Examination of Time ~ Nagarjuna

If the present and the future
Depend on the past,
Then the present and the future
Would have existed in the past.

If the present and future
Did not exist there,
How could the present and the
Future be dependent on it?

Without depending on the past,
Neither of the two could be established.
Therefore neither the present nor
The future could exist.

By this very method, without substitution,
The remaining two; as well as …
Superior, inferior, average, etc.; and
Unity, etc., should be understood.

A nonenduring time is not grasped
Nothing one could grasp as time
Could exist as enduring.
If time is not grasped, how it is known?

If time depends on a entity
Then without an entity how could time exist?
Since there are no entities at all,
How could time exist?


Nagarjuna

from the book The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika

translated by Jay L. Garfield



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