The Buddha announces to Ananda that he has renounced his life and in three months will pass away

When the Buddha renounced his life, that is, announced the date of his passing away three months in advance, an earthquake occurred. When people heard it their hair stood on end. The Pathamasambodhi states that magical drums resounded through the heavens to announce the event. Ananda, seeing the miraculous events, came out from the foot of the tree he was staying at and approached the Buddha, asking him the reason for the miraculous earthquake. The Buddha told Ananda that there were eight reasons for an earthquake, as follows:

1. Winds [geological factors]
2. Psychic powers
3. A Bodhisatta has come down from heaven to take birth in the human world
4. A Bodhisatta has been born
5. A Buddha has been enlightened
6. A Buddha gives his first sermon
7. A Buddha renounces his life
8. A Buddha passes away
The Buddha told Ananda that the earthquake on that day was a result of him renouncing the rest of his life. Hearing this, Ananda realized what the Buddha had been saying to him earlier in the day, how one who fully developed the four conditions called iddhipada, which are zeal, effort, application and investigation, if he so desired, could extend his life beyond the designated time of its expiry.

Realizing this, Ananda formally invited the Buddha to use the four iddhipada to extend his life, but the Buddha refused. This happened three times. The Buddha explained that he had given the obhasa nimitta (intimations) to Ananda to invite him to extend his life many times, and in many places, and if Ananda had been mindful and invited him then he would have accepted the invitation. In ordinary terms, the Buddha was telling Ananda that it was "too late," because the Buddha has already declared that he had renounced the remainder of his life and would pass away.
 

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