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Sacred Matter: Reflections on the Relationship of Karmic and Natural Causality in Jaina Philosophy

Flügel, Peter (2012) 'Sacred Matter: Reflections on the Relationship of Karmic and Natural Causality in Jaina Philosophy.' Journal of Indian Philosophy, 40 (2). pp. 119-176.

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Abstract

The article examines a fundamental problem in classical Jaina philosophy, namely, the ontological status of dead matter in the hylozoistic and at the same time dualistic Jaina worldview. This question is of particular interest in view of the widespread contemporary Jaina practice of venerating bone relics and stūpas of prominent saints. The main argument proposed in this article is, that, from a classical doctrinal point of view, bone relics of renowned ascetics are valuable for Jainas, if at all, because of their unique physical attributes, rather than the presumed presence of the deceased in the remains as posited in much of the extant literature on relic worship across cultures. The specific focus of the article are Jaina and non-Jaina explanations of the qualities of special matter in terms of karmic and natural processes of transformation.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: Ascetic body – Power – Sacred matter – Relics – Stūpas – Jaina karman theory – Theory of pariṇāma – Theory of multiple causation – Principle of the excluded third – do-kiriyā-vāya – terāsiyā-vāya – cattara-bhaṃgā
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions > Centre of Jaina Studies
ISSN: 00221791
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1007/s10781-011-9150-z
Depositing User: Peter Flugel
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2012 10:30
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13427

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