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On of my favorite places to go in Thailand is the town of Chiang Mai in the north, and just outside the Tha Pae Gate of the old city, there is a little side road that has the Gecko Bookstore (selling new & used books -- great place), and then if you wander a little past that, you will arrive at a charming old Buddhist temple, the Wat Phra Sing. This temple was originally built to house the bones of one of the Thai kings who lived in Chiang Mai, and later I believe it held the Golden Buddha. But it's also famous for its Buddhist scriptures. If you walk into the temple and turn to the right, you'll find the Scripture library. Anyway, in this library is a very intriguing scripture that reads as follows:|
"When Buddha was traveling and living in this world, there was an old Brahmin priest who wore white robes who asked the Buddha, 'How will all men and all Brahmin continue in their merit-making so as to escape the results of sin?'
And the Buddha answered, "Even though you give alms, and pray 5 times a day, and even offer yourself as a burnt offering, you will still not escape the results of your sins. You shall not enter heaven's doors,"
So then the old priest asked, "So what must we do to be saved?"
And the Buddha answered, "The results of sin and karma are very great -- heavier than the sky." (he talks about this theme for awhile)
Then the Buddha added, "I have given up my royal position and entered the priesthood. Even though I am good, I will only have a very small amount of merit at the end of a year. If I was given this same amount of merit for 100,000 epochs, and lived 10 lifetimes, I would not be saved from sin's results even once."
So then the old priest asked, "So, what shall we all do?"
And the Buddha said, "Keep on earning merit and watch for another Holy One who will come and help the world and all of you in the future."
And the old priest asked, "What will the characteristics of this Holy One be like?"
And the Buddha answered, "The Holy One will be like this: in the palm of his hands and in the flat of his feet will be the design of a disk; in his side will be a stab wound, and his forehead will have many marks like scars. This Holy One will be the Golden Boat that will carry you over the cycle of rebirths to the Highest Heaven. Do not look for salvation in the old way. There is no salvation in the old way. And there will be a new spirit that will come down like the light of a lightening bug, which will come down from the sky above to live in all your hearts,"
"Note: when Jesus died by crucifixion, his hands and feet were nailed to the cross -- thus the round marks of a disk. The Roman soldier stabbed his side with a sword after He died. The the soldiers put a crown of thorns on his head, thus the scars on his forehead.
Permission was granted to copy these scriptures by Phra Sriwisthutiswong in Bangkok. This copy was guaranteed as following the exact original, and accurate in translation in the book of the District Headman, Religious Encyclopedia 23, book #29.