Scientific Vision Of Lord Mahāvīra ► [04] Theory Of Pudgala ► Twenty-Three Types

Posted: 23.07.2009

In Jain Canonical literature, its commentaries, and other literature, most of the above eight important categories are generally included in twentythree types. Beginning from most minute atom and ending with the largest achitta-mahāskandha, there are infinite numbers of groups of Pudgala. But it is possible to reduce the number of vargaṇās to twenty-three by grouping them together from certain aspects.

  1. In the first category, there are free [unattached] solitary atoms, which form "aṇuvargaṇā".[131]
  2. The second category contains composite bodies (skandha) which contain from two atoms to the limit of "numerable atoms".[132]
  3. We then come to the category of composite bodies made up of "innumerable atoms".[133]
  4. Next comes the category of composite bodies constituted by "infinite (ananta) atoms".[134]

    All these four categories are incapable of being attracted, assimilated and transformed by the psychic order of existence. It has been emphasized that it is an immutable physical law of the universe that the quality of associability is forever absent in the composite bodies constituted by less than infinitely infinite (anantānanta) atoms. Only when the number of constituent ultimate atoms exceeds the threshold of non-associability, then and only then they could be used by the psychic order of existence. This does not mean that all the composite bodies with larger number than mentioned above possess this attribute. Some of them can be associated and some of them cannot be, as mentioned below.

  5. The fifth category is the first one, which crosses the above-mentioned threshold of associability. In this category, fall the groups of audārika, 102 Scientific Vision of Lord Mahāvīra vaikriya, āhāraka and svāsocchvāsa. Āhāra literally means association. Hence, ahara vargana stands for the category of Pudgala endowed with associability.

  6. Prathama agrāhya [i.e. First unassociable category].
  7. Taijas [Luminous]
  8. Second unassociable category.
  9. Bhasa [Matter essential for function of speech].
  10. Third unassociable category.
  11. Manas [Matter essential for the function of thinking].
  12. Fourth unassociable category.
  13. Karmana [Matter responsible for contaminating souls]. This is the subtlest category of Pudgala that has no practical significance.
  14. -22. These categories are of little practical significance and are merely of academic interest.

23. The 23rd category of mahāskandha i.e. The largest aggregate that pervades the entire cosmic space.

Thus, the Jain thinkers have propounded the theory of physical substance in detail. They have disclosed tremendous but scientific, realistic and rationalistic theories of physical world. For example, the Bh.S describing physical substance as a whole indicates that matter never loses its quantity. In science with comparison to this, we find the principle of conservation of Mass and that of Energy. The Bh.S mentions the dynamic nature of the physical substance right from atom to the largest aggregate known as accitta mahāskandha. They are not dynamic all the time, sometimes they are at rest. Modern physics gives parallel concept of dynamism of atomic and subatomic world through quantum and relativity theory. Besides, so far as the position of the physical substance is concerned in space and time, it has also been dealt with uncertainty. Sometimes an atom is in one space-unit and the next moment it is found in the next one space-unit. Similarly, in one moment, it is of one-degree black and the next moment, it is of twodegree or of more degree black. It is not in the least static. Quantum theory supports the philosophical dualistic approach to describe anything. According to the quantum theory, a particle does not have just a single history, as it would in a classical theory. Instead, it is supposed to follow every possible path in space-time, and each of these histories there are associated a couple of numbers, one representing the size of a wave and the other representing its position in the cycle (its phase). Likewise, there are many other facts found in Jain literature that necessitates scientific study.

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