Why do animals lie down next to me during meditation?


It depends! Do they avoid you when you are not meditating? Because if that is the case, then you can be sure that they like you more comatose than vif!!


The mind is calm all day so when sitting down i may not change a lot in the state of calmness, but animals have changed toward me the last year or so. example when i walk in the forest animals tend tonot run away so much anymore. they kind of linger around.


The earliest source is the Vinaya Piṭaka’s section on schism.

Cullavagga, Saṅghabheda

Now at that time there was a fierce elephant in Rājagaha, a man-slayer, called Nālāgiri…


The earliest source is the Vinaya Piṭaka’s section on schism.
Cullavagga, Saṅghabheda

Then the Lord suffused the elephant Nālāgiri with loving-kindness of mind. Then the elephant Nālāgiri, suffused by the Lord with loving-kindness of mind, having put down his trunk, approached the Lord; having approached, he stood in front of the Lord. Then the Lord, stroking the elephant Nālāgiri’s forehead with his right hand, addressed the elephant Nālāgiri with verses:

“Do not, elephant, strike the elephant (among men),
for painful, elephant, is the striking of the elephant (among men),
For there is no good bourn, elephant,
for a slayer of the elephant (among men) when he is hence beyond.

“Be not proud, be not wanton,
for the wanton reach not a good bourn;
Only that should you do by which
you will go to a good bourn.”


There’s the somewhat related story in Ud4.5 as well where a “Nāga elephant” goes off for some peace and quiet from the herd (and the Buddha also sets off for some seclusion from the sangha) and they seem to hang out together for a while:

Then that Nāga elephant, having gone away from the herd, went to Pārileyyaka, the Protected Jungle, the root of the auspicious Sāl-tree, and to the Gracious One. There, in that place where the Gracious One dwelt, that Nāga elephant, cleared that place of grass, and with his trunk provided the Gracious One with drinking water and washing water.


In two very late Sri Lankan texts, the Anāgatavaṃsa and Dasabodhisattuppattikathā, a list is given of what are alleged to be ten future Buddhas encountered by Gotama Buddha in the course of his final life. Interestingly both celebrity elephants made the list, with Pārileyya destined to become the Buddha Sumaṅgala and Nāḷāgiri the Buddha Tissa.

A picture of all ten from Dambulla.