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Seated Buddha, Gandhara, 1st-2nd century CE. Tokyo National Museum

Mahāpuruṣalakṣaṇa (Skt.; P. mahāpurisalakkhaṇa; T. skyes bu chen po’i mtshan; C. darenxiang; J. daininsō; K. taeinsang 大人相), literally “the marks of a great man,” is a list of thirty-two marks possessed by both buddhas and chakravartins.[1]

These "marks" or "signs" are also referred to as:

  • major marks of a great person
  • thirty-two major marks of a great man
  • thirty-two signs of a great man
  • thirty-two major marks of a buddha

These marks are derived from virtuous acts in previous lives. The marks "are said to be fully present on the body of a buddha, especially in the sambhogakaya, with similitudes of the marks found on the body of cakravartin.[2]

There are a variety of versions of the list of the thirty-two marks, though they generally agree on most features.

The thirty-two marks

The following list of thirty-two major marks is from the Buddhist Text Translation Society:[3]

  1. Level feet
  2. Thousand-spoked wheel sign on feet
  3. Long, slender fingers
  4. Pliant hands and feet
  5. Toes and fingers finely webbed
  6. Full-sized heels
  7. Arched insteps
  8. Thighs like a royal stag
  9. Hands reaching below the knees
  10. Well-retracted male organ
  11. Height and stretch of arms equal
  12. Every hair-root dark colored
  13. Body hair graceful and curly
  14. Golden-hued body
  15. Ten-foot aura around him
  16. Soft, smooth skin
  17. Soles, palms, shoulders, and crown of head well-rounded
  18. Area below armpits well-filled
  19. Lion-shaped body
  20. Body erect and upright
  21. Full, round shoulders
  22. Forty teeth
  23. Teeth white, even, and close
  24. Four canine teeth pure white
  25. Jaw like a lion
  26. Saliva that improves the taste of all food
  27. Tongue long and broad
  28. Voice deep and resonant
  29. Eyes deep blue[4]
  30. Eyelashes like a royal bull
  31. White ūrṇā curl that emits light between eyebrows
  32. Fleshy protuberance on the crown of the head

Other sources for major marks

Other sources that provide lists of the major marks are:

See also


  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Mahāpuruṣalakṣaṇa
  2. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Mahāpuruṣalakṣaṇa
  3. Epstein, Ronald. Buddhist Text Translation Society's Buddhism A to Z. 2003. p. 200
  4. Epstein, Ronald (2003), Buddhist Text Translation Society's Buddhism A to Z (illustrated ed.), Burlingame, CA: Buddhist Text Translation Society, p. 200
  5. Shaw, Sarah. Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon. 2006. p. 114


External links

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