The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Literally, “not seeing” that which exists, or the way in which things exist. There are basically two kinds, ignorance of karma and ignorance of ultimate truth. The fundamental delusion from which all others spring. The first of the twelve links of dependent origination.
Buddhist schools defined various levels of ignorance, teaching that, by cutting off increasingly deeper levels of ignorance, one can gradually gain understanding of the true aspect of existence and finally attain enlightenment.
Ignorance (avijjā or Moha) is the absence of Information or Knowledge about something causing a misapprehension of it or a lack of awareness of it. According to The Buddha, ignorance is one of the two causes of Suffering, the other being Craving.
On the other hand, we might be intensely aware of the incompleteness and unsatisfactoriness of conditioned existence but mistakenly believe that the solution to the problem is to pray to a deity or try to be reborn in Heaven.
Ignorance means the forces of Evil which are ever in this World, and can be summed up as not knowing the 4 noble truths as they really are, which as the subject of The Buddha’s First’ Sermon after attaining Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Like the force of gravity, ignorance disposes us towards Evil.