Question is in the title.

Im aware of descriptions of the Buddha in which he is described as "god-like" or "supernatural".

Im looking for any canonical descriptions of the physical characteristics of the Buddha that are bit more down to earth.

Thank you for your time.

1 Answer 1


From DN 30 - Marks of the Superman:

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.

Also from MN 91 - Brahmayu Sutta:

At that time the Brahmin Brahmàyu had a pupil, a young man named Uttara who had learned the three Vedas, knew the rites and rituals as officiating priest, the phonology and etymology of words and the marks of a Great Man. The Brahmin Brahmàyu addressed his pupil and said. 'Dear Uttara, approach the recluse Gotama, son of the Sakyas, who is said to be perfect, ... re.... enlightened and blessed, and find out whether these qualities are really so, or not. You should examine good Gotama for me,' 'Sir, how should I know whether good Gotama is endowed with these qualities or not,' 'Uttara, the two and thirty marks of a Great Man have come down to us in the sayings. One endowed with these marks has two courses of action and not another. If he leads the household life, becomes the Universal Monarch, a stable, righteous king with power in the four directions, endowed with the seven jewels. They are the jewels of the, wheel, elephant, horse, gem, woman, householder, and the advisor. He has more than a thousand sons, with heroic figures, clever and able to subdue foreign armies. He rules over the country bounded by the ocean righteously, without stick or weapon. If he leaves the household and becomes hermit, he will be perfect and all knowing and would remove the veil of darkness. I have given you this knowledge and you know that.'

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