Microcosmology: Atom In Jain Philosophy & Modern Science ► 03 ► [3.2.5.3] A Critique - Pudgala : Attributes - Integration (Bandha) And Disintegration (Bheda)

Posted: 11.03.2008

The quest for 'basic building blocks' of the physical reality is fundamentally the result of (bandha) and (bheda) which are the modes of pudgala. 'Being' and 'becoming' characterized equally the first epoch of Greek philosophy as well as the modern science. The entire discussion under 'particle physics' in the first chapter emphasizes the above modes and underlines a number of parallels between the Jain view and the modern science. The high-energy scattering experiments of the recent years have shown us the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the physical reality in the most striking way. They have proved the complete mutability of matter. Particles can be transmuted into other particles: they can be created from energy and can vanish into energy. Thus, the entire physical reality is a dynamic world of integrating and disintegrating patterns of matter, revealing the intrinsically dynamic character of matter as propounded by the Jain seers. These aspects of pudgala show that the different attributes of pudgala can be understood only in terms of its activity and modification- that is its interaction with itself and other substances.

Both integration and disintegration are of two kinds:

  1. natural
  2. poduced by animate organisms and they have been discussed in the preceding chapters.

All the natural elements found on earth are the result of natural integration of subatomic particles but none of them is without a beginning. Space and ethers are the only instances of natural and beginningless integration. All integrated physical objects found anywhere in the universe have a beginning. The ultimate atom (paramanu) is the only physical reality that is eternal and has no beginning, but it is singularity not an integrated identity.

Two kinds of touch - glueyness (snigdha) and dryness (ruksa) are important characteristics of integrating constituents. These are, to some extent, equivalent to the positive and negative charges of subatomic particles. Precise rules for integration vis-a-vis these two kinds of touch have been discovered and formulated by Jains and we shall discuss them in a subsequent section.

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