal, jail, and treachery. Ultimately the king condemns Wanthong to death for failing to choose between the two men. The poem was written down in the early nineteenth century.


Khun Chang and Khun Paen is an old story in the Thai language. It originated as a folktale sometime before the nineteenth century, developed by storytellers who recited episodes for local audiences and passed on the story by word of mouth. By the nineteenth century, such performances had become Thailand's most popular form of entertainment. Most likely, Khun Chang and Khun Paen developed over decades or centuries by storytellers absorbing and embellishing several local tales and real stories.

In Thailand, the story is well known. Thai people believed that Khun Chang and Khun Paen's report was based on a real event that occurred between 1491-1529 in the reign of King Rama. His evidence was a biography believed to have been taken down from the Thai prisoners in Burma after the fall of Ayutthaya. However, this biography is just as much an oral history text as Khun Chang and Khun Paen and could well have developed from the folktale. 

It is said that when Khun Paen was small, he was known as Prai Kaew; his father, Khun Kai, was a general of a large army. With a military background, Khun Paen learns horse riding, archery, and martial arts from a young and develops a heroic character. As a result, he was well respected wherever he went. At age 10, his father made a blunder when he led an army and contravened military law, and he was sentenced to death. Khun Paen and his mother escaped to the Kanchanaburi district and took refuge in a relative's house. It so happened that there was a temple nearby, and Khun Paen was sent to the Buddhist temple to study Sanskrit languages. 

After some time, the abbot observed that Khun Paen was brilliant and would grow to become exceptional. The abbot then discussed with Khun Paen's mother and conveyed that he intended to take Khun Paen as his disciple and teach him spiritual powers. As a result, Khun Paen has to become a novice monk. On that occasion, Khun Paen's mother permits him to leave home to become a novice monk in Wat Saeng Nga. 

After Khun Paen had stayed in the temple for some time, he was well versed in Sanskrit and all mantras; the abbot decided to lead him to a higher level. One night, the abbot took Khun Paen to a deserted cemetery, spilled scared powder on the ground, made a circle, and he asked Khun Paen to sit in the middle. He told Khun Paen, To learn how to control the spirits, first of all, you must learn not to be afraid of them. You must first communicate and make friends with them and use the spiritual power to control them and make use of them to serve you.

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Therefore Khun Paen spends a horrifying and exciting night at the cemetery. The next day, Khun Paen asked the abbot how he should handle strange and horrific encounters the night before. After the abbot has explained all to him, Khun Paen works harder than ever to master the use of magical powers. When Khun Paen attained the age of 23, he had to resume secular living to join the military for national service.


Khun Paen is a warrior living some 500 years ago in Ayutthaya. His name later became the name of a kind of votive tablet found at Wat Bankrang, Suphanburi Province, about a century ago. Khun Paen was born in Suphanburi Province, some 70 km. Northwest of Bangkok. He grew up in the close-bordered Kanchanaburi Province, situated at Bridge over the River Kwai area.

Through his skillful fighting, he was appointed by the King as a high-ranking military officer. His biography was far more extended and a fictitious story by poetic authors of the early Rattanakosin period or some 180 years ago. 

Khun Paen is handsome and with a well-built body, but he is weak because the King has executed his father and seized their property. He enters the monkhood as a novice to get educated, excel at military skills, and love magic. Khun Chang, a tax collector, is not good-looking but rich and has a good and strong connection with the ministry. He owns many gambling dens. 

Wanthong, the wife of both Khun Chang and Khun Paen, is the most beautiful girl in Suphanburi. She meets Khun Paen during Songkran (Thai New Year) when giving food in his alms bowl, and they fall in love at first sight and begin their romantic relationship.

Wanthong strongly attracted Khun Chang. Khun Chang used his wealth and status to compete with her. He offers to give a weight of gold to Wanthong mother. After Khun Paen and Wanthong are married, Khun Chang sets a plot with the King to send Khun Paen on military service. With his love for Wanthong, there is nothing he dares not do. One day, Khun Chang brought a cremation ashes jar of Khun Paen to Wanthong and claimed that Khun Paen had lost his life in the battle. 

When Khun Paen returns to fame as a warrior with another wife, they have a jealous quarrel. Wanthong, with uncontrolled anger, runs away from Khun Paen and lives with Khun Chang, enjoying his devotion and the comforts afforded by his wealth.

One day, Khun Paen was backstabbed by Khun Chang, making a false report of Khun Paen for being unfaithful and disloyal to the King. When the King learns about this, Khun Paen is stripped from his rank, and Wanthong is taken away by the King to the palace as a punishment to Khun Paen. 

Khun Paen regrets abandoning Wanthong. He breaks into Khun Chang's house late and takes Wanthong away. While rekindling the love and passion in their relationship, they flee and stay in the forest, enjoying life in a carefree and relaxing environment.


Khun Chang planned to ban Khun Paen from Ayutthaya by telling the King that Khun Paen was plotting a rebellion. The King sends several armies, which Khun Paen defeats. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. When Wanthong becomes pregnant, Khun Paen decides to leave the forest and give himself up. The rebellion charges were disproven at the trial, and Khun Chang was heavily penalized.

Khun Paen angers the King by asking for the release of his second wife, Laothong. He was sentenced to jail and festered for around twelve years. After that, Khun Chang abducted Wanthong, and lived together again in Suphanburi. Later Wanthong gives birth to Phlai Ngam, her son with Khun Paen. When Phlai Ngam is eight years old, Khun Chang tries to kill him. Phlai Ngam escapes living in Kanchanaburi with his grandmother, who teaches him at Khun Paen library.

When the Kings of Ayutthaya and Chiangmai argued over a beautiful daughter of the King of Vientiane (the capital of Laos). Phlai Ngam volunteers to lead armies to Chiang Mai and successfully petitions for Khun Paen's release. They capture the King of Chiangmai and return with the Vientiane princess and a great haul of booty. Phlai Ngam is appointed Phra Wai, an officer in the royal book of records. Khun Paen now gains status as the governor of Kanchanaburi.

On the wedding day of Phra Wai, Khun Chang gets drunk, and the old rivalry returns. Phra Wai abducts Wanthong from Khun Chang's house, prompting Khun Chang to petition the King for redress. At the subsequent trial, the King demands that Wanthong decides between Khun Chang and Khun Paen. Suddenly, she is dumbstruck and unable to make certain decisions; the King orders her execution. Phra Wai pleads successfully with the King for a reprieve, but the order arrives fractionally too late to avoid her execution.

Based on old legends, Khun Paen was handsome to ladies. Khun Paen, with his excellent affinity with people, had attracted many ladies willing to marry him.  

Khun Paen is a master in mantras or formulas with supernatural power. He had magical knowledge. He used magic to make himself invulnerable and unseen to enemies, transforming his body into other forms, putting everyone else to sleep, and converting sheaves of grass into invincible spirit warriors. Khun Paen also uses love formulas to captivate women and have the skills to ease anger.

Khun Paen was a Great General of the military, a time when supernatural forces played an important part in traditional warfare. Khun Paen had wanted a protective spirit to watch over him in battle. To this end, he cut open his dead wife's body, took the fetus out, and set up a shrine to perform his magical powers. He wrapped the child’s torso in sacred cloth. He roasted it on fire into a dried corpse, chanting ritual mantras and dark incantations for 49 days to create the supernatural being with whom he could communicate and control the spirit so that he could command it to do anything for him.

Khun Paen was the first person who created Kuman Thong. Based on the legendary descriptions, Khun Paen was chanting some sacred mantras to activate his son's spirit while burning the dead baby on the fire. Kuman Thong defended his father against enemies, evil spirits, gambling, cockfighting, and many more.

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From the above miracle Khun Paen story, many masters or guru monks like to make Khun Paen as charming and Metta (love and attraction) amulet. According to some comments and reviews by the masters and guru monks, and local Thai people, Khun Paen amulets generally is best for:

●    Ability to attract the opposite sex naturally.
●    Get to be liked, trusted, respected and admired by everyone.
●    Get to develop indestructible confidence and courage.
●    Easier to ask for favour and help.

●    Gain the “upper hand” in business or career.
●    Excellent luck and great charm.
●    Victories in all aspects of life.

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