Long Discourses

Pāṭika Chapter

30. The Marks of the Superman

Chapter 1

Thus have I heard. The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī, in Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park, the Jeta-Vana.

And there the Exalted One addressed the Brethren, saying: Bhikkhus!

Yes, lord! They responded.

And he said: —

There are thirty-two special marks of the Super-man, brethren, and for the Superman possessing them two careers lie open, and none other. If he live the life of the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel, a righteous Lord of the Right, Ruler of the four quarters, Conqueror, Guardian of the people’s good, Owner of the Seven Treasures. His do those seven treasures become, to wit, the Wheel treasure, the Elephant treasure, the Horse treasure, the Gem treasure, the Woman treasure, the Housefather treasure, the Adviser treasure making the seventh. More than a thousand sons will be his, heroes, champions, vigorous of frame, crushers of the hosts of the enemy. He, when he has conquered this earth to its ocean bounds, is established not by the scourge, not by the sword, but by righteousness. But if such a boy go forth from the life of the House into the Homeless State, he becomes Arahant, a Buddha Supreme, rolling back the veil from the world.

And what, brethren, are the Thirty-two Marks of the Superman, wherewith endowed two careers lie open to him and none other:—that of a Monarch, Turner of the Wheel … that of Buddha Supreme?

(1) He hath feet with level tread. That this is so counts to him as one of the marks of the Superman.

(2) Moreover beneath, on the soles of his feet, wheels appear thousand-spoked, with tyre and hub, in every way complete and well divided. That this is so counts to him as one of the marks of the Superman.

(3) He has projecting heels. That this is so, etc.

(4) He is long in the fingers and toes. …

(5) Soft and tender in hands and feet. …

(6) With hands and feet like a net. …

(7) His ankles are like rounded shells. …

(8) His legs are like an antelope’s. …

(9) Standing and without bending he can touch and rub his knees with either hand. …

(10) His male organs are concealed in a sheath. …

(11) His complexion is like bronze, the colour of gold. …

(12) His skin is so delicately smooth that no dust cleaves to his body. …

(13) The down on it grows in single hairs one to each pore. …

(14) The down on his body turns upward, every hair of it, blue black in colour like eye-paint, in little curling rings, curling to the right. …

(15) He has a frame divinely straight. …

(16) He has the seven convex surfaces. …

(17) The front half of his body is like a lion’s. …

(18) There is no furrow between his shoulders. …

(19) His proportions have the symmetry of the banyan-tree: the length of his body is equal to the compass of his arms, and the compass of his arms is equal to his height. …

(20) His bust is equally rounded. …

(21) His taste is supremely acute. …

(22) His jaws are as a lion’s. …

(23) He has forty teeth. …

(24) Regular teeth. …

(25) Continuous teeth. …

(26) The eyeteeth are very lustrous. …

(27) His tongue is long. …

(28) He has a divine voice like the karavika bird’s. …

(29) His eyes are intensely blue. …

(30) He has eyelashes like a cow’s. …

(31) Between the eyebrows appears a hairy mole white and like soft cotton down. …

(32) His head is like a royal turban. …

These, brethren, are the Thirty-two Marks of the Superman, wherewith endowed he has two careers that lie open to him and none other: that of the Lord of the Wheel and that of Buddha Supreme. … And seers not of our communion, brethren, are acquainted with these Marks, but they know not for what deeds done any one of the Marks is acquired.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, took on mighty enterprise in all good things, took on unfaltering enterprise in seemly course of deed and word and thought:—in dispensing gifts, in virtuous undertakings, in keeping of festivals, in filial duties to mother and to father, in pious duties to recluse and brahmin, in honour to the head of the house and in other such things of lofty merit—by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, he when the body perished was after death reborn in a bright and blessed world. There was he endowed with a larger measure than other devas in ten matters, to wit in celestial years, beauty, happiness, glory, dominion, sights, sounds, odours, tastes and touches. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this Mark of the Superman, to wit: feet with level tread, evenly placing his foot upon earth, evenly drawing it up, evenly touching earth with the entire surface of the foot.

He, endowed with this mark, if he dwell in the House, becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … Conquering not by the scourge, not by the sword, but by righteousness, he doth preside over this earth to its ocean-bounds, an earth void of barrenness, pitfalls or jungle, mighty, prosperous, secure and fortunate and without blemish. As Monarch, what doth he get? He is not liable to obstruction from any human foe with hostile intent. As Monarch this doth he get. If he leave the House for the Homeless State, he becomes Arahant, Buddha Supreme, rolling back the veil of the world. As Buddha what doth he get? He is not liable to obstruction from any foe or adversary within or without, out of lust or hate or illusion, whether recluse or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in all the world. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

With heart intent on speaking truth,
On righteous ways and self-restraint,
Curbing of sense and conduct pure,
On virtue’s hearth and holy feast,
On open hand and gentle life,
Harming no creature, shunning force:—
So fared he ever and a day,
And high resolve upon him took.
He by that karma passed to heaven
To share in bliss and ravishment;
Thence when he fell, reborn as man,
Lo! ‘twas with even-treading feet
He came and touched the lap of earth.
Interpreters together met
Declared: No obstacle can rise
For him who treads with level foot.
Dwell he among the laity,
Or leave the world as Wanderer,
This doth that sign betoken clear.
If of the House a dweller he,
Unhindered shall he hold his way,
By foemen; he shall overcome
All others, he shall rout the foe.
No human power can bid him stay,
So works in him his Karma’s fruit.

Or if, so treading, he doth fare
Forth from the world as Wanderer,
With vision clear and wholly fain
Worldly ambitions to forswear,
Chief among men, and peerless he
Never i’ faith comes back to birth.
This is for him the natural law.

Whereas in whatsoever former births, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, lived for the weal of the great multitudes, dispeller of dread and of panic, purveyor of just protection and wardenship and giver of supplies, he, by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this mark of the Superman, to wit: beneath on the soles of his feet wheels appear, thousand-spoked, with tyre and hub, in every way complete and well divided.

Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? He hath a great retinue; many are they that surround him:—brahmin householders, townsmen and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatories in chief and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. If he leave the House for the Homeless State, he becomes … Buddha Supreme. … As Buddha what doth he get? He hath a great retinue; many are they that surround him: bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

In bygone years, in earlier births,
As man, to many bringing weal,
Dispelling dread and quaking fear,
Zealous to ward, to shield, to fend,
He by that Karma passed to heaven
To share in bliss and ravishment.
Thence when he fell, reborn as man,
Wheels upon his two feet are found,
With tyre complete and thousand spokes.
Interpreters together met
Declared when they beheld the boy
With marks of merit, hundredfold:
Ever surrounded will he be
By liegemen, foe-subduer he;
For lo! The wheels with tyres complete.
If, bearing these, he fare not forth
As Wanderer, he turns the Wheel
And rules the earth, where princes all
And nobles yield him fealty,
Attending him, the mighty one.
And if, so marked, he forth do fare
Leaving the world as Wanderer
With vision clear and wholly fain
Worldly ambitions to forswear,
Devas and men and demons all,
Asūras, Sakkas, Rakkhasas,
Nāgas, Gandhabbas. Garudas,
Four-footed beasts, all on him wait:—
Peerless, by devas and by men
Revered, so great and glorious he.

Whereas in former birth, former state of be- coming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, putting away the taking of life, refrained therefrom and laying the scourge and sword aside, dwelt gentle and compassionate, merciful and friendly to all living creatures, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires these three marks of the Superman, to wit: he has projecting heels, has long fingers and toes, and as to his limbs is divinely straight.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch, what doth he get? long-lived is he, long doth he last, for many years doth he preserve his life; no enemy whatever born of man is able in that interval to take his life away. As Monarch this doth he get. If he … become Buddha Supreme, … as Buddha what doth he get? long-lived is he, long doth he last, for many years doth he preserve his life; no enemy whatever, no foe, be he recluse or brahmin, or deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the whole world is able in that interval to take his life. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Death’s dreadful havoc well he felt
And fellow creatures shunned to slay.
Through such good ways to heaven he came,
Of things well done enjoyed the fruit.
Deceased, and hither come once more,
As man these Marks are on him seen: —
Full long of heel is he reborn,
And like Brahma divinely straight,
Lovely to see, fair shaped of limb.
Of shapely arms and tender skin,
Goodly to see, proportioned well,
Tender and soft his finger’s touch.
By those three marks of man supreme
They tell the boy long-lived will be.
If a layman he grow to be,
Long years his life will be maintained,
And longer yet if from the world
He goeth forth as Wanderer,
Lord over self, life he maintains
To practise saintly gifts and power.
Wherefore ’Tis said those three marks be
The token of longevity.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata then being human, became a giver of choice, well-flavoured, tasty, dainty foods, both hard and soft, and drinks, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this Mark of the Superman, to wit: he has the seven convexes. Seven are these: on both hands, on both feet, on both shoulders and on the trunk.

Endowed with this mark, if he dwell in the House he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? Choice well-flavoured food, tasty dainty drinks. As Monarch, this doth he get. If he … become Buddha … being Buddha what doth he get? Choice well-flavoured food, tasty dainty drinks. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said:—

Giver was he of divers foods,
And essences peerless in taste.
Through seemly act, in Nandana
Celestial grove, he revelled long.
On earth arrived, the sevenfold swell
He bore, on softly rounded limbs.
And skilled diviners then declared,
Fine food and drink would be his lot.
Nor for the layman’s life alone
Was clearly there the token shown,
Even if he as Wanderer
The world forsook, they said, that he,
Cleaving all layman’s bonds, e’en then
Foremost in gifts of food would be.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, became popular to the people by the four bases of popularity, to wit, by giving, by kindly speech, by sagacious conduct and by impartiality, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and by the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two marks of the Superman, to wit, soft and tender hands and feet, and the hands and feet (reticulated) like a net.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? He hath well affected attendants, well affected to him are brahmin house-fathers, towns-folk and country-folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. If he become … Buddha, … as Buddha what doth he get? Well affected are his attendants, well affected to him are bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

By fourfold act and exercise: —
By liberal hand, by conduct wise,
By kindly speech, by just intent —
Winning the hearts of many folk,
Holding such parts in honour high,
He went to bright and blessed worlds.
Deceased again and hither come,
Exceeding soft his hands and feet,
And bearing net-like meshes fine;
And passing loveliness is his,
Pleasant to see:—such gifts he hath,
This wondrous youth while yet a babe.
Disposer of the obedient crowd
Around him, lo! On earth he dwells
Of kindly speech, and ever fain
For others’ weal and happiness: —
Thus doth he practise virtues fair.
And if all wealth of worldly joys
He doth renounce, then Conqueror
Of self to common folk he talks
Of righteousness. And when they hear
With joyful hearts, responsive to
His word, they follow righteousness —
The greater duties and the less.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, became one who spoke to the multitude on their good, on righteousness, explaining to the multitude, became a bearer of welfare and happiness to living creatures, a celebrant of righteousness, he, by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two marks of the Superman, to wit, ankles like rounded shells and down on the body turning upward.

Endowed with these marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? He becomes Chief, Best, Foremost, Supreme, Paramount among those who have worldly possessions. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? He becomes Chief, Best, Foremost, Supreme, Paramount over all beings. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Of yore he lifted up his voice,
Speaking anent the Good, the Right,
Declared it to the multitude,
And to all living things became
Bearer of weal and happiness,
And offered up unstintingly
The sacrifice of Right, of Truth.
Through seemly act to heaven he fared,
And in the bright world found delight.
On earth reborn, upon him showed
Two marks of highest happiness: —
Upright the down upon him stood;
Goodly to see his ankles were
Built up beneath the flesh, and skin
Above right shapely, beautiful.
If with these signs house-life he lead,
The height of this worlds wealth he wins;
Greater than he nowhere is found;
Of Jambudīpa lord he rules.
If he sublimely leave the world,
The greatest of all creatures he.
Greater than he is nowhere found.
The whole wide world itself is his;
He lives the Conqueror over all.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, became a zealous learner in craft, trade or science, in conduct or action, saying: What can I quickly learn, quickly understand, quickly acquire, nor long suffer toil? He, by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma … was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this mark of the Superman, to wit: legs like an antelope’s.

Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? Whatsoever things are worthy of a Monarch, the appanage, the treasures, the belongings of a Monarch, these doth he quickly acquire. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get? Whatsoever things are worthy of a recluse, the appanage, the treasures, the belongings of a recluse, these doth he quickly acquire. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said:

In arts and crafts, in life, in deed,
How he may learn to know with ease:—
This was his wish; where none was harmed.
Swiftly he learnt, nor laboured long.
That karma wrought, with happy fruit,
Shapely and fair the limbs he gets,
And sweetly set in spiral curl
On delicate skin the down goes up.
Antelope-legged is such a man,
’Tis said, and further: ‘tis the sign
Of swiftly won prosperity.
As by each several downy tip,
Swiftly he comes by heart’s desire,
If from the world he go not forth.
But if, so marked, he forth do fare
Leaving the world as Wanderer,
With vision clear and wholly fain
Worldly ambitions to forswear,
All that his fit belongings are,
That doth he find accordingly.
And quick, when on his course sublime.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata then being human, drew nigh and questioned recluse or brahmin, saying: What, sir, is good? What is bad? What is right, what wrong? What ought I to do, or not to do? What when I have done it will long be for my unhappiness … or for my happiness? He, by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma … was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his skin is so delicately smooth that no dust cleaves to his body.

Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch, what doth he get? Great wisdom will be his, nor is anyone therein equal to him, nor superior to him amongst those who have worldly wealth. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? Great wisdom will be his, and wisdom in many fields, and the wisdom of a glad heart, and the wisdom of swift thought, and the wisdom of discrimination and the wisdom of revulsion. Nor is anyone equal to him or superior in wisdom among all beings. As Buddha this doth he get.

This is the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

In days gone by, in former births,
All fain to know, a questioner,
He waited oft on saintly men,
Eager to listen and to learn.
And with a heart intent on good
Heeded discourse anent the good.
By deeds thus done in wisdom’s quest,
Fine skin is his, as man reborn.
Diviners of the signs at birth
Declared: ’Tis he will know and see
Full subtle meanings and mystery.
If one so marked leave not the world,
The Wheel he’ll turn and rule the earth.
And in such meanings as are taught
And among them that grasp them none
Will equal, none will him excel.
But if so marked he forth do fare,
Leaving the world as Wanderer,
With vision clear and wholly fain
Worldly ambitions to forswear,
He may attain the height supreme
Of wisdom, yea, Enlightenment
’Tis his to win, with powers of mind
So boundless and so excellent.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, lived without wrath, full of serenity,’ and even when much had been said, fell not foul of anyone, was neither angry, nor malign, nor enraged, manifesting neither anger nor hate nor melancholy, but was a giver of fine and soft coverlets, and cloaks, and fine linen, fine cotton, fine silken, fine woollen stuffs, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma … was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his complexion is like bronze, and his skin like gold.

Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? Receiver is he of fine and soft coverlets and cloaks and fine linen, fine cotton, fine silken, fine woollen stuffs. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? Receiver is he of those same things. As Buddha this doth he get.

This is the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Good will he practised and he gave
Raiment and coverings fleecy, fine.
Thus he dispensed in former life,
As god pours rain upon the earth.
So doing fared he hence to heaven,
Reborn to fruit of deeds well done.
Those pleasures o’er, here takes he shape
With body as ‘twere wrought of gold.
Than gods more fine, like Indra's self.
Dwells he at home, a man not fain
To leave the world as Wanderer,
The mighty earth he governeth,
And for past effort he obtains
Choicest of robes and coverings
Abundant, delicate, textured fine.
Raiment and drapery superfine
Doth he receive no less, should he
Go forth into the homeless life.
Victor he wins the past-earned fruit,
What’s done can never come to naught.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, reunited long-lost with long-bereaved relatives, friends and comrades, reunited mother with child and child with mother, father with child and child with father, brother with brother, brother with sister and sister with brother, making them as one, causing them to rejoice, he, by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma, … was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his male organs were concealed in a sheath.

Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? Abundant children will be his, more than a thousand sons, heroes, victors vigorous of frame, crushers of the host of the enemy. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha, what doth he get? Abundant children will be his, for thousands of children will he have, heroes, champions, vigorous of frame, crushers of the hosts of the enemy. As Buddha this doth he get.

This is the matter that was spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

In bygone days, in former births
Lost ones to those who long had sought,
Kinsfolk and friends to friends he brought,
Made them at one and made than glad.
By such deeds he to heaven fared
To share in bliss and ravishment.
Thence falling, born once more on earth.
His organs in a sheath were veiled.
Abundant offspring such will have,
More than a thousand sons are his,
Heroes and champions, quelling foes,
Greeting with words of filial love,
They are the layman’s joy and pride.
But if he fare as Wanderer,
Yet greater will his offspring be,
Children obedient to his word.
So be he layman or Wanderer
This mark such benefit portends.

Chapter 2

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, was sincerely desirous of contemplating the good will of the folk, knew what each man was like, himself recognized each, and knew his reputation and how he differed from others, and thus distinguishing, he judged ‘This one deserves that, and this one again deserves that,’—he, by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma … was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, his proportions have the symmetry of the banyan-tree; and standing without bending, he can touch and rub his knees with both hands.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? Rich is he, of great fortune, of great wealth, full is the treasure-house of much gold and silver, of many goods, of coin and corn. As Monarch, this doth he get. … As Buddha, what doth he get? Rich is he, of great fortune, of great wealth. And this is his plenteous currency:—faith, morality, modesty, discretion, learning, renunciation, wisdom. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said:

Seeking always the folk’s good will
Once did he wisely men appraise,
Weighed them in judgment, criticized,
Each by himself: He’s worthy that,
Detecting where each one excelled.
Hence can he now unbending stand,
And touch the knees with both his hands.
And as a tree for girth and height,
The fruit of other well-wrought deeds.
Experts in divers signs and marks,
Versed in such lore did thus declare:
Things fit for laymen of all kinds
As quite a little boy he gets.
Much worldly wealth for this world’s lord
And fit for laymen shall be his.
And if all wealth of worldly joys
He shall renounce, then doth he win
Of riches highest utmost crown.

Whereas, in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, grew desirous for the good of the many, for their welfare, their comfort, their safety, considering how they might increase in confidence, in morality, in education, in charity, in righteousness, and in wisdom, might increase in money and corn, in land, in animals two-footed and four-footed, in wife and children, in servants and slaves, in kinsfolk and friends and connections, he by the doing, and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these three Marks of the Superman, to wit, the front half of his body is like a lion’s; there is no furrow between his shoulders; his bust is equally rounded.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch, what doth he get? He is incapable of failure and loss, he suffers no loss in money or corn, in fields or fallow, in two or four-footed beasts, in wife or children, in servants or slaves, in kinsfolk, friends or connections, he forfeits nothing wherein he succeeds. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? He is incapable of failure or loss, he suffers no loss in faith, in morals, in learning, in renunciation, in wisdom; he does not fail of success in anything. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this is said: —

In faith, in morals, teaching, wisdom, right,
And charity and other goodly things;
In coin and corn, fallow and field, in wife
And children and four-footed things; kinsfolk
And friends, connections, strength and comeliness
And happiness:—how shall my neighbour lose
Nowise in these? This was his wish, and thus
Their profit to achieve, his strong desire.
Handsome with lion-fronted body born,
No furrow in his back, and rounded front,
By karma wrought in bygone days, well stored,
Lo! For him now the birth-sign this shall be
Of fortune blest, immunity from loss.
As layman he shall thrive in corn and coin,
In family, and in four-footed beasts;
As Wanderer possessing naught, he wins
Enlightenment supreme and unsurpassed,
That perfect sphere where failure entereth not.

Whereas, in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, acquired the habit of harming no creatures, either by hand or clod or scourge or sword, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was reborn in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining this world as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his taste is supremely acute; of anything on the tip [of the tongue] sensations of taste are produced in the throat and are diffused everywhere.

Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? He experiences little of illness or suffering, he is possessed of good digestion, of an equable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? He experiences little of illness or suffering, he is possessed of good digestion, of an equable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, equable, of patience in exertion. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

No living thing he harmed, by hand, by scourge,
By clod, by sword, by any murderous death,
By bonds or threats, no injury he wrought.
Therefore in blissful bourne he reaped the fruit
Of happiness, found happy things for deeds.
Reborn on earth, he gets most delicate sense,
Erect taste-bearers planted well [in throat.]
And so the seers expert declared of him:
This man shall plenteously happy be.
Live he as layman or as Wanderer,
This is the thing betokened by the mark.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, acquired the habit of looking not askance nor obliquely nor furtively, but with upright candid and lofty mind contemplating people with affectionate eyes, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, when the body perished was reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, his eyes are intensely blue and he has eyelashes like a cow.

Endowed with these marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? The people love to see him; he is popular among, and beloved by brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? The people love to see him; he is popular among, and beloved by bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas and Gandhabbas. As Buddha, this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

With glance not furtive nor askance
Nor downward casting, but as one
Whose upright, candid lofty mind
Looked on the people lovingly,
Resulting fruit in blessed worlds
’Twas his t’ experience and enjoy.
Here born again, his lashes long
As cow’s, and eyes of deep dark blue,
Most fair to see, wise augurs said, —
Expert such signs t’ interpret well -
A babe with eyes so rare and fine
Betokens popularity.
Dear to the eyes of many folk,
As layman will he live beloved;
And if not lay, but Wanderer,
Loved as the healer of their griefs.

Whereas, in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, became leader among men in goodness, foremost in virtuous deed and word and thought, in dispensing gifts, in conformity to morals, in attending religious festivals, in filial duties, in honouring recluses and brahmins, in deferring to the head of the family, and in other and sundry righteous observances, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, a head like a turban.

Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? The loyalty of the multitude, of brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get? The loyalty of the multitude, of bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, of lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Foremost among good livers once
He lived, and all his love was given
To walk in ways of righteousness,
Loyal to help the multitude.
He reaped in heaven his due reward.
Fruit of good life thus having plucked,
He came to earth with crested head.
And they who knew what signs should mean
Declared: This one will lead the folk.
As in the past so now all men
Will render services to him.
So they reported thus of him:—
If he be born of noble clan,
As lord of lands ‘tis his to win
The faithful service of the folk.
But if he leave the world, this man,
So versed and practised in good deeds,
Will draw the people after him,
For all their love will given be
To keep what he so well doth teach.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, put away lying, felt revulsion at lies, became truth-speaker, bound to truth, trustworthy, consistent, breaking his word to no one, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof … was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence, and attaining this life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, down growing in separate hairs, all over his body; and between the eyebrows a hairy mole, white and like soft cotton-down.

Endowed with these. Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? The people conform to his wishes, brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch, this doth he get. As Buddha, what doth he get? The people conform to his wishes, bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha, this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

True was his promise in past births;
Sincere his word, he shunned the false;
A breaker of his troth to none,
He pleased by truth, consistency.
White, lustrous, soft as cotton-down
A mole was seen betwixt his brows;
And from each pore but one hair grew
About his skin:—so was he made.
When many versed in signs were met,
They saw the marks and thus declared:
With mole and hairs well-placed like these,
Him will the people all obey,
As layman they will look to him,
So far above by past wrought deeds.
As Buddha they will look to him,
Naught owning, Wanderer supreme.

Whereas, in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, put away abusive speech, revolted against abusive speech, what he heard here not repeating elsewhere, to raise a quarrel against people here; and what he heard elsewhere not repeating here, to raise a quarrel against people there:—thus becoming a binder together of those who are divided, or fostering those who are friends, a peacemaker, lover of concord, impassioned for peace, a speaker of words that make for peace, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, he had forty teeth, and they were in unbroken rows.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? Those about him are not to be divided against themselves, among brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get? A following that may not be divided against itself, either of bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, gods and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This is the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

No speaker he of slanderous words,
Provoking breach of friendship, growth
Of breach, and fostering strife,
Embittering unseemly brawls,
Parent of rupture ‘twixt good friends.
That which he uttered made for peace,
Engendered binding what was broke,
With power to scatter people’s brawls,
In folk at one he found delight.
Resulting fruit in blessed worlds
’Twas his t’ experience and enjoy.
Back on this earth, his teeth grew close,
Two score, in even rank unbroke.
If trained to arms he will become
Lord of the soil, and those he rules
Will be a gentle, peaceful folk.
But if from lusts and blemish free,
He shall become a Wanderer,
Ranged and firm his band shall be.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, put away rough language, revolted from rough language, and became an habitual speaker of whatsoever words are blameless, pleasant to the ear, lovely, reaching to the heart, urbane, pleasing to the people, beloved of the people, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, his tongue is very long, and he has an exquisite voice like that of the karavīka-bird.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? A voice that commands attention; all take his words to heart, brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get?

A voice that commands attention; all take his voice to heart, bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren, lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Not his to lift abusive voice,
Contentious, hurtful, harsh and rude,
Afflicting, crushing many folk;
Gentle his voice and sweet to hear,
Well-pitched and kind, lovely in sense
His words, appealing to the heart.
Thus to his listeners giving ease,
Fruit of good deed was his t’ enjoy,
In heavens he tasted due reward.
Thereon again reborn on earth,
Gifted he grew with voice divine,
And bounteous was his length of tongue.
Weighty the words of him will be,
Crowned with success, if layman he.
But if this man do leave the world,
People will take his words to heart,
And lay great store on all he saith.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth … brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, put away idle talk, revolted from idle talk, and became one who spoke in due season, in accordance with the facts, words full of meaning, who spoke of religion and of discipline, words worthy to be laid up in the heart, fitly illustrated, clearly divided and to the point, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence, and attaining this life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his jaws were as a lion’s.

Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. … As Monarch what doth he get? He cannot be overthrown by any human foe or adversary whatever. As Monarch this doth he get. … As Buddha what doth he get? He cannot be overthrown by any foes or things inimical within or without, out of lust or hate or illusion, by recluse or brahmin, by deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Not idle talk nor foolishness
Framed by confused thought was his.
Things mischievous he brushed away;
For all men’s good and weal he spoke,
So doing, hence deceased in heaven
He reaped the fruit of deeds well done.
Once more deceased, reborn on earth,
His was a jaw resembling that
Of chief of twice-tway-footed things.
He, as a monarchy sure will be
Lord over men impregnable,
A sovereign over sons of men,
Of mighty power, like unto head
Of devas city, Indra’s self,
The leader of celestial hosts.
Heroes demonic or divine
Will find him hard to overthrow.
Such will he be, so will he prove
In layman’s life, throughout the earth.

Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathāgata, then being human, put away wrong livelihood, maintained himself by right livelihood, revolted from cheating with scales, bronzes or measures, from deceiving by bribery, cheating and fraud, from maiming, murder, putting in bonds, highway-robbery, dacoity and violence ; he by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. … Deceasing thence and attaining this life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, even and very lustrous teeth.

Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel, a righteous Lord of the Right, ruler of the four quarters, Conqueror, Guardian of the people’s good, Owner of the Seven Treasures. His do those seven treasures become, to wit, the Wheel-treasure, the Elephant-treasure, the Horse-treasure, the Gem-treasure, the Woman-treasure, the Steward-treasure, the Adviser-treasure making the seventh. More than a thousand sons will be his, heroes, champions, vigorous of frame, crushers of the hosts of the enemy. He, when he has conquered this earth to its ocean-bounds, an earth void of barrenness, pitfalls or jungle, mighty, prosperous, secure, fortunate, without blemish, is established not by the scourge, not by the sword, but by righteousness. As Monarch what doth he get? Pure in heart are his attendants, pure-hearted are his brahmin, householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get.

But if he go forth from the life of the House into the Homeless State, he becomes Arahant, a Buddha Supreme, rolling back the veil from the world. As Buddha what doth he get? Pure in heart are his attendants, pure-hearted are bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asūras, Nāgas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

Concerning it this was said: —

Wrong livelihood he laid aside:
And shaped a course just, pure and right.
Things mischievous he brushed away;
For all men’s good and weal he worked.
Happy rewards he learnt in heaven,
Works had he wrought the skilled and wise
Praise ever highly; hence his lot
To share in bliss and ravishment,
In devas city like the chief.
Thence falling, gaining man’s estate,
By fruit residual of good
He thus wins evenness of teeth,
Fine lustre too and purity.
Then the assembled augurs said,
Chief among men in wisdom’s lore:
Pure will the folk around him be
Whose teeth so even, bright and pure
And lustrous as bird’s plumage shine.
To him, as prince and governor
Of the great earth, all men shall be
Pure-hearted, waiting upon him.
The people shall not be oppressed
By violence, for they shall seek
The general good and happiness.
But if as Wanderer he lives,
Then free from evil, lusts all quenched,
And rolling back the [murky] Veil,
And pain gone by and weariness.
He sees both this world and the next.
Laymen and Wanderers galore
Heeding his teaching, cast aside
Ways bad, impure, that he doth blame.
For pure are they who on him wait.
[From hearts of men] he casteth out
The stains that mar, the barren soil,
The vice that preys, the hapless fate.