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無明 (Skt avidya; Pali avijja; Jpn mumyo ) (Tib: ma-rig-pa)
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.
Also, illusion or darkness. In Buddhism, ignorance about the true nature of existence.
Ignorance is the first of the twelve-linked chain of causation, the sequence of causal relationships connecting ignorance with suffering.
In the concept of the twelve-linked chain of causation, ignorance is the fundamental cause of delusion, suffering, and transmigration in the realm of delusion and suffering.
In the T'ient'ai school, ignorance is regarded as that which prevents one from perceiving the Middle Way.
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.
See also forty-two levels of ignorance; fundamental darkness; twelve-linked chain of causation.
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.
When we are unaware of why we are Suffering or even that we are Suffering, we are unable to even begin the process of freeing ourselves from it.
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.
Once again, this will only prolong the problem. It is only when we begin to see with Wisdom the true nature of Suffering and its causes that freedom becomes a possibility.
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.
It is only by some sort of education or Mind development that one turns from darkness to Light.
This primordial Evil has to be dissipated so that we turn towards Wisdom. So, either by Concentration or Meditation, the two forms of Mental development, we come towards the realisation of good.
It is only by repeated Concentration and Meditation, using Mindfulness and Diligence and Wisdom that we gradually arrive at better, and more Moral, dispositions.
This ignorance in the past existences produces the Karma-accumulations that will determine your Rebirth in this existence.
Your genes and your chromosomes and your DNA and RNA are determined by your past Karma.
At the time of conception your past Karma has fashioned your Body or tactile sense, and your hadaya-vatthu or Heart base on which your future Mind will depend, and your Masculinity or femininity.
Later will come your "sensitive" Eye, your "sensitive" ear, your "sensitive" nose and your "sensitive" tongue.