DN30.1. Well-Planted Feet

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

In some past lives, past existences, past abodes the Realized One was reborn as a human being. He firmly undertook and persisted in skillful behaviors such as good conduct by way of body, speech, giving and sharing, taking precepts, observing the sabbath, paying due respect to mother and father, ascetics and brahmins, honoring the elders in the family, and various other things pertaining to skillful behaviors. Due to performing, accumulating, heaping up, and amassing those deeds, when his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. There he surpassed the other gods in ten respects: divine life span, beauty, happiness, glory, sovereignty, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. When he passed away from there and came back to this state of existence he obtained this mark of a great man: he has well-planted feet. He places his foot on the ground evenly, raises it evenly, and touches the ground evenly with the whole sole of his foot.

Possessing this mark, if he stays at home he becomes a wheel-turning monarch. He has the following seven treasures: the wheel, the elephant, the horse, the jewel, the woman, the treasurer, and the counselor as the seventh treasure. He has over a thousand sons who are valiant and heroic, crushing the armies of his enemies. After conquering this land girt by sea—free of harassment by bandits, successful and prosperous, safe, blessed, and untroubled—he reigns by principle, without rod or sword. And what does he obtain as king? He can’t be stopped by any human foe or enemy. That’s what he obtains as king. But if he goes forth from the lay life to homelessness, he becomes a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, who draws back the veil from the world. And what does he obtain as Buddha? He can’t be stopped by any foe or enemy whether internal or external; nor by greed, hate, or delusion; nor by any ascetic or brahmin or god or Māra or Brahmā or by anyone in the world. That’s what he obtains as Buddha.” That is what the Buddha said.

On this it is said:

“Truth, principle, self-control, and restraint;
purity, precepts, and observing the sabbath;
giving, harmlessness, delighting in non-violence—
firmly undertaking these things, he lived accordingly.

By means of these deeds he went to heaven,
where he enjoyed happiness and merriment.
After passing away from there to here,
he steps evenly on this rich earth.

The gathered soothsayers predicted
that there is no stopping one of such even tread,
as householder or renunciate.
That’s the meaning shown by this mark.

While living at home he cannot be stopped,
he defeats his foes, and cannot be beaten.
Due to the fruit of that deed,
he cannot be stopped by any human.

But if he chooses the life gone forth,
seeing clearly, loving renunciation,
not even the best can hope to stop him;
this is the nature of the supreme person.”

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