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Microcosmology: Atom In Jain Philosophy & Modern Science: [3.3.1] A Critique - Pudgala : General Properties - Paryaya

Published: 12.03.2008
Updated: 13.08.2008

Paryaya, Parinama, Kriya, Bheda (Fission) and Bandha (Fusion) - the above terms are used by Jains to show various aspects of the dynamic nature of matter. They are meant to indicate that various kinds of energies inhere and are potentially available in the different states of matter and each change of state is accompanied with release or transformation of energy.

Pudgalastikaya, assert the Jains, is an energetic and active substance. Various kinds of multifarious activities are attributed to it. First of all, there is the artha-paryaya, whichis the change of state due to its own basic transitory element. This type of modification is incessant and continuous and affects the structure of the substance itself. Secondly, there is the vyanjana-paryaya, which is intermittent and may be the result of interaction between the two substances. This type of modification may affect the substance or the inherent qualities of the substance. Thirdly, we have parinama, which means mutation or transformation i.e. change of qualities like samsthana (shape) etc. Then we have different types of motions - simple and complex oscillation, vibration, rotation, revolution and migration, collectively called kriya, which describes the dynamic nature of the substance. And finally, we have bheda i.e. splitting or fission and bandha i.e. union or fusion.


The quantum view that all particles possess potentially different combinations of other particles parallels the Jain view that pudgala undergoes incessant modification called paryaya.

Now, according to the atomic theory of modern science, atoms of all elements are composed of two parts:

  1. the nucleus which is normally static (with reference to the atom itself) and
  2. electrons which arc normally revolving around the nucleus.

The relative motion of electrons is incessant and continuous irrespective of the state of the element being solid, liquid or gaseous. It is an inherent characteristic of the structure 0f atoms. This, then, is an instance of artha-paryaya.

Two or more atoms of one element combine together to form molecules, and molecules of different elements combine together to form simple and familiar (e.g. water H2O and common salt NaCI) or complex and rare (e.g. phenylpiriliumchloride) compounds i.e. composite bodies. But each compound has its own specific chemical and physical properties under certain conditions of temperature, pressure, etc. Within the body, the molecules themselves are in state of agitation. This motion of molecules of any material substance is known as heat motion or thermal motion, for the simple reason that it is responsible for the phenomenon of heat. For, it is molecular motion that produces a certain irritation in the nervous fibres of our sense of touch and produces the sensation that we call heat. This, thermal motion exists in solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter because the amount of energy in every molecule is the same for all substance at a given temperature and the only difference is that while in some cases the molecules are able to move around, in other cases they can only vibrate in fixed position. This thermal motion appears to be an instance of vyanjana-paryaya.

The subatomic particles are dynamic patterns, which exist as integral parts of an inseparable network of interactions. These interactions involve a dynamic interplay in which particles are created and destroyed without end in continual variations of energy patterns. If two electrons come close to each other, it is possible that a photon that is emitted from one will be absorbed by the other. The process is two-way with both electron absorbing photons that were emitted by the other. The repulsive force between them is simply the cumulative effect of these exchanges of photons, the number of which increases at close range and decreases at a distance. Every subatomic interaction consists of the annihilation of the original particles and the creation of new subatomic particles. In other words, the subatomic world is a continual activity of creation and annihilation.

Subatomic particles do not just sit around being subatomic particles. There is incessant change of state due to its own basic transitory nature. An electron, for example, constantly emits and absorbs photons. In other words, first there is an electron, then there is an electron and a photon, and then there is an electron again. The interaction lasts only for about one thousand trillionth (10-15) of second. The reason that this can happen is the famous Heisenberg's Uncertainly Principle, in which there is also a reciprocal uncertainty of time and energy.

Similarly, protons also interact with themselves. First there is a proton, then there is a proton and a pion,then there is a proton again.

This is the simplest example of self-interaction. Eleven particles make their transient appearance between the time the original proton transforms into a neutron and a pion and the time it becomes a single proton again in the flicker of time permitted by the 'Uncertainty Principle'. All interactions and self- interactions of subatomic particles are instances of artha-prayaya and six-fold decrease and increase (sat-guna-hani-vrddhi) resulting from the agurulaghu guna of pudgala.

  • 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. Agurulaghu
  2. Artha-paryaya
  3. Bandha
  4. Bheda
  5. Body
  6. Guna
  7. Kriya
  8. Parinama
  9. Paryaya
  10. Pudgala
  11. Pudgalastikaya
  12. Science
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