Scientific Vision Of Lord Mahāvīra ► [05] Theory Of Atom ► Colour (Varṇa)

Posted: 03.08.2009

Here, it is necessary to be clear about the meaning of the statement 'an atom possesses one colour'. As it is quite clear from the Bh.S, an individual atom by itself never become an object of sensuous cognition and it is also mentioned that atoms are cognised in their collective form or by their behaviour only.[37 ]What, then, do we mean by saying that only one out of the five primary colours can be associated with an atom? In this context the Bh.S answers that atom is not an object of sensuous cognition yet, it can be cognised by omniscient or clairvoyent-persons of the highest category. They are able to perceive its lowest degree i.e. one degree of colour.[38] Possession of one colour simply means that an atom will reflect a precisely single wavelength corresponding to a single primary colour due to its own characteristic quality. The colour of a composite body is determined by the resultant of the multiple wavelength corresponding to multiplicity of colours of its components.[39] Thus, atom must manifest itself as having a single colour to a super-normal faculty as stated above. Whether it is actually so constituted as to behave in that fashion, it is for the physicists to determine.

Similarly, of the five different tastes and the two different smells, an atom will manifest itself possessing only one of each.

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