Quotes From The Lotus Sutra, Vol. 1
“That is why, Śāriputra,
For their sake I established skillful means,
Taught ways to end sufferings,
And showed them nirvāṇa.
Though I have taught nirvāṇa,
It is not the true cessation.
All phenomena from the very beginning
Have always had the marks of quiescence and extinction.
When the children of the Buddha
Have taken this path,
In a future life
They will become Buddhas.”
Excerpts From A Discourse on The Lotus Sutra
Venerable Xiao Pingshi
From the above passage, we can see that although the World-Honored One spoke of nirvana, this nirvana is not nihilistic emptiness or actual cessation. The reason for this is that nirvana denotes the tathagatagarbha. The tathagatagarbha is imperishable and is everlasting due to its diamond-like nature. It cannot be destroyed or extinguished by any phenomenon and hence is not actual cessation. The statement “All phenomena from the very beginning have always had the marks of quiescence and extinction” confirms the fact that “nirvana without any remainder” is not a state of nothingness resulting from cessation.
A Discourse on the Lotus Sutra, Vol. 3, pp. 119-120