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Buddhadharma : Fall 2018
54 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY self-grasping. There is no way to get rid of self-grasping until we achieve this insight. Just as light clears away darkness, the wisdom understanding emptiness that arises from engaging in ultimate analy- sis clears away ignorance. Ignorance is the distorted view holding things to be truly and objectively existent, just as they appear to the ordinary mind. Ignorance pervades all the other mental afflic- tions, such as desire, attachment, hatred, and jealousy. We naturally hold things to exist in the way that we see them. The innate mind of ignorance grasps whatever appears as it appears and holds it like that without any examination. Aryadeva says in his Four Hundred Stanzas: Just as the tactile sense power pervades the whole body, Ignorance abides in all [the mental afflictions]. Therefore by destroying ignorance All mental afflictions are destroyed. The body has many parts and various sense faculties, such as the eyes and visual sense power, the ears and auditory sense power, and so on. But the tactile sense power pervades all of them. It is pres- ent from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. In a similar way, ignorance pervades and influences all the mental afflictions. They all arise in dependence on ignorance. Therefore we can eliminate all the eighty-four thousand mental afflictions by destroying their root, ignorance. The most important antidote is the antidote to ignorance; it is the wisdom directly realizing emptiness that we must develop and utilize in meditation. It will completely uproot ignorance and its seed. The great Indian scholar Kamalashila wrote in detail about the objects and techniques of meditation. He too says it is not sufficient Wisdom is a mind that arises from investigating the way things actually exist; it sees emptiness, shunyata, clearly. We should not be satisfied with any lower level of attainment.