Microcosmology: Atom In Jain Philosophy & Modern Science ► 02 ► [2.2.04] Atom In Jain Philosophy - Pudgala - Other Important Attributes (Modes) - Light And Darkness

Posted: 09.09.2007

2. Light And Darkness

Light is an attribute of pudgala and is the cause of visibility. Darkness, the anti-thesis of light and the cause of invisibility is also an attribute of pudgala [Sarvarthasiddhi, 5/24].

Darkness, according to Jain belief, is not merely absence of light but is a specific combination of physical bodies in which black colour is predominant.

There are three kinds of light radiations:

  1. Hot effulgence (atapa)
  2. Cold effulgence (udyota)
  3. Lustre (prabha)


Hot effulgence

is the sunlight or light from a fire or a lamp etc. The emission from such sources is composed of a larger proportion of heat radiations than light, e.g. sunlight is only 35% light; lamp-light is 7 to 10%.

Cold effulgence

on the other hand, predominates in light radiations, and there is very little heat, if at all. Reflection of sunlight by moon etc. falls into this kind. Light radiated from the tiny body of a glow-worm is 99% light and only 1% heat.


is light rays emitted by certain gems and the like.

Shadows (chhaya) and images are also produced by light, and are, therefore, physical objects.

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