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The Biography of Phra Khun Paen

In Thailand, Khun Chang Khun Paen which is originated from a legend of Thai folktale and is one of the most notable works in Thai literature. Khun Chang and Khun Paen are the leading male characters. The story is a classic love triangle, ending in high tragedy. 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 the most popular form of entertainment in Thailand. 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 peoples believed that Khun Chang and Khun Paen story was based on a real event which took place in-betweens 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 a text of oral history as Khun Chang and Khun Paen itself, 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 named Khun Kai was a general of a large army. With the military background, Khun Paen learns horse riding, archery and martial arts from young and developed a valiant character. As a result, he was well respected wherever he went. At the age of 10, his father made a blunder when he was leading an army and contravened the military law and was sentenced to death. Khun Paen and his mother escaped to Kanchanaburi district and took refuge in the house of a relative. 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 will grow up to become an exceptional person in the future. The abbot then discussed with Khun Paen mother and conveyed that he intended to take Khun Paen as his disciple and teach him spiritual powers. As a result of this, Khun Paen has to become a novice monk. On that occasion, Khun Paen 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 and spilt scared powder on the ground and 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 had explained all to him, Khun Paen works harder than ever to master the use of the magical powers. When Khun Paen attained the age of 23, he had to resume to 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 tablets 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 of Kanchanaburi Province, location situated at Bridge over the River Kwai area.

By his skilful fighting, he was appointed by the King to a high ranking military officer. His biography was far more extended and rather 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 weak because the King has executed his father and seized their property. He enters the monkhood as a novice to get educated, excelling at military skills and love magic. Khun Chang, a tax collector, is not good looking but rich and having a good and strong connection with the ministry. He owns many gambling dens. 

Wanthong wife to both Khun Chang and Khun Paen is the most beautiful girl of 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 for her. He offers to give a weight of gold to Wanthong mother. After Khun Paen and Wanthong are married, Khun Chang set a plot to the King to send Khun Paen on military service. With his love for Wanthong, there is nothing he dare 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 with fame as a warrior with another wife, they have a jealous quarrel. Wanthong with uncontrolled anger, she 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 been unfaithful and disloyalty to the King. When the King learns about this, Khun Paen was 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 house at the late-night hour and takes Wanthong away. While rekindling the love and passion in their relationship, they flee and stay in the forest, spending their time enjoying life in a carefree and relaxing environment.


Khun Chang planned to have Khun Paen banished from Ayutthaya by telling the King that Khun Paen is plotting a rebellion. The King sends several armies which Khun Paen defeats. A warrant has issued for his arrest. When Wanthong becomes pregnant, Khun Paen decided to leave the forest and give himself up. At the trial, the charges of rebellion are disproven, and Khun Chang was heavily penalty.

Khun Paen angers with the King by asking for the release of his second wife, Laothong. He was then sentenced to jail and festered in prison for around twelve years. After that Khun Chang abducted Wanthong and they live 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 from Khun Paen library.

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

On the wedding day of Phra Wai, Khun Chang gets drunk, and the old rivalry returns. Phra Wai abducts Wanthong from Khun Chang house, prompting Khun Chang to petition the King for redress. At the subsequent trial, the King demands that Wanthong should decide between Khun Chang and Khun Paen. All of a sudden, she is entirely 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 and very attractive to ladies. Khun Paen, with his excellent affinity with people, had attracted many ladies who were 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 having the skills to ease anger.

Khun Paen was a Great General of the military, a time when supernatural forces played an important part of traditional warfare. Khun Paen had wanted a protective spirit to watch over him in battle. To this end, he cut open the body of his dead wife’s and 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, while 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 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 a charming and Metta (love and attraction) amulets. 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.