The following is the blessing written specifically for our book on Sinxay by Bounteurm Sibounheuang. Bounteurm is one of themost highly respected mawpawns in Vientiane. In Lao culture mawpawns, as highly esteemed elders, most often former monks, play an essential role when they lead Baci ceremonies. These spiritual ceremonies are a time-honored tradition in Laos that commemorate special events, restoring harmony and balance to individuals and community.
Folkloric literature from the era of the Lan Xang Kingdom has withstood the passage of time, more than 600 years, albeit through all the vicissitudes plaguing the country’s history. One bright light has been Sinxay, which has continued to retain its value throughout these tumultuous years, treasured tothis day by both readers and researchers worldwide.
This Lao literature heritage, and more specifically the Sang Sinxay poem, is not only embedded with the empowering dhamma of the Buddha, but also covers popular literature, writings of high value, historical events, ancient laws and customs, astrology, magic, fantastic evil beings and rites, traditional medicine and treatments, grammar and dictionaries. Most important, Sang Sinxay is truly a poetic masterpiece and a valuable cultural heritage that not only belongs to the Lao nation, but, indeed in the Buddhist Era 2558, also belongs to the entire world.
Pangkham’s creative concept and style has always been highly revered, and the honor has fallen to many generations that have accepted the cherished duty to preserve such a masterpiece of Lao literature. This commitment to the preservation of Lao literature has led to Lao literature masterpieces, such as Sinxay, being included in presentations at national and international conferences.
It is amemorable occasion for Sinxay to be published in English. As Pangkham wrote, “I respect and revere this poem; it is a blessing, like a lamp over my head that will forever shine brightly.” While the light has dimmed at times throughout the years, with the publishing of Sinxay the luminosity that represents its heart and soul will return, no doubt brighter than ever.
Our sincere gratitude goes to Pangkham and to the generations who have preserved and carried forward this invaluable work of art.May suchmerit lead your spirits to peace and serenity.
• Deputy Director of Administration, Vientiane Ongteu Buddhist College
• Library Director, Righteousness, Culture, Customs and Tradition Training Center
• Radio Host