The Causes of Ignorance »


What are the Causes of Ignorance?

A prince named fearless once asked the Blessed Buddha:
Venerable Sir, what is the conditioning cause for lack of vision and wisdom?
Prince, when the mind is obsessed, overwhelmed, and dominated by sense-desire,
or when mind is beset by ill-will, plagued, enraged, and fully conquered by anger,
when mind is retarded, dimmed, detained, and diluted by lethargic laziness,
or when mind is agitated, troubled, and tyrannized by restlessness and regret,
or when mind is perplexed, confused, and bewildered by doubt and uncertainty,
and one does not understand any safe escape from any of these present mental
hindrances, at that very moment, one can neither see, nor understand anything
of what is advantageous, neither for oneself, nor for others, nor both for oneself
and others! These 5 mental hindrances are therefore the conditioning causes for
lack of vision and wisdom! It is in this very way, that ignorance arises from a cause,
and not without a cause...
What is this Dhamma explanation called, Sir?
These are called the mental hindrances, prince.
Surely and unquestionably they are mental hindrances. Blessed One!
One overcome by even a single mental hindrance would not know and see things as
they really are, not to speak of one overcome by all these 5 mental hindrances..

More on  these 5 Mental Hindrances (Nīvaranas):

Source (edited extract):
The Grouped Sayings of the Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya.
Book [V:127] section 46: The Links. 56: To Abhaya...

What causes ignorance?

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Updated: 22 Dec 2016
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