Kamma as seen in the Pali Abhidhamma Kathāvatthu

Dear Bhantes Sujato & Brahmali,

While researching on cetana and kamma within SuttaCentral I ended up finding two peculiar texts:


Something sounds weird, especially the translated conclusion sentences / closing stanzas.

Is it a partial translation? How should these texts be read?

Yes, they are a bit hard to work out! The translations are more or less complete, only stylistically abbreviated. But the endings are the same as the Pali.

The problem here is that the text has hundreds of similar discussions, which often proceed according to a set pattern. So the Pali text here is more or less assuming that you know this pattern well enough to work out how the rest of the section should go. However, I am somewhat familiar with the text, and I am by no means sure what the intended arguments are here.

In each case the text begins by attempting to show that the controverted opinion is logically inconsistent or incoherent. Then the heretic quotes a sutta to support their position. But the text then cuts off, without any discussion of the text. Presumably the intention was that the orthodox argument would show that the text in question does not in fact entail the conclusions drawn by the heretic. But as it stands, it is up to us to imagine how this may be done.

Thanks for the answer Bhante.
I better stick with the good and old suttas then! :smile: