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Understanding Of Matter In Jainism

In Jainism, the concept of Pudgalastikaya revolves around the understanding of matter, known as "pudgala," which embodies various qualities such as touch, taste, smell, and color. However, it doesn't include sound as a quality but rather perceives it as a modification of matter. This philosophical perspective categorizes material substances into elementary particles, which are referred to as atoms. Each atom is described as occupying one "pardesha."

Matter, according to Jain doctrine, can exist in either atomic or molecular form. Although the atom itself is not directly perceptible by the senses, it is understood to be perceivable in the form of "skands" or molecular structures. Consequently, within Jainism, matter is conceptualized as "pudgalastikaya," possessing the quality of extension or occupying space. It is also described as "rupin," meaning it has a definite form.

Moreover, matter in Jainism is believed to be capable of integration and disintegration processes. When a molecule breaks down into its constituent atoms, these atoms are termed "effect-atoms." Among them, there are certain atoms known as "cause-atoms," which play a role in forming the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. These elements are considered fundamental constituents of the material world according to Jain cosmology.