The Buddha realized clearly that death was approaching. Towards midnight of the same day, the event known in Buddhist terminology as the Parinirvana, or "Final Nirvana," took place. It was a full-moon night and also his eightieth birthday. The Enlightened One passed through progressively higher planes of meditation until he attained entry into Parinirvana. One scripture gives an eloquent description of the scene: "The trees burst into full bloom out of season, bent down over the Buddha, and showered his body with their flowers, as if to do him supreme honor. There were heavenly flowers that rained down and scattered over the venerable one. . . . And the world was like a mountain whose summit has been shattered by a thunderbolt; it was like the sky without the moon."
The sculptor has followed the canonical descriptions of the Parinirvana. The Buddha lies enwrapped in the flowing folds of his monastic garment so that only his glowing chest is completely visible. Exalted signs celebrating his status include the auspicious tuft at the center of the forehead and the three curving lines on his neck. He reclines on the oblong lotus-couch with his body fully stretched; the extended left hand complementing the overall sprawl of the composition. The two feet are placed tightly one over the other.
This sculpture was created in Patan, a small town within the geographical boundaries of Kathmandu (Nepal).