1. If everything is empty, there can be no arising or passing away; Therefore, by what abandonment, by what cessation can nirvana be expected?
2. (It is only) if everything is not empty that there can be no arising
or passing away (and that one can ask): by what abandonment, by what cessation
can nirvana be expected?
3. This is said about nirvana: no abandonment, no attainment, no annihilation, no eternality, no cessation, no arising.
4. Nirvana is not a thing, for then it would be characterized by old age and death, for no thing is free from old age and death.
5. And if nirvana were a thing, then it would be karmically for no thing anywhere has ever been found not to be karmically constituted.
6. And if nirvana were a thing, how could it not be dependent on other things, for no independent thing has ever been found.
7. If nirvana is not a thing, can it be that it is a "nonthing"? (No, because) wherever there is no thing, neither can there be a nonthing.
8. And if nirvana were a nonthing, how could it not be dependent on other things, for no independent nonthing has ever been found.
9. The state of moving restlessly to and fro (in samsara) is dependent and conditioned; independent and unconditioned, it is said to be nirvana.
10. The Buddha said that both existence and freedom from existence are abandoned. Therefore is is fitting to say that nivana is not a thing and not a nonthing.
11. If nirvana were both a thing and a nonthing, liberation would also be both a thing and a nonthing, but that does not make sense.
12. If nirvana were both a thing and a nonthing, it would not be independent (of other things), for both (things and nonthings) are dependent.
13. And how could nirvana be both a thing and a nonthing? Nirvana is not karmically constituted, but things and nonthings are.
14. (And anyhow), how could nirvana be both a thing and a nonthing? Like light and darkness, these two are opposites and cannot both exist in the same place.
15. Only if things and nonthings are established can the proposition "Nirvana is neither a thing nor a nonthing" be established.
16. But how could it be asserted that nirvana was found to be "neither a thing nor a nonthing"?
17. It is not asserted that the Blessed One exists after his passing away; nor is it asserted that he does not exist, both exists and does not exist, or neither exists nor does not exist.
18. Even while he is living, it is not asserted that the Blessed One exists; nor is it asserted that he does not exist, both exists and does not exist, or neither exists nor does not exist.
19. There is no distinction whatsoever between samsara and nirvana; and there is no distinction whatsoever between nirvana and samsara.
20. The limit of nirvana and the limit of samsara: one cannot even find the slightest difference between them.
21. Views about such things as the finitude or infinitude of the state coming after death, are related to the issue of nirvana having beginning and ending limits.
22. Given that all elements of reality are empty, what is infinite? What is finite? What is both finite and infinite? What is neither finite nor infinite?
23. What is just this? What is that other? What is eternal? What is noneternal? What is both eternal and noneternal? What is neother eternal nor noneternal?
24. Ceasing to fancy everything and falsely to imagine it as real is good; nowhere did the Buddha ever teach any such element of reality.