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Moha, Pali, Sanskrit "delusion," is that which prevents the discernment of truth in Hinduism and Buddhism. In the later, it is one of the three "unwholesome roots" (akusalamula), which, together with craving (lobha) or attachment (raga) and hatred (dosa) leads to rebirth and suffering in cyclic existence (samara). Moha is synonymous with ignorance (avijja), which is the first link in the series of Paticca-samuppada and which must be removed if suffering (dukkha) is to cease. Most fundamentally moha and avijja relate to ignorance concerning the true nature of things as summarized in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. This includes the ignorance of one's own nature as well as the world at large, and manifests itself in the belief that phenomena are permanent and stable, and that a self or soul underlies the personal identity. The recommended way of cleansing the mind of this misconception is through the practice of the Eightfold Path that destroys delusion (moha) replacing it with wisdom (panna) and by systematic and methodical attentiveness. A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 650

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