‘The Discourse on the Great Decease’, being the sixteenth and longest discourse in the Collection of Long Discourses (Digha Nikaya) of the Pali Canon. The text describes the events leading up to the Buddha's death and his travels during the last few months of his life. The discourse makes reference to an impending war between Magadha and Vajjī, and begins with King Ajātasattu dispatching a minister to seek the Buddha's advice. Most of the rest of the text consists of a sustained conversation between the Buddha and Ananda, and it reiterates much material that occurs in other canonical sources. In the course of the narrative the Buddha predicts the end of his life three months hence, and partakes of the meal which causes a grave illness shortly before his death (see Diet of Buddha). The narrative ends with the Buddha's cremation and the distribution of his relics.
Because of its attention to detail, it has been resorted to as the principal source of reference in most standard studies of the Buddha's life. He passed into parinibbana (Nibbana) in Kushinagar, one of the four most important places of Buddhist pilgrimage.