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Everybody within an area is subjected to the same illusion: many white feathers fluttering down from the sky. If a given target sees enough of these feathers fall, they will fall into a deep sleep. Because it's a genjutsu, victims cannot be woken in conventional ways, meaning they will continue to sleep even if extensive combat is going on around them. Only by dispelling the genjutsu, such as with the Genjutsu Cancel, can victims regain consciousness. If targets are attentive enough, they can similarly dispel the genjutsu themselves before the feathers have lulled them to sleep
In Buddhism, Nirvana is the complete state of peace, freedom from suffering and detachment from everything in the material world. It is known as the highest point of meditation, which is likely a reference to the effect from the jutsu since the target sleeps deeply.