Points of Controversy

12.2. Of Action

Controverted Point: That all action (karma) entails moral result (vipāka).

Theravādin: Do you imply that all volition entails result volition being moral action? If you deny, then your proposition is not universally valid. If you do imply that volition entails result, then you are committed to this—that volition which is indeterminate as to moral result entails moral result; that volition which is inoperative and therefore indeterminate as to moral result entails such result, whether such volition be exercised in any one of the three spheres of life, or in that which is not included in them… . All of this you must deny… . For do you not hold that resultant or inoperative volition, which is indeterminate as to moral result, cannot be said to entail result? Where then is your universal proposition?

Mahāsaṅghikas: But if I am wrong, was it not said by the Exalted One:

“I declare, bhikkhus, that there can be no annulment of voluntary deeds done and accumulated, without experience of the results thereof, be it in this life or in the after-life.”

Wherefore all action surely entails result.