The name given to a Great Being, destined to become either a Cakkavatti or a Buddha. He carries on his person the following thirty two marks. DN.ii.17f. DN.iii.142ff. MN.ii.136f. .

  1. he has feet of level tread;
  2. on his soles are marks of wheels with spokes, felloes and hubs;
  3. his heels project;
  4. his digits are long;
  5. his hands and feet are soft;
  6. his fingers and toes straight;
  7. his ankles like rounded shells;
  8. his legs like an antelope’s;
  9. standing, he can touch his knees without bending;
  10. his privacies are within a sheath;
  11. he is of golden hue;
  12. his skin so smooth that no dust clings to it;
  13. the down on his body forms single hairs;
  14. each hair is straight, blue black and at the top curls to the right;
  15. his frame is straight;
  16. his body has seven convex surfaces;
  17. his chest is like a lion’s;
  18. his back flat between the shoulders;
  19. the span of his arms is the same as his height;
  20. his bust is equally rounded;
  21. his taste is consummate;
  22. he has a lion’s jaws;
  23. has forty teeth, which are;
  24. regular;
  25. continuous;
  26. and lustrous;
  27. his tongue is long;
  28. his voice like that of a karavīkā bird;
  29. his eyes intensely black;
  30. his eyelashes like a cows;
  31. between his eyelashes are soft, white hairs like cotton down;
  32. his head is like a turban.

The theory of Mahāpurisa is attibuted in the Buddhist texts to the brahmins, although no such theory has been found in Brahmanical texts. DN.i.89 DN.i.114 DN.i.120 AN.i.163 MN.ii.136 DN.i.891 DN.i.893 In the Lakkhaṇa Sutta, DN.iii.142ff. however, an extensive description is given as to how these marks are brought about by kamma.

Apart from these legendary beliefs, the Buddha had his own theory of the attributes of a Mahāpurisa as explained in the Mahāpurisa Sutta SN.v.158 and the Vassakāra Sutta. AN.ii.35f.

Bāvarī had three Mahāpurisalakkhaṇā; he could touch his forehead with his tongue, he had a mole between his eyebrows, and his privacies were contained within a sheath. SN.1022.