Volume 2 No.8

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Legend Of Trapaing Boeung Te
Compiled by the Buddhist Intitute. Picture by : Sem Vannjohn ( August, 2002 Volume 2 No.8 )

Trapaing Boeung Te (Te Teuk Phoh) is located in the Sangkersartorb commune of Thporng district in Kampong Speu province. To get there from Kampong Speu town, Chba district, as you head away from Phnom Penh, turn to the right. At the second intersection turn right again onto the road to Mount Aoral. Follow this road for about 60 kilometers and continue going straight at a three-way intersection in a large village and you will reach Teuk Phoh (which means - water emerging) Once upon a time, there was a tycoon and his family who lived in the area. The tycoon and his wife were very mean. They had two lovely children, a boy and a girl. The family were attended to and followed by, a gaggle of servants. The businessman and his family used to feed a big crocodile in the pond where the family always sat and got fresh air. There was a shrine near the pond where villagers always worshiped.
One day the tycoon talked with his wife: "Our children are growing up and they need to get married. If we marry them to others, our property will be divided so we should marry our son to our daughter in order that they can look after our property". His mean wife agreed. They soon started inviting many guests. The wedding day approached and the mean wife regretted the fact that she had to spend money on food for the ceremony. Then she talked with her husband: "I resent having to spend our money on food for this wedding. If we kill the buffalo or the bull, it is very disadvantageous because they helped us in our work. So we must kill the crocodile in our pond for food because it did nothing for us". The tycoon agreed happily and asked his people to kill the crocodile.

A woman named Tei: one of the family's servants, who always gave food to the crocodile, dreamt that the Neak Ta (God): who takes care of the crocodile, said to her " Tei! Please do not eat the food of this ceremony because they killed my crocodile and if anyone eats the food there will be accidental problems." Miss. Tei woke up with sorrow in her heart. On the ceremony day, Miss Tei left the tycoon's house while many people arrived. While the guests ate and drank happily, the tycoon's house disappeared into the ground and all the people went in with it too. Seeing this Miss Tei was very sorrowful and pitied the tycoon's children who had always been very kind to her. After that she went to the shrine and shaved her head, to thank the Neak Ta, but before shaving she went into the pond that a crocodile used to live, to wash her hair. The people called the pond "Trapaing Korkk" (Trapaing means "pond" and Korkk means "to wash.")

Tei approached an area of high ground and shaved off her hair there. That high ground is called " Tuol Kor Sorkk Neang Tei" ( Tuol means "high ground," Kor translates as "shave," Sorkk is the word for "hair" and Neang Tei means "Miss Tei.") Now it has become shorten to: "Tuol Kor Neang Tei".
Tei missed her young masters, the children and so she went to live near where the tycoon's house had disappeared into the ground. The place where the tycoon's house had once stood was now a large pond.
Staying there for a while, Tei met a young man who asked for her hand in marriage. She accepted and they became a couple who farmed for living. Later, the husband was so bored with his life that he left his wife secretly and went to Mount Khchoul to be a Neak Sachang, a person who stays in the forest and prays. By this time his wife was pregnant with their child. After she gave a birth, the villagers called her son Bott Koma. When Bott Koma was 13 years old he asked his mother about his father. Tei told him that his father was a Neak Sachang who prayed in Mount Khchoul and she told all her stories about his father.

The boy went to find his father. He spent a long time in the forest until he found a Neak Sachang, who sat and prayed under big trees and on big rocks. Bott saluted and repeated what his mother told him. The father prayed that if this boy were his son, he would float onto his shoulder when he hits the boy with his hand. He hit and the boy floated on his shoulder. The father taught his son magic every day. After he had stayed and learned there for a long time, he came back to take care his mother. The father gave him three seeds of cucumber and told him: "These three seeds will make you become a famous person and the first fruit you must present to the king. You have to grow them near the big pond next to your mother's house and name this big pond "Boeung Tei" after the name of your mother" He arrived home and related what his father had told him and from then, the villagers called this big pond "Boeung Tei". Nowadays they call the pond: "Boeung Te".
The area is now a holy place. Hot springs issue forth from the bosom of the earth and several shrines are dedicated to their mystical properties. Local hill tribes believe in the curative properties. Phnom Penhers on a dahleng are also finding it a nice place to picnic.