After fifty years of teaching, the Buddha asked that a couch be prepared for him at Kusinagara. He wished to depart beneath two flowering sala trees. Then he started on his last journey. At Kusinagara, surrounded by his disciples, he lay down on the couch and rested his head on his hand. The birds stopped singing, the winds ceased and the blossom fell from the trees above him. The Buddha asked his disciples if they had any further questions. No one replied. Finally he encouraged his disciples to follow his example. He passed away, as flames cease to burn. He remains for ever in this world.