The scene illustrates Anathapindika, a wealthy merchant, gifting the Cloth of Gold to Buddha. Buddha divides it and gives one half to his disciple Ananda who later comments on how his half has lost its lustre. Buddha explains that this is the final sign for His departure from this world.
According to a variant in a later Pali canon, a Mallian disciple, Pukkusa, was instructed to fetch a pair of cloth-of-gold robes for the Buddha and was told to clothe Him in one and Ananda in the other. But later Ananda comments, 'Lord, it seems as if their brilliance has died out.' The Blessed One says, 'So it is, Ananda, so it is. There are two occasions when the color of the Perfect One's skin becomes exceptionally clear and bright. What are the two? They are on the eve of his discovery of the Supreme Full Enlightenment and the eve of his final attainment of Nirvana.'