Universal ruler

Doctrines and rituals

Ancient Indian mythology sets forth the ideal of a universal ruler (Skt. Chakravarti) who reigned over the then-known world wisely and justly. According to Buddhist tradition, such a ruler is not born during the lifetime of a buddha, but provides peace and justice in the ages in between. Just like the Buddha, a universal ruler is recognizable by the thirty-two bodily signs of a Great Man. These include, among others, a protuberance on the crown of the head and a forehead mark, as depicted in images.