What does Buddha mean be delusion is a root of evil?





I understand how hate and greed are roots of evil but not delusion. I do not think I am quite sure on what exactly delusion means in this context. Can some one explain what delusion is supposed to mean in this context and how it is a root of evil.


  1. Delusion (Ignorance)
    “Delusion refers to belief in something that contradicts reality. In Buddhism, delusion is … a lack of awareness of the true nature or Buddha nature of things, or of the true meaning of existence. ”
    According to the Buddhist outlook, we are deluded by our senses– among which intellect (discriminating, discursive thought) is included as a sixth sense.
    Consciousness, attached to the senses, leads us into error by causing us to take the world of appearances for the world of reality, whereas in fact it is only a limited and fleeting aspect of reality.” (The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen.)

  2. There is reality. If one is to be compassionate, it is in response to reality.
    Delusions are separation from reality. It is impossible to practice compassion if one is deluded.
    Morality is based on reality. Losing reality is losing the ability to be moral.
    I don’t know if he ever said ‘delusion is the root of all evil’. The closest quote I can think of is:
    “Beware of someone who lies, for they are capable of anything.”

  3. Buddhism teaches that harboring the three poisons leads to evil and suffering (dukkha). The Three Poisons are lobha, dvesha and moha, most often translated as “greed,” “hate” and “ignorance” (delusion). Lobha, greed or desire, is attraction to something we think will gratify us. Dvessha is anger, hatred, animosity, ill-will, aversion. Moha is ignorance or delusion. The first two poisons have ignorance as their root. Because we see ourselves as small, limited and needy, we pursue things we think will make us happy and hate things that cause us discomfort. -Hope this helps.
    May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

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