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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24537

Title: The Buddhalakshana
Authors: Bendz, Oleg
Advisor: Sandahl, Stella
Department: East Asian Studies
Keywords: Sanskrit
Issue Date: 21-Jul-2010
Abstract: The physical representation of the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) is characterized by some thirty-two uncommon attributes that are described in the Lalitavistara as the marks of a great man. The origin of these attributes, whether they are actual physical observations, of symbolic origin or a combination is unclear. In various art forms depicting the Buddha, he is usually shown with some but not all of these attributes. We have examined the origin of these physical attributes, by considering what is known of similarly described physical variations in humans (both congenital and acquired) and by examining the Sanskrit medical texts, such as the Sushruta-Samhita and the Charaka-Samhita, for descriptions of these and similar attributes. It is plausible that the observation of most of these thirty-two uncommon physical attributes might well have been accumulated over centuries as a result of contact by observers with various afflicted persons. It is kept in mind that the Buddha is described as physically well endowed and healthy, while the occurrence of the physical attributes themselves are sought in disorders. The concept of the physical marks of a great man, having been formulated in an earlier period, is applied to the image of the Buddha himself.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24537
Appears in Collections:Master
Department of East Asian Studies - Master theses

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