Avidyā (Buddhism) - "Ignorance" or "delusion." Avidyā is commonly translated as "ignorance" or "delusion". It can be defined as not understanding the full meaning and implication of the four noble truths or as a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of reality. Avidyā is identified within the Buddhist teachings as follows:
- The first link in the twelve links of dependent origination.
- One of the three poisons within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.
- One of the six root kleshas within the Mahayana Abhidharma teachings
- One of the ten fetters in the Theravada tradition.
- Equivalent to moha within the Theravada Abhidharma teachings.
Within the context of the twelve links of dependent origination, avidya is typically symbolized by a person who is blind or wearing a blindfold.
Avidya (Hinduism) - Avidyā is a Sanskrit word whose literal meaning is "ignorance", "delusion", "unlearned", "unwise" and opposite of, Vidya. It is used extensively in Hindu texts, including the Upanishads, and also in Buddhism.
Avidyā, in all Dharmic systems, is a cognitive limitation to be overcome by each individual and does not imply a failure or transgression. The "entrenched misunderstanding of ourselves and the world" is avidyā (false knowledge) which gives rise to several root causes of misery or kleshas, which include ruinous states of mind and addictive habits.