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What will an ignorant do ?

What will an ignorant do ?

अन्नाणी किं काही, किं जानाहि सेयपावगं

What will an ignorant man do, how will he understand virtue and vice?

Understanding of substance (dravya), attributes (guna) and change (paryaya) is called knowledge. Absence of knowledge is ignorance. It is of three kinds – part, total and emotional.

Not knowing the substance even partly is ignorance (desa-ignorance), not knowing completely is total ignorance (sarva-ignorance) and not knowing about its changing character is bhava-ajnana (bhava-ignorance).

He is ignorant, who knows not. He does not know the substance as it is. One who knows the thing as that is, he is knowledgeable. Opposite to this is an ignorant whose understanding is perverted.

Knowledge of nine substances is necessary to tread the path of purity. One becomes non-violent after knowing ‘jiva’ (consciousness) and ‘ajiva’ (unconsciousness); he gets detached from the world. Similarly, after understanding the nature of virtue and vice, he can restrict the influx of karma through samvara and nirjara and through omniscience attain moksa. For the ignorant, this is not only very difficult, but also impossible. How can an ignorant distinguish between virtues and vice?

- Dasavaikalika Sutra 4/10

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