Sunday, December 15, 2013


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Mucalinda statue, below the Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya

In the weeks following Buddha's enlightenment, he sat in seven week-long meditation sessions, "sensitive to the bliss of release".

During the sixth week, a sudden, out-of-season storm cloud rose in the sky, bringing seven days of intense rain, wind, cold and darkness. At that time, Mucalinda, the mystical serpent king, ascended from his dwelling, coiled his great body around Buddha seven times and spread his massive hood over the Buddha, not to let the elements disrupt his meditative state.

Mucalinda thought to himself, "Don't let the Blessed One be disturbed by cold. Don't let the Blessed One be disturbed by heat. Don't let the Blessed One be disturbed by the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and creeping things."

When seven days past, Buddha emerged from his deep concentration. Mucalinda, seeing that the storm had passed uncoiled himself from around the Buddha and took the form of a young man. Placing his hands over his heart, he stood before Buddha giving homage. 

Acknowledging the significance of the event, Buddha exclaimed

"Blissful is solitude
for one who's content,
who has heard the Dhamma,
who sees.
Blissful is non-affliction
with regard for the world,
restraint for living beings.
Blissful is dispassion
with regard for the world,
the overcoming of sensuality.
But the subduing of the conceit "I am" —
That is truly
the ultimate bliss."

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Quoted text from 
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. 
Access to Insight 

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