ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ (agiaan aňdheraa)
Meaning: noun: The darkness of ignorance.
ਮਨਮੁਖ ਕੋਠੀ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ ਤਿਨ ਘਰਿ ਰਤਨੁ ਨ ਲਾਖਾ॥
manmukh koṭhee agiaan aňdheraa tin ghar ratan na laakhaa.
There is darkness of ignorance in the house (body) of manmukhs; they cannot see the jewel laid in their home (mind). – Guru Ram Das, Guru Granth Sahib, 696
Message: The Guru’s wisdom is likened to a precious jewel. It is valuable but its value can only be realized when it is purchased and used by its owner. Many live in the dark, not knowing the potential value of the Guru’s wisdom which lies dormant in their hearts.
Many live their lives in this darkness of ignorance. They are intellectually sound, outwardly happy, but estranged from the wisdom of the Guru. They are tossed back and forth in the waves of self-centredness or egoism, blown here and there by every wind of desire and by the craftiness and slyness of the human mind. One can find prosperity in such a life, but can one find peace? Such is the life of a manmukh, a self-centred person, living in the darkness of ignorance.
In this darkness, we are not sensitive to the presence of the Divine, to the value and light of divine wisdom. Filled with sensuality, having no restraint, we dare to do anything.
ਆਠ ਪਹਰ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਪੇਖਹੁ ਨੇਰਾ॥ ਮਿਟੈ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਅੰਧੇਰਾ॥
Realise the Divine near at hand at all times. In this way, ignorance will depart, and darkness will be dispelled. – Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 293
Etymology: From Sanskrit ajǰaan (ignorance).