DN30.26–27. Forty Gapless Teeth

Lakkhaṇa Sutta ("The Marks of a Great Man")

“Mendicants, in some past lives the Realized One was reborn as a human being. He refrained from divisive speech. He didn’t repeat in one place what he heard in another so as to divide people against each other. Instead, he reconciled those who were divided, supporting unity, delighting in harmony, loving harmony, speaking words that promote harmony. Due to performing those deeds he was reborn in a heavenly realm. When he came back to this state of existence he obtained these two marks: he has forty teeth, and his teeth have no gaps.

Possessing these marks, if he stays at home he becomes a wheel-turning monarch. And what does he obtain as king? His retinue cannot be divided. This includes brahmins and householders, people of town and country, treasury officials, military officers, guardsmen, ministers, counselors, rulers, tax beneficiaries, and princes. That’s what he obtains as king. And what does he obtain as Buddha? His retinue cannot be divided. This includes monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, gods, humans, demons, dragons, and fairies. That’s what he obtains as Buddha.” That is what the Buddha said.

On this it is said:

“He spoke no untruth causing friends to split,
creating disputes that foster division,
acting improperly by fostering quarrels,
creating division among friends.

He spoke kind words to foster harmony,
uniting those who are divided.
He eliminated quarrels among the people,
rejoicing together with the united.

In good rebirths he enjoyed the fruit
and result, rejoicing there.
Here his teeth are gapless, close together,
forty standing upright in his mouth.

If he becomes an aristocrat, ruler of the land,
his assembly will be indivisible.
And as an ascetic, stainless, immaculate,
his assembly will follow him, unshakable.”

Subscribe to The Empty Robot

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox

Spread the word: