Moha - Moha is the root of all akusala

Moha is dangerous, it is the root of all akusala. When we are ignorant of realities, we accumulate a great deal of akusala. Moha conditions lobha; when we do not know realities as they are we become absorbed in the things we experience through the senses. Moha also conditions dosa; when we are ignorant of realities we have aversion towards unpleasant experiences. Moha accompanies each akusala citta and it conditions all ten kinds of akusala kamma-patha (killing, stealing, lying etc.) which are accomplished through body, speech and mind. Only when there is mindfulness of the realities which appear through the six doors, the paññā is developed which can eradicate moha. 


The sotāpanna (the 'streamwinner', who has attained the first stage of

enlightenment) has eradicated the moha-mūla-citta which is accompanied by

doubt, vicikicchā; he has no more doubts about paramattha dhammas, he

knows the 'world in the ariyan sense’. He has no doubts about the Buddha,

the Dhamma and the Sangha. He has no doubts about the Path leading to the

end of defilements. The sotāpanna, the sakadāgāmīi (the 'once-returner', who

has attained the second stage of enlightenment) and the anāgāmī (the 'non-

returner', who has attained the third stage of enlightenment) still have the

type of moha-mūla-citta accompanied by uddhacca, restlessness. Only the

arahat has eradicated all akusala.


Ignorance is not seeing the true characteristic of realities, not knowing the

four Noble Truths. Out of ignorance one does not see the first Noble Truth,

the Truth of dukkha : one does not realize nāma and rūpa which appear as

impermanent and dukkha. One does not know the second Noble Truth: the

origin of dukkha which is craving. Because of clinging to nāma and rūpa there

is no end to the cycle of birth and death and thus there is no end to dukkha.

One does not know the Noble Truth of the cessation of dukkha, which is

nibbāna. One does not know the Noble Truth of the way leading to the

cessation of dukkha, which is the eightfold Path. The eightfold Path is

developed through vipassanā.


We read in the 'Kindred Sayings' (lV, Salāyatana-vagga, Kindred Sayings

about Jambukhādaka, par. 9) that the wanderer asked Sāriputta:


' "Ignorance, ignorance!" is the saying, friend Sāriputta.

Pray, what is ignorance?'


 ‘Not understanding about dukka, friend,

not understanding about the arising of dukkha,

the ceasing of dukkha,

the way leading to the ceasing of dukkha- -

         this, friend, is called “ignorance” ‘


“But is there any way, friend,

any approach to the abandoning of this ignorance?

         ‘There is indeed a way, friend, to such abandoning.’

 ‘And what, friend, is that way,

that approach to the abandoning of this ignorance?’

 ‘It is this ariyan Eightfold Path, friend…’

The ariyan eightfold Path leads to the eradication of moha.

Topic 180