When he was approaching the age of eighty, he ate something spoiled and realized he was going to die of food poisoning. Helped by his disciples, he managed to travel as far as Kusinhagara, where he lay down for the last time beside a tree.
Buddha called his cousin Ananda and said:
“I am old and my pilgrimage in this life is nearing its end. My body looks like an old cart that has been used a great deal and is still working only because some of its parts are precariously tied up with straps of leather. But that’s enough, now it’s time to go.”
Then he turned to his disciples and asked if anyone had any doubts. Nobody said a word. He asked the same question three times, but they all remained in silence.
Buddha died smiling. His teachings, today codified in the form of a philosophical religion, are spread across most of Asia. In essence, they consist of understanding oneself profoundly and having a deep respect for one’s neighbor.