This is story of the last words of the Buddha, preserved in the Kampee Khom, the ancient Khmer Canon of Buddhist writings. It is excerpted from Steve Cioccolanti’s book From Buddha to Christ. Ciccolanti is a former Thai Buddhist now ministering for Christ in Australia.

When Buddha was travelling in this life an old Brahman prahm (Hindu priest) dressed in white came to ask Buddha, “How can one follow all the commandments and escape from his sins?”

Buddha replied, “Even if you gave alms to the poor, donated gifts to the monks kept all the seen (commandments), the five seen, the eight seen, the 227 seen (all the collected commandments of Buddha), even if you lifted your hands to the sky in worship, still you could not save yourself from your sins. It is not even enough to get close to the gates of heaven.

The old Brahman continued, “If this is so, what must we do to escape and be safe from sin?”

Buddha replied, “The sins of humanity are many and heavy. They are heavier than the sky and thicker than the earth. One man’s sin is thicker than the granite stone that is used to bury his body. If an angel came from heaven and gave this stone a sweep with a cloth once a year, the day that stone disappears will be the day that man’s sin and karma disappear.”

The Brahman pressed on, “If this be the case, what must I do to get over all my sins?”

Buddha told him, “Let all of you continue to do good deeds and seek for another Holy One who will come and save the world. He will rescue you in the near future. (Buddha died in 483 B.C.)

The old Brahman asked, “This Holy One who will come and rescue the world in the near future, what does he look like?”

Buddha replied, “The Holy One who will come will have scars in his hands and his feet like the shape of a gongjak (an ancient weapon with jagged edges). In his side there is a stab wound. His forehead is covered in blemishes. This Holy One will be like a golden vessel, a very large one that will carry you across the cycle of suffering until you reach Heaven Nippan (heaven of no return).

“Do not pursue the old ways, for then you will certainly not escape. Turn from your old ways and you will have a new spirit that shines like a lightening bug come down from Heaven to dwell in your hearts. You will be given victory over all your enemies, whether they come against you from four directions or eight. Nobody will be any means harm you and you will not come back to this world again.”