Sunday, December 12, 2010
Question : (Unedited)
What does the term "ignorance" (lack of knowledge) mean in the Buddhist philosophy?
"Ignorance" is being translated from the Pali word "Avijja". This mental state is the cause of all our follies. It prevents us from seeing the real nature of this live and the universe, and existence in general. It tricks us to view life as pleasurable, of substance, and permanent. In reality existence is the direct opposite, that is, unsatisfactory, insubstantial, and impermanent. Avijja is not knowing the 4 Noble Truths which identify the real nature of existence, namely: suffering; its origin; its cessation; and the path leading to its cessation.
In common experience; it's just like a blind person trying to find the way. He needs someone to lead him to the right direction. The 4 Noble Truths are the lights dispersing the darkness. While the Noble Eightfold Path is the journey one has to take to reach one's destination.