When  the  Buddha  died
all the monks were gathered around the his couch.  His attendant, Ananda, asked the Buddha who should lead them after he died. The Buddha replied that nobody would be in charge but the monks and nuns would have as their leader the teachings, the rules of training and the principles of enlightenment.
All these things the Buddha had explained during the 45 years that he taught.

This stone panel shows several symbols that represent the Buddha, his teaching and his enlightenment.
Originally from the great Amaravati stupa, built over 1800 years ago in Northern India, this panel is now in the British Museum.
You can see four people bowing.
What are they bowing to?
The symbols that we can see in this picture are:
the footprints (page 22)
the empty throne
(page 21 and 23)
3 royal umbrellas (page 42)
the Bodhi tree
(page 24)