Muccalinda Sutta (Trans: Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu)

I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Muccalinda tree, newly
awakened. And on that occasion he sat for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release.

And on that occasion a great, out-of-season storm-cloud rose up, with seven days of rainy weather, cold winds, & intense darkness. Then Muccalinda the nāga king—leaving his dwelling place and encircling the Blessed One’s body seven times with his coils—stood with his great hood spread over the Blessed One, (thinking,) “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, & creeping things.”

Then, with the passing of seven days, the Blessed One emerged from that concentration. Muccalinda the nāga king, realizing that the sky had cleared and was free of clouds, unraveled his coils from the body of the Blessed One, dropped his own appearance and, assuming the appearance of a young man, stood in front of the Blessed One with hands before his heart, paying homage.


Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion

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.

In that one auspicious moment when Muccalinda the Nāga King sheltered the Blessed One from the elements, thus sparing him any discomfort from his deep samādhis, the Nāgas became the official protectors of the Buddhadharma. The Blessed One paid him great homage for his meritorious act in verse when he highlighted the importance of solitude and dispassion from all the wriggling and annoying things of samsara. Thus, when one is engaged in solitude with one-pointedness of Mind, one ought to bear in mind in spiritual fashion that Muccalinda the Nāga King is very near at hand to offer protection from the diverse elements that prevents one from growing spiritually in the Buddhadharma—wherein even the conceited “I am” is subdued by Muccalinda’s coils—ah, the sheer bliss!

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