This month we’ve added three sections to our library on Karma, Philosophical Dialogues, and Time.


The Buddha’s “Law of Karma” is simple in its basic formulation. The Buddha guaranteed karma’s moral directionality, thus:

It is impossible, it never happens, that a wished-for, desired and agreeable result should come of bad conduct […] It is impossible, it never happens, that an unwished-for, undesired and disagreeable result should come of good conduct ~ MN 115

And the Buddha also encourages us to “frequently recollect” our intimate relationship with our actions:

Kammassakomhi, [I own my actions]
Kamma-dāyādo [I am the heir to my actions] ~ AN 10.48

But working out precisely how karma works is “unthinkably” complex, as

anyone who tries to conjecture about the results of deeds will go mad or get frustrated. ~ AN 4.77

But, while we cannot understand the full complexity of karma, we can strive to better understand what the Buddha taught. For example, this article traces the wider cultural resonances behind the Pāli word ‘dāyādo’ giving us a more nuanced appreciation of that one line of chanting above.

I hope that this and the other free books, talks, suttas, and more that we’ve put together in our new bibliography will help you make sense of this “imponderable” philosophy—without driving you mad!

Buddhist Philosophy in Dialogue

Over the ages, Buddhists have discussed many such subtle points of their doctrine as this with each other. These discussions form one way of viewing the arc of Buddhist history.

For that version of the story of Buddhism, you could certainly do worse than reading Kalupahana’s History of Buddhist Philosophy which strikes a refreshing balance between the early and later Buddhist perspectives, giving an excellent overview of its titular subject.

And in the rest of our bibliography on Buddhist dialogue, you’ll find a variety of other instructive and interesting topics in Buddhist philosophy which continue to shape the religion today.


And for the larger arc of human history, I’m pleased to share with you a new bibliography on “Time”.

There you will find a mix of books about history along with works on the philosophy of time and the science of history, such as this fascinating paper on why people have always felt that the world is getting worse.

Regardless of whether the world truly is getting worse or not, however, I do hope that you and I will continue to progress in the Dhamma together.

Until next “time”…

Your Librarian,
Khemarato Bhikkhu