32 marks of a Buddha

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32 marks of a Buddha

Postby zamotcr » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:38 am

Hello community. How do you view the 32 marks of a great man? Do you take it literally or symbolical?

I tried to imagine a Buddha with the 32 marks and I don't like it :lol:
I want to believe that this is symbolical, because for me is a little weird to imagine someone with such aspect, with a shell in the penis lol haha or with a long tongue. I imagine this is a kind of cultural heritage from old India.

What do you think? :anjali:
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Josef » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:41 am

The 32 marks are a byproduct of monasticism in my opinion.
They are completely irrelevant.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:44 am

I too think it's symbolical. There's surely been some enlightened masters over the years, and I'm pretty sure not a single one of them looked like that.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:03 pm

...I want to believe that this is symbolical, because for me is a little weird to imagine someone with such aspect, with a shell in the penis lol haha or with a long tongue
There are 32 major marks and and 80 secondary marks and you get stuck on the sheathed (not shell), or retracted, penis and have a hard time coming to terms wiuth the idea that the Buddha had a long tongue??? This betrays a lot!
The 32 major characteristics are:
Level feet.
Thousand-spoked wheel sign on feet.
Long, slender fingers.
Pliant hands and feet.
Toes and fingers finely webbed.
Full-sized heels.
Arched insteps.
Thighs like a royal stag.
Hands reaching below the knees.
Well-retracted male organ.
Height and stretch of arms equal.
Every hair-root dark colored.
Body hair graceful and curly.
Golden-hued body.
Ten-foot aura around him.
Soft, smooth skin.
Soles, palms, shoulders, and crown of head well-rounded.
Area below armpits well-filled.
Lion-shaped body.
Body erect and upright.
Full, round shoulders.
Forty teeth.
Teeth white, even, and close.
Four canine teeth pure white.
Jaw like a lion.
Saliva that improves the taste of all food.
Tongue long and broad.
Voice deep and resonant.
Eyes deep blue.
Eyelashes like a royal bull.
White ūrṇā curl that emits light between eyebrows.
Fleshy protuberance on the crown of the head.

The eighty minor characteristics are:
He has beautiful fingers and toes.
He has well-proportioned fingers and toes.
He has tube-shaped fingers and toes.
His fingernails and toenails have a rosy tint.
His fingernails and toenails are slightly upturned at the tip.
His fingernails and toenails are smooth and rounded without ridges.
His ankles and wrists are rounded and undented.
His feet are of equal length.
He has a beautiful gait, like that of a king-elephant.
He has a stately gait, like that of a king-lion.
He has a beautiful gait, like that of a swan.
He has a majestic gait, like that of a royal ox.
His right foot leads when walking.
His knees have no protruding kneecaps.
He has the demeanor of a great man.
His navel is without blemish.
He has a deep-shaped abdomen.
He has clockwise marks on the abdomen.
His thighs are rounded like banana sheaves.
His two arms are shaped like an elephant's trunk.
His skin is thick or thin as it should be.
His skin is unwrinkled.
His body is spotless and without lumps.
His body is unblemished above and below.
His body is absolutely free of impurities.
He has no right elbow.
He has a protruding nose.
His nose is well proportioned.
His upper and lower lips are equal in size and have a rosy tint.
His teeth are unblemished and with no plaque.
His teeth are long like polished conches.
His teeth are smooth and without ridges.
His five sense-organs are unblemished.
His four canine teeth are crystal and rounded.
His face is long and beautiful.
His cheeks are radiant.
The lines on his palms are deep.
The lines on his palms are long.
The lines on his palms are straight.
The lines on his palms have a rosy tint.
His body emanates a halo of light extending around him for two meters.
His cheek cavities are fully rounded and smooth.
His eyelids are well proportioned.
The five nerves of his eyes are unblemished.
The tips of his bodily hair are neither curved nor bent.
He has a rounded tongue.
His tongue is soft and has a rosy-tint.
His ears are long like lotus petals.
His earholes are beautifully rounded.
His sinews and tendons don't stick out.
His sinews and tendons are deeply embedded in the flesh.
His topknot is like a crown.
His forehead is well-proportioned in length and breadth.
His forehead is rounded and beautiful.
His eyebrows are arched like a bow.
The hair of his eyebrows is fine.
The hair of his eyebrows lies flat.
He has large brows.
His brows reach the outward corner of his eyes.
His skin is fine throughout his body.
His whole body has abundant signs of good fortune.
His body is always radiant.
His body is always refreshed like a lotus flower.
His body is exquisitely sensitive to touch.
His body has the scent of sandalwood.
His body hair is consistent in length.
He has fine bodily hair.
His breath is always fine.
His mouth always has a beautiful smile.
His mouth has the scent of a lotus flower.
His hair has the colour of a dark shadow.
His hair is strongly scented.
His hair has the scent of a white lotus.
He has curled hair.
His hair does not turn grey.
He has fine hair.
His hair is untangled.
His hair has long curls.
He has a topknot as if crowned with a flower garland.


Josef wrote:The 32 marks are a byproduct of monasticism in my opinion.
They are completely irrelevant.
What are you talking about??? What does the presence of the usnisha (for example) have to do with monasticism?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:49 pm

PS I can't remember where I read it, but it was an explanation of how each characterisitic was the outcome of a meritorious act (or actions) executed by the Buddha during all his previous incarnations. It spelled out the action and how it resulted in each characteristic.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:53 pm

I would read it literally...
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Nosta » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:22 pm

Again, i will use the arguments of Rebirth and Karma here: do you accept Rebirth and Karma as a real thing?

If we really accept them, then its not hard to understand that such marks are real. They are the product (as Gregkavarnos said) of good things done on other lifes. If we accept Rebirth & Karma as real stuff, we see that ugly people are ugly because of bad things done on other lifes. Beautiful people its the opposite: good acts. And beautiful people with such marks are the result of good acts according to Dharma (i suppose).

Some scriptures describe the historical Buddha as a very beautiful person.

In fact, and as an offtopic subject, its curious that in buddhism there is no problem describing the Buddha or saying that he was a sexual person (like everybody) before being enlightened, etc but in Christianism its like a mistery the physical aspect of Jesus and a forbidden thing saying that he loved Maria Magdalena.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby pemachophel » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Because we all have Buddhamind, most people have one or more of these marks. It's my understanding that one does not display all 32 major and 80 minor marks until one manifests as a Buddha in a nirmanakaya Buddhafield like Shakyamuni Buddha in this Fortunate Eon. :namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Bhusuku » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:50 pm

It must be kinda difficult to lie down in this position without an right elbow... :thinking:

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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Will » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:20 pm

This article by a Geshe gives the causes of each mark. Also note the title - these marks or signs are not in the flesh body at all, but in the Sambhogakaya.

http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/ ... 117505.htm
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Josef » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:44 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:

Josef wrote:The 32 marks are a byproduct of monasticism in my opinion.
They are completely irrelevant.
What are you talking about??? What does the presence of the usnisha (for example) have to do with monasticism?
:namaste:


I was referring to the penis.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby zamotcr » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:10 pm

Nosta wrote:Again, i will use the arguments of Rebirth and Karma here: do you accept Rebirth and Karma as a real thing?

If we really accept them, then its not hard to understand that such marks are real. They are the product (as Gregkavarnos said) of good things done on other lifes. If we accept Rebirth & Karma as real stuff, we see that ugly people are ugly because of bad things done on other lifes. Beautiful people its the opposite: good acts. And beautiful people with such marks are the result of good acts according to Dharma (i suppose).

Some scriptures describe the historical Buddha as a very beautiful person.

In fact, and as an offtopic subject, its curious that in buddhism there is no problem describing the Buddha or saying that he was a sexual person (like everybody) before being enlightened, etc but in Christianism its like a mistery the physical aspect of Jesus and a forbidden thing saying that he loved Maria Magdalena.


Hello Nosta, but if we take this literally, how can women reach the Buddhahood? How can a woman have this marks? Or how can we be Buddhas if we don't have such "beautiful" body?

So if I don't have this body, i can't reach Buddhahood?
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:17 pm

Toes and fingers finely webbed.
...
Hands reaching below the knees.
...
Well-retracted male organ.
...
Tongue long and broad.
...
Fleshy protuberance on the crown of the head.

Many years ago a New Age acquaintance of mine tried to convince me that the Buddha was an alien. I can see where he might get this idea from.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:20 pm

zamotcr wrote:So if I don't have this body, i can't reach Buddhahood?

Obviously not. Unless you find yourself a good surgeon.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Nosta » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:15 pm

zamotcr wrote:
Nosta wrote:Again, i will use the arguments of Rebirth and Karma here: do you accept Rebirth and Karma as a real thing?

If we really accept them, then its not hard to understand that such marks are real. They are the product (as Gregkavarnos said) of good things done on other lifes. If we accept Rebirth & Karma as real stuff, we see that ugly people are ugly because of bad things done on other lifes. Beautiful people its the opposite: good acts. And beautiful people with such marks are the result of good acts according to Dharma (i suppose).

Some scriptures describe the historical Buddha as a very beautiful person.

In fact, and as an offtopic subject, its curious that in buddhism there is no problem describing the Buddha or saying that he was a sexual person (like everybody) before being enlightened, etc but in Christianism its like a mistery the physical aspect of Jesus and a forbidden thing saying that he loved Maria Magdalena.


Hello Nosta, but if we take this literally, how can women reach the Buddhahood? How can a woman have this marks? Or how can we be Buddhas if we don't have such "beautiful" body?

So if I don't have this body, i can't reach Buddhahood?



Good question. Perhaps, as Will said, the marks happen only in the Sambogakaya form. I dont know much about that but i think that form is kind of the "Astral Body" of Buddha, not is physical body (Nirmanakaya Body).
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby zamotcr » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:09 am

Well yeah, maybe is a Sambogakaya. Or maybe is only a representation of those great actions of the Buddha. Hope some of the experienced members could help us :) For me is hard to accept it literally because it could lead us to think that womens and other beings without the marks are inferior.
And we have to accept, buddhism is not free from his historical context and some bikkhus have told us how this marks are from ancient India and not from buddhism itself.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby Will » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:13 am

zamotcr wrote:Well yeah, maybe is a Sambogakaya. Or maybe is only a representation of those great actions of the Buddha. Hope some of the experienced members could help us :) For me is hard to accept it literally because it could lead us to think that womens and other beings without the marks are inferior.
And we have to accept, buddhism is not free from his historical context and some bikkhus have told us how this marks are from ancient India and not from buddhism itself.


Read the article posted above by Geshe Jampa Gyatsho, who has more "experience" than any member here, I suspect.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby ram peswani » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:15 am

[list=]
zamotcr wrote:Hello community. How do you view the 32 marks of a great man? Do you take it literally or symbolical?

I tried to imagine a Buddha with the 32 marks and I don't like it :lol:
I want to believe that this is symbolical, because for me is a little weird to imagine someone with such aspect, with a shell in the penis lol haha or with a long tongue. I imagine this is a kind of cultural heritage from old India.

What do you think? :anjali:

[/list]

If one does right meditation for a few hours everyday, one will find in this birth itself that physical body changes slowly in the direction ( one by one point) of 32 points.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby zamotcr » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:31 am

Will wrote:Read the article posted above by Geshe Jampa Gyatsho, who has more "experience" than any member here, I suspect.


Well yes, it's probabl, but this would mean that sambogakaya have a genitals, i thought they are sexless, no duality.
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Re: 32 marks of a Buddha

Postby ClearblueSky » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:17 pm

zamotcr wrote:
Will wrote:Read the article posted above by Geshe Jampa Gyatsho, who has more "experience" than any member here, I suspect.


Well yes, it's probabl, but this would mean that sambogakaya have a genitals, i thought they are sexless, no duality.

Sambhogakāya forms do in fact have genitals I believe, and in many tantric representations they are in quite plain view to prove it.
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