Chapter Twenty-Two: Analysis of the Thus-Gone

He is not the aggregates, nor is he different from them.
He is not in them, nor are they in him.
Neither does the Thus-Gone possess the aggregates.
Who, then, is the Thus Gone. [22.1]

If the Buddha exists dependent on the aggregates,
And thus not by his own nature,
How could that which does not exist in terms of its own nature
Exist through the nature of another? [22.2]

That which depends on the nature of another
Cannot reasonably have an identity of its own.
How could something lacking an identity
Turn out to be the Thus-Gone? [22.3]

If he does not exist by his own nature,
How could there be the nature of something else?
Apart from what is of the nature of self and other,
What sort of Thus-gone could there be? [22.4]

If, independent of the aggregates,
There were a Thus-Gone,
Then he could now rely on the aggregates
And, based on them, become that. [22.5]

Yet, independent of the aggregates,
There is no Thus-Gone at all.
When there is no one who exists independently,
How could there be any appropriation? [22.6]

Without any appropriation,
There cannot be something appropriated.
Not involved in appropriation-
Such a Thus-Gone does not exist at all [22.7]

When examined in the five ways,
He exists neither as identical nor different.
How, then, could a Thus-Gone who does not exist like that
Be spoken of by virtue of appropriation? [22.8]

That which is appropriated
Does not exist by its own nature.
That which does not exist by itself,
Can definitely not exist due to other things. [22.9]

Thus, the appropriated and the appropriator
Are empty in all regards.
Given their emptiness, how to speak
Of an empty Thus-Gone? [22.10]

Do not say “empty,”
And do not say “not empty” either:
Do not say “both” and do not say “neither.”
These are to be stated for the sake of designation. [22.11]

Permanence, impermanence, and the other two--
How could they pertain to this peace?
Limited, limitless, and the other two--
How could they pertain to this peace? [22.12]

One seized by the dense fixation
That the Thus-Gone exists
Will think that, upon his transcendence,
The Thus-Gone no longer exists. [22.13]

As for a Buddha empty of nature,
To declare that, upon transcendence,
He exists or does not exist
Would not make any sense. [22.14]

Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone. [22.15]

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world. [22.16]     
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