Sacred Matter: Reflections on the Relationship of Karmic and Natural Causality in Jaina Philosophy [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 40 (2):119-176 (2012)
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
Keywords Ascetic body  Power  Sacred matter  Relics   Stūpas  Jaina karman theory  Theory of pariṇāma  Theory of multiple causation  Principle of the excluded third   do-kiriyiyā-vāya   terāsiyā-vāya   cattara-bhaṃgā
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-011-9150-z
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