Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Mimamsa: Uttara Mimamsa



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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the orthodox Hindu philosophical schools, Vedanta and Mimamsa seem the preferred ones.
If one moves back to the pre-Vedanta period of the Mimamsa school of exegesis, the idea of textual dependence becomes so textualized that it threatens to swallow up human concerns altogether.
There are innumerable arguments and innumerable instances those go against the thesis of the sabdabodha in the schools of Nyaya and mimamsa.
The task of reconciling the different Upanishadic texts is assigned in the Vedic literature to a system called Mimamsa, which means investigations or inquiry.
A esta luz, no es de extranar que a menudo Sankara se desvie de sus propios planteamientos para lanzar feroces criticas contra los proponentes de la escuela nyaya, y aun de la escuela mimamsa, por lo que el considera su ciega confianza en la razon humana per se, en detrimento de una busqueda exegetica de la verdad basada en una fe inquebrantable en la palabra del Veda.
The notion of adhikara and other related human rights concepts, as explained by Jaimini and further developed in the Mimamsa logic in public argumentation, can be interpreted as providing the foundation of human rights using a contemporary legal and ethical idiom of India.
His idea of merit or dharma is the same as that of Mimamsa and his idea of attaining ultimate well-being by studying grammar and connective language is the same as that of the Mimamsa notion attaining the highest delight (priti) by performing sacrifices with correct use of the Vedic mantras.
94) According to both the Vedanta traditions and the Purva Mimamsa (ritualist) traditions that preceded them, however, these scriptures are regarded as an "authorless" (apauruseya) and eternal revelation.
9) The Sri Bhasya is Ramanuja's commentary on the Uttara Mimamsa Sutras, the systematization of Upanisadic teaching, ca.
Ramanuja Tatacharya has made many contributions to scholarship on Sanskrit writings in several areas of learning, particularly Nyaya, Mimamsa, and Vyakarana.
Smriti literature includes the Dharmasutras, Itihasa (histories, including the epics Mahabharata and the Ramayana), Purana (18 books that focus on Shiva or Vishnu as the preferred supreme deity), Vedanga (six auxiliary disciplines for the understanding and tradition of the Vedas), Agama (the Vaishnava, Shaiva, and Shakta doctrines), and Darshana (philosophies--six in number, including the Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa) texts.