Microcosmology: Atom In Jain Philosophy & Modern Science: [3.2.3.1] A Critique - Pudgala : Attributes - Density And Extension

Published: 28.02.2008
Updated: 13.08.2008

A paramanu being truly indivisible has no extension and will, therefore, logically occupy one space-point. The space occupied by a skandha will depend upon its density. The number of space-points occupied by a skandha of lowest density will be equal to the number of paramanus in the skandha. Thus, a diatomic skandha will occupy two space-points, a triatomic skandha three, and so on upto innumerable (asamkhyata). However, a skandha with infinite number of paramanus will have to be densely packed so as to occupy more than innumerable (asamkhyata) space-points. When more tightly packed, however, a skandha would occupy space-points much less than the number of paramanus constituting it. A skandha with infinite number of paramanus, if densely packed, may occupy only a single space-point.

And in the extreme case, infinite number of skandhas, each composed of infinitely infinite (anantananta) number of paramanus, may occupy only a single space-point. Such is the property of compressibility of pudgala.

In modern science, density varies from element to element. In each atom, 99.97% of the total mass is concentrated in the densely packed tiny nucleus, whereas in the rest of the atom, the density is very low.

That is, in the nucleus of an atom, the matter is so dense that an object of the size of a paisa would weigh 600 million tons if its atoms were as densely packed as the particles in the nucleus. Of the 92 elements found on earth, hydrogen is the lightest and plutonium and osmium are among the heaviest.

Matter, thousands of times denser than the densest substance on earth, exists in the interior of stars. It varies from 1 ton to 620 tons per cubic inch. On the other hand, the density of matter in nebulae is of the order of 10-24 of the density of water. The high-density matter in stars sometimes results in the most mysterious and fascinating objects called "black holes". The effects of the extremely high density of matter are manifested during the gravitational collapse of a massive star.

Sources
  • Jain Vishva Barati Institute, Ladnun, India
  • Edited by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • 3rd Edition 1995

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anantananta
  2. Asamkhyata
  3. Paramanu
  4. Paramanus
  5. Pudgala
  6. Science
  7. Skandha
  8. Space
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