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Related to Mimamsa: Uttara Mimamsa
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the six traditional schools of Hindu philosophy that deals with the interpretation of the Vedas. It is also called Karma Mimamsa (the Mimamsa of action) and Purva Mimamsa (the first Mimamsa), as distinguished from Uttara Mimamsa, or Vedanta. The founder of Mimamsa is considered to be Jaimini, who lived between the fourth century B.C. and the second century of the Common Era. Jaimini expounded the ideas of Mimamsa in the form of sutras.

The practical aspect of Mimamsa was formulated for the purpose of ordering the complex Vedic ritual. The theoretical problems of Mimamsa arose during the codification of the Vedic texts as the supreme religious authority of Hinduism. These problems dealt with the formal verification and semantic interpretation of the Vedic formulas (mantras), the definition of language norms, and the correlation of Vedic utterances with ritual procedures. For this reason, social philosophy and the philosophy of language were of major importance. In both instances, Mimamsa doctrine developed from an extreme ontological realism. The doctrine asserts the eternalness and uncreatedness of the Vedas and declares changes in the world of things impossible, since all things are only derivatives of the eternal models of Vedic actions. The absence of the problem of the creation and destruction of the world led Mimamsa to deny the necessity of god. Nevertheless, sacrifices should be made to the gods for the preservation of traditional social harmony.

The problem of liberation (moksa), cardinal for Indian philosophical ethics, has no real social significance for Mimamsa. Proceeding from an absolute understanding of ritual norms, Prabhakara (seventh century) formulated a doctrine of the foundations of social existence that anticipated I. Kant’s categorical imperative. The Mimamsa theory of cognition provides a de-tailed treatment of the problems of dogmatic justification of the truth and elaborates methods of using authoritative testimony as the source of truth.

The ontological realism of Mimamsa in its approach to the philosophy of language made it possible for Kumarila Bhatta (seventh century) to develop a linguistic theory in which different levels of linguistic structure and speech behavior were distinguished. In the field of logic, the followers of Mimamsa (particularly Prasastapada, sixth to seventh centuries) contributed to the realistic theory of relations later developed in Nyaya.

Denying the necessity for religious liberation and asceticism, Mimamsa affirms the positive ideal of an active life in society ( Grhastha-dharma). Mimamsa, along with Vedanta, contributed to the formation of the social system of Hinduism, where rigid adherence to a ritual norm coexists with the broadest dogmatic tolerance.


Edgerton, F. Mimamsa Nyaya Prakasa of Apadevi. Oxford, 1941.
Jha, G. The Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini Allahabad, 1910.
Keith, A. B. The Karma Mimamsa. Calcutta, 1921.
Sastri, P. Introduction to Purva Mimamsa. Calcutta, 1923.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For the possible meaning of artha in this context, however, we must look to the Mimamsa usage of artha in a similar context.
Among the orthodox Hindu philosophical schools, Vedanta and Mimamsa seem the preferred ones.
Mimamsa concentrates on the performance of Vedic rituals as dharma, as social and religious duty.
studied other Hindu theologies of scripture, such as Mimamsa or schools exegeting the Upanishads and later devotional scriptures, he might have taken into account scripture's content and its role in the lives of believers.
Clooney reads the Bible in the way that the Vedantins of the Mimamsa schools read the Vedas.
There are innumerable arguments and innumerable instances those go against the thesis of the sabdabodha in the schools of Nyaya and mimamsa. Without taking note of them how can the Naiyayikas and Mimamsakas come forward of having a sophisticated theory of linguistic understanding, let it be Abhihitanvaya-vada by Bhattas, Anvitabhidhana-vada by Prabhakaras or Samsargamaryadavada by the Naiyayikas.
The task of reconciling the different Upanishadic texts is assigned in the Vedic literature to a system called Mimamsa, which means investigations or inquiry.
One of the early schools of yoga, the Mimamsa, asserted that the Sanskrit language is not merely a language but an emanation of being in sound.
He does help us tremendously, however, by discussing the matter in terms of presuppositions rather of schools (though the mimamsa specifically, being a text-oriented tradition, does get its share) or of individuals (though Abhinavagupta and Anandavardhana, the author of the Dhvanyaloka, who has become quite popular of late, are also used as points of departure for the arguments).
The term Vedanta means in Sanskrit the "conclusion" (anta) of the Vedas, the earliest sacred literature of India; it applies to the Upanishads, which were elaborations of the Vedas, and to the school that arose out of the study (mimamsa) of the Upanishads.
They are: (1) Mimamsa, which relies on the ritual practices in the Vedas as the way to salvation; (2) Vedanta, teachings based on the Upanishads; (3) Sankhya, a nontheistic school that instills principles relating to a strict dualism of soul and matter; (4) and (5)
Elisa Ganser, in "Elements of Ritual Speculation in the Abhinavabharati," continues an important scholarly discussion about the extent to which Mimamsa ritual hermeneutics influenced Kashmiri aesthetics.