Ignorance is described as not knowing about dukkha. If one knows dukkha and understands the cause of dukkha is starts with ignorance, how does one traverse ignorance of others?

For example, the Buddha one would imagine would have had to experience the ignorance of others. Would he have ignored it? Would he have attempted to enlighten them? Would he have empathized with them?

  • The Buddha saw(not experience) the ignorance of others and the potential for them to overcome it. Buddhism in the world is the result of his efforts to show them the light. – Sankha Kulathantille Apr 7 '15 at 4:52
  • @Sankha Kulathantille - If i were to see ignorance of others like the Buddha did, would he have simply let others discover this on their own or would he have awaited for them to approach him? – Motivated Apr 7 '15 at 7:27
  • You can't see ignorance of others like the Buddha. The Buddha had a special knowledge called the Asayanusaya-nana which knows the Anusayas or inclinations relating to the seat of mental disposition and kilesa that may arise of the living beings. Also the Indriyaparopartyatta-nana - which knows the maturity or otherwise, i.e.' the depth of the faculty or 'sense of knowledge', of the living beings. It happened both ways. People approached the Buddha and the Buddha also surveyed the world every morning looking for beings who had the potential to realize the Dhamma. – Sankha Kulathantille Apr 7 '15 at 7:42
  • @Sankha Kulathantille - Are you suggesting i cannot be a Buddha if i am unable to see the ignorance of others? If the Buddha surveyed the world, you are also suggesting he had supernatural powers which seems to beget the idea that he was man not a deity. – Motivated Apr 7 '15 at 7:48
  • No! Deities don't have those knowledges. There are 6 such knowledges only a Sammasambuddha can have. I'm guessing that you are coming from a belief system where special powers are reserved for angels and gods. In Buddhism, that's not the case. – Sankha Kulathantille Apr 7 '15 at 7:56

Ignorance is a personal thing, and Buddhism speaks of a specific kind of personal ignorance -- that of dukkha.

The ignorance of others is irrelevant. Yes, one tries to help others, but transcending ignorance is a matter of transcending ONE'S OWN IGNORANCE and implies nothing about the ignorance of others. However, one might be in a better position to be patient and hence work with others.

  • Thanks. You mention helping others. How does one help? For example, if the person i interact with fails to or simply does not want to see the bigger picture, be it work, personal or other, what does one do? – Motivated Apr 10 '15 at 19:34
  • @Motivated You have to analyze the situation and decide the best course of action -- skillful means. Insofar as you have transcended your ignorance, you can see the situation more clearly without your personal distortions and thus are more likely to be of service. This includes realizing if you cannot be of service. Some people simply refuse to be helped, and you might have to acknowledge that they are a loss and move on to those you can help. – R. Barzell Apr 10 '15 at 19:48
  • Thanks. The reason i ask is how do you move on especially if these are the people you work with, or are family. – Motivated Apr 16 '15 at 17:41
  • @Motivated what do you mean by "moving on"? – R. Barzell Apr 16 '15 at 18:53
  • Apologies for the belated reply. When i say move on, it is in relation to the comment you made i.e. "they are a loss and move on to those you can help". So if one finds that person one interacts with is unable or unwilling to see another perspective, how does one simply move away from an attempt to show this person otherwise? – Motivated Apr 21 '15 at 18:22

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