That is why, Sāriputra, For their sake I established skillful means, Taught ways to end sufferings, And showed them nirvāna. Though I have taught nirvāna, It is not true cessation. All phenomena from the very beginning, Have always had the marks of quiescence and cessation. When children of the Buddha Have taken this path, In a future life They will become Buddhas.
The Lotus Sutra
Translation of the scriptural passage referenced Gene Reeves’ The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of A Buddhist Classic (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2008), 90-91.
From this passage, we can see that although the World-Honored One spoke of nirvā?a, this nirvā?a is not nihilistic emptiness or actual cessation. The reason is that within nirvā?a lies the tath?gatagarbha. The tath?gatagarbha is imperishable and abides everlastingly 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 nirvā?a without remainder is not a state of nothingness resulting from cessation.
A Discourse on the Lotus Sutra, vol. 3, 119-120.