RAM KHAMHAENG INSCRIPTION (1292)

My father was named Sri Indraditya, my mother was named Lady Suang, my elder brother was named Ban Muang. There were five of us born from the same womb: three boys and two girls. My eldest brother died when he was still a child. When I was nineteen years old, Lord Sam Chon, the ruler of Muang Chot, came to attack Muang Tak. My father went to fight Lord Sam Chon on the left; Lord Sam Chon drove forward on the right. Lord Sam Chon attacked in force; my father's men fled in confusion. I did not flee. I mounted my elephant, opened [a way through] the soldiers, and pushed him ahead in front of my father. I fought an elephant duel with Lord Sam Chon. I fought Lord Sam Chon's elephant, Mas Muang by name, and beat him. Lord Sam Chon fled. Then my father named me Phra Ram Khamhang because I fought Sam Chon's elephant.

In my father's lifetime I served my father and I served my mother. When I caught any game or fish I brought them to my father. When I picked any acid or sweet fruits that were delicious and good to eat, I brought them to my father. When I went hunting elephants, either by lasso or by [driving them into] a corral, I brought them to my father. When I raided a town or village and captured elephants, young men or women of rank, silver or gold, I turned them over to my father. When my father died, my elder brother was still alive, and I served him steadfastly as I had served my father. When my elder brother died, I got the whole kingdom for myself.

In the time of King Ram Khamhang this land of Sukhothai is thriving. There is fish in the water and rice in the fields. The lord of the realm does not levy toll on his subjects for traveling the roads; they lead their cattle to trade or ride their horses to sell; whoever wants to trade in elephants, does so; whoever wants to trade in horses, does so; whoever wants to trade in silver or gold, does so. When any commoner or man of rank dies, his estate--his elephants, wives, children, granaries, rice, retainers, and groves of areca and betel--is left in its entirety to his children. When commoners or men of rank differ and disagree, [the King] examines the case to get at the truth and then settles it justly for them. He does not connive with thieves or favor concealers [of stolen goods]. When he sees someone's rice he does not covet it; when he sees someone's wealth he does not get angry. If anyone riding an elephant comes to see him to put his own country under his protection, he helps him, treats him generously, and takes care of him; if [someone comes to him] with no elephants, no horses, no young men or women of rank, no silver or gold, he gives him some, and helps him until he can establish a state [of his own]. When he captures enemy warriors, he does not kill them or beat them. He has hung a bell in the opening of the gate over there: if any commoner in the land has a grievance which sickens his belly and gripes his heart, and which he wants to make known to his ruler and lord, it is easy: he goes and strikes the bell which the King has hung there; King Ram Khamhang, the ruler of the kingdom, hears the call; he goes and questions the man, examines the case, and decides it justly for him. So the people of this muang of Sukhothai praise him. They plant areca groves and betel groves all over this muang; coconut groves and jackfruit groves are planted in abundance in this muang, mango groves and tamarind groves are planted in abundance in this muang. Anyone who plants them gets them for himself and keeps them. Inside this city there is a marvelous pond of water which is as clear and as good to drink as the water of the [Me]Khong in the dry season. The triple rampart surrounding this city of Sukhothai measures three thousand four hundred fathoms.

The people of this city of Sukhothai like to observe the precepts and bestow alms. King Ram Khamhang, the ruler of this city of Sukhothai, as well as the princes and princesses, the young men and women of rank, and all the noblefolk, without exception, both male and female, all have faith in the religion of the Buddha, and all observe the precepts during the rainy season. At the close of the rainy season they celebrate the kathin ceremonies, which last a month, with heaps of cowries, with heaps of areca nuts, with heaps of flowers, with cushions and pillows: the gifts they present [to the monks] as accessories to the kathin [amount to] two million each year. Everyone goes to the Arannika over there for the recitation of the kathin. When they are ready to return to the city they walk together, forming a line all the way from the Arannika to the parade-ground. They repeatedly pay homage together, accompanied by the music of instruments and singing. Whoever wants to make merry, does so; whoever wants to laugh, does so; whoever wants to sing, does so. As this Sukhothai has four very big gates, and as the people always crowd together to come in and watch the King lighting candles and setting off fireworks, the city is filled to the bursting point.

Inside this city of Sukhothai, there are viharas, there are golden statues of the Buddha, there are statues eighteen cubits in height; there are big statues of the Buddha and medium-sized ones; there are big viharas and medium-sized ones; there are monks, Nissayamuttas, Theras, and Mahatheras.

West of this city of Sukhothai is the Arannika, built by King Ram Khamhang as a gift to the Mahathera Sangharaja, the sage who has studied the scriptures from beginning to end, who is wiser than any other monk in the kingdom, and who has come here from Muang Sri Dharmmaraja. Inside the Arannika there is a large rectangular vihara, tall and exceedingly beautiful, and an eighteen-cubit statue of the Buddha standing up.

East of this city of Sukhothai there are viharas and monks, there is the large lake, there are groves of areca and betel, upland and lowland farms, homesteads, large and small villages, groves of mango and tamarind. [They] are as beautiful to look at as if they were made for that purpose.

North of this city of Sukhothai there is the bazaar, there is the Acan statue, there are the prasadas, there are groves of coconut and jackfruit, upland and lowland farms, homesteads, large and small villages.

South of this city of Sukhothai there are kuti with viharas and resident monks, there is the dam, there are groves of coconut and jackfruit, groves of mango and tamarind, there are mountain streams, and there is Phra Khaphung. The divine sprite of that mountain is more powerful than any other sprite in this kingdom. Whatever lord may rule this kingdom of Sukhothai, if he makes obeisance to him properly, with the right offerings, this kingdom will endure, this kingdom will thrive; but if obeisance is not made properly or the offerings are not right, the sprite of the hill will no longer protect it and the kingdom will be lost.

In 1214 saka, a Year of the Dragon [AD 1292], King Ram Khamhang, lord of this kingdom of Sri Sajjanalai and Sukhothai, who had planted these sugar-palm trees fourteen years before, commanded his craftsmen to carve a slab of stone and place it in the midst of these sugar-palm trees. On the day of the new moon, the eighth day of the waxing moon, the day of the full moon, and the eighth day of the waning moon, [one of] the monks, theras, or mahatheras goes up and sits on the stone slab to preach the Dharma to the throng of laypeople who observe the precepts. When it is not a day for preaching the Dharma, King Ram Khamhang, lord of the kingdom of Sri Sajjanalai and Sukhothai, goes up, sits on the stone slab, and lets the officials, lords, and princes discuss affairs of state with him. On the day of the new moon and the day of the full moon, when the white elephant named Rucasri has been decked out with howdah and tasseled head cloth, and always with gold on both tusks, King Ram Khamhang mounts him, rides away to the Arannika to pay homage to the Sangharaja, and then returns. There is an inscription in the city of Chaliang, erected beside the Sri Ratanadhatu; there is an inscription in the cave called Phra Ram's Cave, which is located on the bank of the River Samphai; and there is an inscription in the Ratanadhara Cave. In this Sugar-palm Grove there are two pavilions, one named Sala Phra Masa, one named Buddhasala. This slab of stone is named Manangasilabat. It is installed here for everyone to see.

All the Ma, the Kao, the Lao, the Tai of the land under the vault of heaven and the Tai who live along the U and Khong come and do obeisance to King Sri Indraditya's son King Ram Khamhang, who is lord of the kingdom of Sri Sajjanalai and Sukhothai.

In 1207 saka, a Year of the Boar [AD 1285], he caused the holy relics to be dug up so that everyone could see them. They were worshipped for a month and six days, then they were buried in the middle of Sri Sajjanalai, and a cetiya was built on top of them which was finished in six years. A wall of rock enclosing the Phra Dhatu was built which was finished in three years.

Formerly these Tai letters did not exist. In 1205 saka, a Year of the Goat [AD 1283], King Ram Khamhang set his mind and his heart on devising these Tai letters. So these Tai letters exist because that lord devised them.

King Ram Khamhang was sovereign over all the Tai. He was the teacher who taught all the Tai to understand merit and the Dharma rightly. Among men who live in the lands of the Tai, there is no one to equal him in knowledge and wisdom, in bravery and courage, in strength and energy. He was able to subdue a throne of enemies who possessed broad kingdoms and many elephants. The places whose submission he received on the east include Sra Luang, Song Khwa, Lum Pa Cai, Sakha, the banks of the Khong, and Viang Can-Viang Kham, which is the furthest place. On the south, [they include] Khanthi, Phra Bang, Phrak, Suphannaphum, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Sri Dharmaraja, and the seacoast, which is the farthest place. On the west, [they include] Muang Chot, Muang ......n, and Hamsavati, the seas being their limit. On the north, they include Muang Phla, Muang Man, Muang N[an], Muang Phlua, and, beyond the banks of the Khong, Muang Sava [Luang Phrabang], which is the farthest place. All the people who live in these lands have been reared by him in accordance with the Dharma, every one of them.