32 Features of a Buddha

32 Features of a Buddha

Sometimes, when you read the sutras, you will come across the term “32 Marks of the Buddha.” These are mentioned in many of the sutras, both the Theravada and Mahayana alike.

The list of the “32 Marks of a Superior Being” was documented inIn Lakkhana Sutta. The 32 features appear not only in a Buddha, but also many superior beings. The Buddha expounded that each of these marks is the result of ethical action in the past. For instance, the wheel-mark on the foot comes from having “lived for the happiness of many, a dispeller of fright and terror, provider of lawful protection and shelter, and supplying all necessities.”

The Marks of a Superior Being are:
  1. He places his foot evenly on the floor
  2. The soles of his feet are imprinted with wheels
  3. He has projecting heels
  4. He has long fingers and toes
  5. He has soft and tender hands and feet
  6. He has webbed hands and feet
  7. He has arched feet
  8. He has legs like an antelope
  9. When he stands upright his hands reach down to his knees
  10. His male organ is covered with a sheath
  11. His complexion has a golden sheen
  12. His skin is so smooth that no dust clings to it
  13. Each hair on his skin grows from a single pore
  14. The hair on his skin is blue-black, curly and turns at the end to the right
  15. His limbs are straight like those of a god
  16. There are seven convex surfaces on his body – four behind his limbs, two behind his shoulders and one behind his trunk
  17. His torso is like that of a lion
  18. The furrow between his shoulders is absent
  19. His body is perfectly proportioned – the span of his arms is the same as his height
  20. His neck and shoulders are evenly proportioned
  21. His taste is exceptionally sensitive
  22. His jaws are like those of a lion’s
  23. He has forty teeth
  24. His teeth are even
  25. There are no gaps in his teeth
  26. His teeth are white and shining
  27. He has a long tongue
  28. He has a divine voice
  29. He has deep blue eyes
  30. He has eyelashes like those of an ox
  31. He has soft white hair growing between his eyebrows
  32. His head is shaped like a turban the two, are excellently smooth


  • The protuberance at the crown of the Buddha called Usnisha, is a symbol of Supreme Enlightenment and wisdom. It is a cranial protrusion, covered with short curls which turn clockwise.This is known to be one of the 32 auspicious physical marks of the Buddha.
  • An Urna is a concave circular dot- an auspicious mark manifested by a whorl of white hair on the forehead between the eyebrows. It is often found on the 2nd and 3rd Century sculptures of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Sometimes it is represented with a jewel.
  • Urna is the 31st physical characteristic of Buddha. It symbolizes and radiates wisdom.which illuminates the world.
  • The distended earlobes, symbolic of longevity, which recall the heavy earrings the Buddha wore when he was still a prince.
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