Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra 2.54

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T 1670B Nāgasena Bhikṣu Sūtra

Part 2: Dialogues 2.54. The Thirty-two Marks of the Buddha

The king again asked Nāgasena, “Is it true that the Buddha was endowed with the thirty-two bodily marks and graced with the eighty subsidiary characteristics? Was his body golden in color with a glorious halo?”

Nāgasena replied, ‘Yes, it is true that the Buddha was endowed with the thirty-two bodily marks and graced with the eighty subsidiary characteristics. His body was golden in color with a glorious halo.”

“But were his parents also endowed with the thirty-two bodily marks and the eighty subsidiary characteristics. Were their bodies golden in color with a glorious halo?”

“No, the parents of the Buddha had not such characteristics.”

“If the parents of the Buddha had no such characteristics, the Buddha also had no such characteristics.”

The king continued, “People give birth to children who have similar features to their parents. If the parents of the Buddha had no such characteristics, the Buddha surely had no such characteristics.”

Then Nāgasena said, “Although the parents of the Buddha had not the thirty-two bodily marks and the eighty subsidiary characteristics, with golden color and a glorious halo, yet the Buddha surely had such characteristics.”

Nāgasena asked the king, “Have you, great king, seen a lotus flower?”

“Yes, I have seen them.”

“The lotus flower is born of the earth, grows up in mud and water, it is beautiful and fragrant. But does the lotus flower resemble the mud and the water of the lake, either in color or in smell?”

“No, it does not resemble the earth, the mud and the water, either in color or in smell.”

Nāgasena then said, “Although the parents of the Buddha had no such characteristics, the Buddha had all such marks and characteristics. The Buddha was born in the world, grew up in the world, but not similar to the worldly people.”

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”