Mimamsa The Philosophy of Vedic Dharma Mimamsa = Investigation √man of the correct understanding of the Vedas Purva Mimamsa Earlier Exegesis School karma-kanda: ritual action section— three Vedas shruti, Brahmanas Uttara Mimamsa Later Exegesis School Vedanta jnana-kanda knowledge section, Upanishads Ultraorthodox and conservative philosophical defense of the Vedas as revealed truth, Vedic ritualism and dharma, i.e. varna-asrama-dharma and Hindu caste society. Dharmashastra Brahmanical law Robust and hardheaded realism in the service of revelation. Like Thomas Reid’s Commonsense Realism 18th cen. To prove the self-validity and supersensuous infallibility of the Vedas. No transcendental creator God. Eternal universe. The Gods like Agni, Indra, Surya, and Vishnu are just names that appear in the Vedas with the power of mantra. Sacramental atheism Atheist fundamentalism Shruti Vidhi: Vedic commandments Nisheda: Vedic prohibitions Arthavada: the non-obligatory parts of the Vedas, a statement of praise or explanation. Most of the Vedas proper consist of arthavadas as much of the Vedic hymns are in praise of some god, and do not lay down any injunction. Main Texts and Authors Jaimini Mimamsa Sutra (200 BCE-200 CE) foundational text Sabara Bhasya (3rd-4thth century CE) first commentary on Jaimini Kumarila 7th century CE Slokavarttika commentary on Sabara Tantravarttika Prabhakara 7th century CE Kumarila Bhatta Topics in the first chapter of the Mimamsa Sutra 1. Now, the enquiry into dharma. 2. Dharma is that which is indicated by the Vedas as conducive to the highest good. 3. Dharma is not accessible by such means of cognition as sense perception and inference. 4. Dharma is something is yet to come and does not exist at the time that it is known. Hence, sense perception cannot be the means of knowing dharma. 5.Dharma is cognized by verbal injunctions (shruti). 6. The relation between the word and its meaning is inherent. 7.Eternality of words. 8.The Veda is not the work of any person (apauresheya). 9.There is such a thing as apurva (transcendental power of karma) shakti How does karma work? • Apurva: the power or shakti of karma. • The invisible causal potency and efficacy in performing ritual and following dharma that connects the action with its future fruits. • Nyaya accepts adrsti, the unseen, but rejects the category of shakti. Categories of Reality (padarthas) Mimamsa pushed realism to a radical extreme, accepting the categories of Nyaya-Vaisesika and adding new, curious ones of its own: • Substance dravya e.g. darkness and sound • Potency shakti • Non-existence abhava (4 kinds in Kumarila) Theory of Knowledge • Svatah pramanyam: intrinsic validity, the self authenticating nature of cognition. • Validity arises from the very conditions of knowledge. When the conditions have no defect, the cognition is true. • Our perceptions and beliefs are pragmatically warranted and trustworthy. • A valid cognition can only be falsified by inference from another cognition. Error Since every cognition apprehends something real, no error is possible. Rather there is insufficiency in the conditions of the cognition. Non-representational theory of perception We see real things directly, not ideas or representations of them. No skepticism about or distrust of consciousness is warranted. Six Pramanas Word or testimony sabda Perception pratyaksa Inference anumana Analogy or comparison upamana Presumption or implication arthapatti Non-perception anupalabdhi Theory of Language • Sanskrit is the perfect paradigm of all languages, the eternal and sacred expression of reality. • It has no author, human or divine. • Sanskrit words and their meanings are eternally united. • They are universal forms or archetypes like Platonic ideas. • They are not the sound of the actual spoken language. Sanskrit is the eternal, universal language "May we attain that excellent glory of Savitr the god: So may he stimulate our prayers.” Gayatri Mantra from the Rg Veda The individual Sanskrit phonemes are also eternal. • Later schools of Mimamsa accept moksa, rebirth, and theism. • But liberation from reincarnation is still only attained by following Vedic dharma, not by asceticism, renunciation, yoga, or worship of the gods. • For Kumarila, the soul after death is free from suffering, but not blissful, just as it is in Nyaya-Vaisheshika.