Tag Archives: pudgal

Identifiers of Pudgal

<< Previous Class

Continuing our discussion in understanding, defining, and identifying pudgal (matter & energy), let’s check out some more perspectives. There are many other important & unique qualities of pudgal, which only exist in pudgal, but only in some of its paryāy. Thus, presence of these, leads us to identify pudgal. However, absence of these doesn’t mean anything, as these are not the characteristic (always present) qualities of pudgal.

Today, let’s talk about five such identifiers or modes:

  1. Sound
  2. Radiation
  3. Integration & Disintegration
  4. Minuteness & Largeness
  5. Shape aka Configuration

“I guess we have already talked about the pudgal’s property of integration & disintegration under the name of fusion & fission”, interrupted Tatva.

Yes, exactly. In fact, that’s where we started with when defining pudgal. And had also summarized that fusion & fission is an identifier of pudgal, only when the pudgal is changing, and hence is not a characteristic quality. However, the reason to take that up again is today we are going to discuss all these non-characteristic qualities from their classification perspective.

You mean to say, today we are going to further sub-divide all these five top-level non-characteristic qualities.

Yes. Doing that would throw light into their details, helping us to better identify pudgal, using them.

Okay. That’s interesting. I wonder, what do you further sub-classify sound into?

No worry. Let’s begin.

Sound is produced only when two or more physical objects collide or separate – and hence it is not an characteristic quality of pudgal. In fact, a parmāṅu cannot produce sound by itself. So, let’s sub-classify sound based on its origin. 1) Natural or spontaneous (vaisrasik), e.g. thunder and 2) Produced by living beings (prayogik), e.g. speaking, clapping, etc.

“What about the sound produced by dropping of a stone?”, questioned Indriya.

If natural drop, them it belongs to the first category. If dropped by you, it would fall under the second category. The second category can be further sub-classified into 1) Lingual (bhāṡātmak) and 2) Non-lingual (abhāṡātmak). Lingual could be articulate, i.e. made up of alphabets (the one spoken by humans), and inarticulate, e.g. the one spoken by animals. Non-lingual is basically produced using non-living things like musical instruments, which could be further divided into 1) tat – produced by percussion instruments like drum, 2) vitat – produced by stringed instruments like violin, 3) ghan – produced by bells etc, 4) suṡir – produced by wind instruments like flute.

That’s a lot of sub-classification.

Worry not. To simplify it, and triggered by your thought of dropping of a stone, sound could be simply classified in 3 categories: 1) Jīv – produced by living beings, 2) Ajīv – produced by non-living things, 3) Mishra – produced jointly by both.

And for sure, speaking, animal sounds would fall in the first one. Natural phenomenon sounds like thunder, stone drop, etc would fall into the second. And clapping, hitting a stone, etc would fall into the third.

Excellent.

That’s easy to remember.

Coming to radiation, again it is there only in pudgal but not all. For example, the invisibles (pudgal vargaṅā with only four touches) have no radiations. So, not a characteristic quality of pudgal. It could be divided into light & darkness, both being the attributes of pudgal, causing visibility & obstructing visibility of the (visible) pudgal, respectively. Darkness is not just absence of light, but combination of black &/or light not visible to our eyes.

“Do you mean the light not visible to our eyes is being referred to as darkness, here?”, clarified Leshyā.

Yes – the infra red, ultra violet, x-rays, radio waves, etc. And the visible light radiations could be further classified into 3 categories:

  1. Hot effulgence (ātap) – Radiations with more heat than light, e.g. sun light (35% light), lamp light (7-10% light)
  2. Cold effulgence (udyot) – Radiations with more light than heat, e.g. moon light, light from a firefly (99% light)
  3. Lustre (prabhā) – Light Radiations emitted by certain gems

But isn’t that, gems only reflect the light which fall on them?

Not always. There are certain gems, which even if you keep in absence of any light, would keep emitting light from themselves. Also note that as shadow (chhāyā) is produced by light, it is also pudgal.

Isn’t the shadow, more like the darkness attribute?

You may say so.

Coming to integration (bandh) & disintegration (bhed), they also can be classified into two: 1) Natural or spontaneous, and 2) Done by living beings. Clouds, lighting, rainbow, etc are examples of natural integrations. Radioactive decay, breakdown due to wind, rain, etc are examples of natural disintegrations. Integration & Disintegration by living beings could be further divided into two types: 1) Between pudgal & pudgal, and 2) Between pudgal & living beings.

“Various reactions like chemical, nuclear, etc would be the examples of integration & disintegration between pudgal & pudgal”, added Karm.

Yes. But why only reactions, even mixtures, cutting, grinding are all examples of the same.

I guess body is an example of integration between pudgal & living beings.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, the integration between pudgal & living beings could be broadly categorized into two: 1) karm bandh – bonding of karm particles with soul, and 2) akarm bandh – bonding of all other particles with soul, e.g. particles of breath, thought, speech, various bodies except kārmaṅ. And similarly, the disintegration between pudgal & living beings could also be classified into the same two.

“I see – this detailing gives further clarity on integration & disintegration”, added Tatva.

Minuteness & Largeness is something we talk only about physical objects. Hence, it becomes a special attribute (identifier) of pudgal, though not a characteristic quality, as minuteness & largeness are mostly relative. For example, a dot is smaller than a ball, but at the same time, it is larger than an electron.

“But you only said, there is this ultimate smallest indivisible unit of pudgal called parmāṅu – nothing should be smaller than that?”, doubted Dravya.

Absolutely right. And that is the only exception to relative minuteness. Similarly, there is just one exception to relative largeness. The ultimate largest aggregate of pudgal which pervades the entire lok, called achitt mahāskandh.

Is it a single entity?

It is the perspective from which you look at it. In a way, it is a collection of all pudgal. In another, it is the all pervading single pudgalāstikāy.

Finally for today, the shape aka configuration (sansthān). It is the ability of physical objects to extend in the (3-D) space. However, this again is irrelevant for pudgal which fits into a single space point (smallest unit of space), e.g. a parmāṅu. Hence, not a characteristic quality of pudgal.

“But isn’t it a characteristic quality of all our, so as to say, visible pudgal?”, interrupted Viṡay.

You may think so, as it is a very important & relevant attribute in our day-to-day visible world. However, from pudgal as a whole perspective, it can’t be put as a characteristic quality.

Now, how do we classify shapes? They could be of infinite varieties.

Yes. So, we can broadly classify them as regular and irregular shapes. Regular like sphere, pyramid, etc. And all the non-defined ones as irregular.

That’s nice.

Even after all these identifiers & the earlier perspectives, beware that there are many pudgal forms, which we are & would be incapable of perceiving. parmāṅu of all pudgal is definitely one such. But even many vargaṅā like kārmaṅ vargaṅā would be never perceivable by us. In fact, all the four-touch vargaṅā will never be perceivable by us.

Next Class >>

www.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF   

Matter and Energy

<< Previous Class

We started with the understanding of science as a branch of philosophy, and after that we have talked about a whole lot of things under philosophy. Lot of new information – many beyond the realm of science, like knowledge, rebirth, … – most of which seemed not directly connected with our today’s science – some seemed to have some connection, like classification of everything, living beings, space, time. And now we shall take up the one, which has the most direct connection with science, or rather is the topic of science. And this, without any doubt, would show science as one of the aspects of philosophy. Any guesses as to what it is about?

“I guess energy, atom, …”, tried Dravya.

Yes, it is about matter & energy – the physical existence – the observable world. And as it is THE topic of science, but from a different perspective, we would like to spend a few sessions on this. The philosophical term for the same is pudgal, the collection of all of which is termed pudgalāstikāy, one of the six fundamental substances of reality.

So, it includes all the sub-atomic particles, elements, compounds, all forms of energies like heat, light, sound, …

Absolutely. And till date, all of you have been knowing all of these from purely science perspective. So, now let’s look at them from the philosophical perspective. And let’s see what more do we get, to further open up doors for deep farther reaching research into science.

“That would be amazing!”, exclaimed Tatva.

The word pudgal is formed of two parts: pud meaning combine / integrate, and gal meaning separate / disintegrate. So, fundamentally anything which undergoes modification through integration and disintegration is pudgal. In the words of modern science, anything which is fusionable and fissionable is pudgal.

Okay. But that is a definition based on when its changing. How do we identify it, if it is not changing?

Exactly, that’s why that is a definition just from one perspective. Depending on the perspective, pudgal can be defined, characterized, classified from many more ways. And to start with, we would look at a few important ones.

But fundamentally all of these would be based on its qualities only, right?

Yes obviously. And not just qualities, it is specific qualities possessed exclusively by pudgal, which distinguishes it from the other five fundamental substances. Now, out of these qualities, some are found in all paryāy (forms & form changes) of pudgal, and some only in some paryāy. The former ones are called characteristic qualities (lakṡaṅ). Pudgal has four such characteristic qualities. Anyone?

“Yes, yes, we already discussed that under the 16 specific qualities: colour, taste, smell, and touch”, quipped Viṡay.

Excellent. So, pudgal can be identified by these as well.

So you mean, every pudgal will have all four of them, or at least one of them?

All four of them.

But how about energy, like sound, heat, … – they don’t have any taste or smell?

Fundamentally, even they have – just that, it is subtle in them. Moreover, as these are the characteristic qualities of pudgal, it is the only observable or mūrt substance out of the six fundamental substances. All others are non-observable aka amūrt. But beware that, pudgal is observable doesn’t mean that we’d be always able to observe it. Observing even the observables is finally limited by our capabilities, not just of our senses but even of our instruments. So in fact, there are many observables aka pudgal, which we won’t be able to observe.

“So, humanly is it not always possible to identify pudgal using even these four characteristic qualities”, questioned Indriya.

Yes. And that’s why, we have various perspectives to look at, so that it at least fits in some. On those lines, let’s explore a very commonly used method (in philosophy) of characterising any substance. It is using the four fold determinants: dravya (substance), kṡetra (location in space), kāl (time), bhāv (qualities), plus the fifth one swabhāv (also at times called guṅ) (behaviour).

Can all substances be characterized using this technique?

Yes. But remember that it is just one of the perspectives of defining. Let’s apply the technique for pudgal. Substantially, i.e. by dravya, pudgal is infinite in number, meaning there are infinite number of different physical entities. Spatially, i.e. by kṡetra, pudgal fills the complete lok (universe). Temporally, i.e. by kāl, pudgal is eternal, i.e. without any beginning and without any end. Qualitatively, i.e. by bhāv, pudgal possesses colour, taste, smell, and touch. Behaviourally, i.e. by swabhāv, pudgal is fusionable and fissionable.

In a way, we have summarized all our (till now) understanding of pudgal in the above five determinants.

Sort of. Additionally, we can talk interactionwise, i.e. about pudgal’s interaction with soul. pudgal is capable of being taken in and transformed by soul in eight forms. Five in form of the five types of bodies, we have already discussed, while discussing variety of living beings.

“You mean: oudārik, vaikriya, āhārak, tejas, kārmaṅ”, confirmed Sharīr.

Yes. The corresponding pudgal vargaṅā (collection) is taken in by soul to transform into the respective body, e.g. oudārik pudgal vargaṅā to form the oudārik body, and so on. And, the remaining three forms are to do with the vital functions of breathing, speech, and thought. All these physiological functions of living beings are possible only by taking in the corresponding pudgal vargaṅā possessing specific properties useful for specific function.

Is it that all pudgal falls into these eight vargaṅā?

No. No. There is a infinite bunch of pudgal which doesn’t interact with soul but only with other pudgal. They don’t fall under these eight. These eight are just an interactionwise understanding of pudgal with soul – so that we know that even these are non-living pudgal, not living things.

“Hmmm. Seems like many angles to understand pudgal, but none seems to completely define it”, Viṡay expressed unsatisfactorily.

Not really true. The four characteristic qualities – colour, smell, taste, touch – completely define pudgal – it is just our incapabilities that we cannot perceive them always. Let’s further categorize them for a better understanding of pudgal.

Ok.

Colour: There are five fundamental colours – black, blue, red, yellow, white.

Meaning all other colours can be formed using these. But why black & white, they are just absence & presence of all colours, right?

Yes from science perspective, but not from inherent colour perspective of pudgal. Smell: good & bad smell. Taste: acrid / spicy, bitter, astringent (kaṡailā), acidic / sour, sweet. Touch: cold, hot, positive, negative, hard, soft, heavy, light.

So, does each pudgal have one category of quality from each of the four, meaning one colour of the five, one smell of the two, one taste of the five, one touch of the eight.

That’s not really a correct question. pudgal is a general term. So, your question is like asking – does each matter has one category of quality from each of the four. And in that case, the answer also would be a general answer – it could have multiple of them. The more specific question would be about the ultimate constituents of pudgal.

“You mean atom, or electron, or may be sub-atomic particles”, added Paryāpti.

Yes – in those lines. But even they are constituted of infinite of parmāṅu – the smallest unit of pudgal. That’s why, even they could have multiple of colours, smells, tastes, and touches.

So, even these sub-atomic particles are not the smallest unit of pudgal?

No way. Think of energy. That is also pudgal. Smallest unit of pudgal has to be the smallest unit of energy also.

“Okay. So, what colour, taste, etc does this so called parmāṅu have?”, continued Viṡay.

If you talk about a parmāṅu, it would exactly have one colour, one smell, one taste, and two touches.

Any one colour, any one smell, any one taste, and any two touches. But why two touches?

Yes, any one colour, any one smell, any one taste, but NOT any two touches. Specifically, one touch of either cold or hot, and one of either positive or negative.

What about then of the other four touches?

They are formed at a grosser level by the various combination of (parmāṅu having) the first four touches.

“So, the various pudgal vargaṅā (collection) we talked about earlier, would possibly also have the other four touches”, questioned Paryāpti.

Possibly yes, but not always. For example, the vargaṅā of each of kārmaṅ body, speech, thought always constitute of only the first four touches. And the remaining five vargaṅā constitute of all the eight touches. With this level of detailing, I hope that we’d understand the intricacies of pudgal better.

“Yes, that’s lot of detailing, and wow, there is actually an ultimate unit of pudgal – the parmāṅu. Can you share more details about it?”, probed Dravya.

Definitely, we would talk about it separately. But before that we shall complete discussing some more perspectives of defining & identifying pudgal, which might be handy when we are unable to perceive its four characteristic qualities.

Next Class >>

www.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF