"the Illustrious One was seriously ill and would soon suffer his last mortal death and attain salvation."
Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Buddha Parinirvana
Public DomainAstasahasrika Prajnaparamita Buddha Parinirvana - Credit: Artwork created circa 700-1100 CE

One of the most profound events in Buddhist history is the physical death, or the final nirvana, of the Buddha in 483 BC in Kushinagar. Buddha became fatally ill after eating a meal offered by a patron.

On his deathbed, Buddha told his monks that if they had any doubts or unanswered questions, they should rely on the Dharma teachings and their own ethical discipline. After his death, Buddha's remains were cremated and his ashes placed in stupas in the locations that became the four major Buddhist pilgrimage places.