It is usually said that the root delusions of attachment, anger and unawareness/ignorance are the causes of Dukkha. Of the three, unawareness/ignorance is the root cause.

I see very how unawareness/ignorance can lead to Dukkha. But is there any evidence in the scriptures that unawareness/ignorance itself is Dukkha?

  • What do you mean when you ask if ignorance is Dukkha? Are you asking whether or not ignorance is characterized by Dukkha, or are you asking whether or not ignorance and Dukkha mean the same thing?
    – Bakmoon
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 14:35
  • I'm asking if ignorance is characterized by Dukkha, if the state of not being aware is itself Dukkha - not whether it leads to Dukkha - and if so, why is unawareness Dukkha? Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 14:54
  • @Mr.Concept Unawareness create "world" and "Me". That is Dukkha.
    – Shrawaka
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


Dukkha has many meanings. It also means changing, impermanent, subject to destruction, then yes, ignorance is dukkha because it is impermanent. To put it in perspective, wisdom or Panna is also Dukkha because it is subject to decay and ending. Wisdom ends when name-form ends. Ignorance (as well as wisdom) is Pratītyasamutpāna-dhamma (conditoned dhamma). The things that beings are ignorance of is the four noble truths. that's why beings are constantly searching for sensual pleasures (or in finer cases, pleasures from rupa and arupa bliss). We dont know that things we are searching for are reasons why we suffer.

  • 1
    I think you're saying that ignorance is dukkha -- because everything is dukkha (or more specifically, all conditioned things, all sankhara) are dukkha -- see the Three marks of existence.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 9:12

1) Loba, 2) dosa, 3) moha lead to -ve karma.

4) Aloba, 5) adosa, 6) amoha lead to +ve karma.

All the 6 items above are called the roots, and both +ve and -ve Karma lead to future existence:

  • The -ve Karma themselves give experiences, which we perceive as -ve
  • While +ve karma continues our existence (though the experiences we perceive as positive) which in combination with the other experiences unrelated to Karma, also having to part with positive experiences when the Karma is exhausted, leads to unsatisfactoriness.

The experience and perceiving the experience is the unsatisfactory part. Your understanding (that ignorance is dukkha) equates the cause with the effect: but this not how it is dealt with in the doctrine.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .