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Mucalinda Sheltering Buddha

Mucalinda Sheltering Buddha. Bangkok National Museum, b092

Mucalinda Sheltering Buddha

The Mucalinda Sheltering Buddha statue tells the story of the Gautama Buddha, who, while meditating under the Bodhi Tree, had Mucalinda, the mighty King of Serpents, came from beneath the earth to protect him with his hood during an unusually massive storm. 

When the great storm had cleared, the serpent king assumed his human form, bowed before the Buddha, and returned in joy to his palace.

This Mucalinda, carved in the 1240s at the historic Srivijayan center of Chaiya, echoes the earlier Srivijayan style from the early Mahayana Buddhist kingdom, which, covered much of the present-day peninsular consisting of Thailand, Java, Sumatra, and Malaya.

Statues of the Buddha were not made until after the 1st century CE. For the first four hundred years after his death, Buddha was represented by symbols alone, such as his footprint or an empty throne or Bodhi tree.

Early statues examples of Buddha in human form were made four centuries after the Buddha’s time.

Mucalinda Sheltering Buddha

  • Title:                   Mucalinda Sheltering Buddha
  • Date:                  1240
  • Style:                  Chaiya style (Wat Wiang)
  • Museum:            National Museum, Bangkok

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“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
– Buddha

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Photo Credit: 1) By Michael Gunther (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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