The Discourse giving the Analysis of the Topics

Arthaviniścayasūtram

26. The Thirty-Two Marks of a Great Man

Herein, monastics, what are the thirty-two marks of a great man?

They are as follows:

  1. (He has) well-placed feet,
  2. under the soles of his feet there is the mark of a wheel,
  3. the heels of his feet are long and deep,
  4. his fingers are long,
  5. his hands and feet are webbed,
  6. his hands and feet are soft and tender,
  7. his body has seven prominent marks,
  8. his calves are like an antelope’s,
  9. what is covered by a cloth is ensheathed,
  10. his torso is like a lion’s,
  11. between his shoulders it is firm,
  12. his upper back is even all round,
  13. the arms hang low without bending,
  14. the limbs are bright,
  15. his neck (has lines) like a conch,
  16. his jaw is like a lion’s,
  17. his forty teeth are even,
  18. his teeth are without gaps,
  19. his teeth are very white,
  20. his tongue is large,
  21. his taste buds are supremely sensitive,
  22. his voice is like Brahmā’s or like the sound of the cuckoo,
  23. his eyes are very dark,
  24. his eyes have eyelashes like a cow’s,
  25. he has fine skin,
  26. he has golden skin,
  27. his body-hairs arise singly,
  28. his body-hairs bristle and turn to the right,
  29. the hair of his head is very dark,
  30. the tuft of hair between the eyebrows on his forehead is very white,
  31. he has a protuberance on the head,
  32. his (body) is well-proportioned like a banyan tree.

These are the thirty-two marks of a great man.

  1. (He has) well-placed feet: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being firm in resolution.

  2. Under the soles of his feet there is the mark of a wheel: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose herein through previously being generous in various ways.

  3. The heels of his feet are long and deep: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being honest with other beings.

  4. His fingers are long: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being protective and guarding of beings with Dharma.

  5. His hands and feet are webbed: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously not breaking up others’ dependents.

  6. His hands and feet are soft and tender: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being generous with many invitations.

  7. His body has seven prominent marks: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being generous with extensive food and drinks.

  8. His calves are like an antelope’s: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously holding to the Buddha’s teaching.

  9. What is covered by a cloth is ensheathed: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously guarding the secret mantra, and abstaining from sexual intercourse.

  10. His torso is like a lion’s: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously practising good deeds in succession.

  11. Between his shoulders it is firm: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously practising wholesome things.

  12. His upper back is even all round: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously giving fearlessness and consolation to others.

  13. The arms hang low without bending: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being anxious to serve others.

  14. The limbs are bright: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously arduously undertaking the ten paths of wholesome deeds.

  15. His neck (has lines) like a conch: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being generous with various medicines for the sick.

  16. His jaw is like a lion’s: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously fulfilling the root and application of wholesomeness.

  17. His forty teeth are even: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously applying himself to the consolation of all others.

  18. His teeth are without gaps: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously reuniting beings who had broken-up.

  19. His teeth are very white: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously protecting his deeds by body, voice and mind.

  20. His tongue is large: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously protecting the truth of words.

  21. His taste buds are supreme: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously himself practicing an immeasurable mass of merit and was generous to others (with it).

  22. His voice is like Brahmā’s or like the sound of the cuckoo: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously guarding the truth with mild words, and listening to joyous words.

  23. His eyes are very dark: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously having friendliness and protecting beings (with it).

  24. His eyes have eyelashes like a cow’s: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously having intentions that were natural.

  25. He has fine skin: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously attending Dharma recitations.

  26. He has golden skin: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously being generous with bedding, spreadings and pleasing garments.

  27. His body-hairs arise singly: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously abstaining from society.

  28. His body-hairs are elevated and turn to the right: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously making circumambulation of teachers, preceptors, spiritual friends and advisors.

  29. The hair of his head is very dark: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously having compassion towards all living beings, and praising the putting down of clods of earth and sticks.

  30. The tuft of hair between the eyebrows on his forehead is very white: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously speaking praise of those worthy of praise.

  31. He has a protuberance on the head: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously saluting his respected teachers.

  32. His (body) is well-proportioned like a banyan tree: This mark of a great man, on a Realised One, on a great man, arose through previously urging himself and others in concentration.

Through having mastery over the immeasurable wholesome roots the thirty-two marks of a great man arose on the Realised One’s body.