अविद्या (Avidyā) is a Vedic Sanskrit compound word composed from “a” and “vidya” (not vidya). The word vidya is derived from the Sanskrit root Vid, which means “to know, to perceive, to see, to understand” . Therefore, अविद्या (avidya) means to “not know, not perceive, not see, not understand”.
In the yogic philosophy, avidya doesn’t occur from a lack of information and goes far beyond ordinary denial or ignorance towards “unwisdom”. Avidya is a fundamental blindness, mistaking illusion to be reality and the inability to experience a deep connection to others, to the source of being, and to one’s own true self.