Sunday, November 10, 2013

Two types of ignorance



There are two types of ignorance:
Aavarna and Vikshepa   
(Pronounced Aavarn and Vikshaip )  आवरण तथा विक्षेप
Aavarna means veil, or a cover.

When things are under some cover or even covered with darkness, we do not see them clearly. This type of Agyaana or ignorance is known as Aavarna.

Vikshepa means to assume.
When we don't actually see or feel anything but we assume that something is there, is called Vikshepa ignorance.

In many ancient scriptures, Its mentioned as " the Sarpa Rajju Bhaava". If a person sees a piece of rope lying in a crooked way on the ground, slightly moving because of the wind, he assumes it to be a snake.
Sometimes, such ignorance could even be based upon one’s experience.
Few years ago, an American handyman came to fix something in our house. After the initial introduction, he asked me if I was from India. I said yes. He immediately said “then you must be a doctor". I smiled and asked what made him think that I must be a doctor? He said every Indian man he had met in his life, and he had met only 15 or 16, happened to be a medical doctor. He assumed that every Indian who lives in the United states is a doctor.

Though his assumption was based upon his own (limited) experience, it was still ignorance, Vikshepa Agyaana.

In other words:
In the first type, the Aavarna, we do not see what is there, 
and in Vikshepa, we see what is not there.
We do not see the reality of God because it’s behind the veil, Aavarna of Samsaara or Maya.
We find happiness; rather assume that we will find happiness in worldly pleasures when in reality it’s not.  

                                                           'Rajan Sachdeva'



Note:  The literal meaning of Vikshepa is distortion but it can be used for manipulation or twisted assumption. Distorted images or ideas are known as 'Vikshipta'.
In the context of this article, the word Vikshepa is used for (wrong) assumption.



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