Tag Archives: vaisrasik

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.


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