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South and Central Asia

A gigantic serpent-genie, who dwelt in the roots of the Bo Tree under which the Buddha attained to supreme consciousness. In a state of bliss, the meditating sage did not perceive the gathering of a frightful tempest, and so Muchalinda devoutly encircled the body of the Buddha seven times before spreading his broad hood above as an umbrella. Once the storm had passed, the naga monarch unwound his coils, changed into a young man, and with hands joined respectfully together he bowed low to the world-saviour. The myth is a classic statement of non-duality: Enlightenment encompasses all.

Subjects: Religion.

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