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Transcript of Purva mimansa
- PurvaMimansa (PM)
- Introduction: PM
Purv= antecedent ,
PurvMimansa = Investigation of antecedent (Veda)
Goal: Nature of Dharma or Ethics (Vedic).
- Key Proponents
- Mimansa Epistemology
- Source of Knowledge: Praman
Anuman (Inference) and
Sabda (testimony) by Jaimini
Upmana (Comparison) and
Arthapatti (implication) by Prabhakara
Anupalabdhi (non-apprehension) by Kumarila
Aitihya (rumor) and recollection (smrti) are excluded as valid sources of knowledge
- Perception (Pratyaksa)
Direct apprehension and it proceeds directly from sense-contact. Perception relates to object that exist, i.e. are perceptible by the senses.
Mental perception, by which there is the cognition of pleasure, pain, and the like, is admitted by the Mimamsa
It cannot apprehend supersensuous objects .Thus all those objects in which there is no sensory-contact (e.g. belonging in the past, future or distant) cannot produce cognition of them
- The method of negation or abhava
Both what is seen and what is not seen must be taken together. - Jaimini
If something is not seen, that too indicates knowledge.
The non-operation of the five means of cognition is what brings about the cognition that it does not exist the means by which this notion is brought about is called abhava.
- Anuman (Inference)
Inference depends on the knowledge of a certain fixed relation to subsist between two things.
Thus if one of these things is perceived, by inference the idea about the other thing is cognized.
Pratyaksa-to-drsta, where the invariable relation holds between two objects which are perceptible, as smoke and fire; and
Samanya-to-drsta, where the relation is not apprehended by the senses, but known only in the abstract, as in the case of the sun's motion and its changing position in the sky.
Note that the relation must be unfailing, true and permanent, such as that which subsists between the cause and its effect, whole and part, substance and quality, class and individuals.
- Vedic Testimony
Vedic Testimony is greatly emphasized according to the Mimamsa, the aim of which is to ascertain the nature of dharma.
Dharma is not a physical existent, and so it cannot be apprehended through the senses.
The other pramanas are of no use, since they all presuppose the work of perception.
Perception, inference and such other sources of knowledge have nothing to say on the point that the performer of the Agnistoma sacrifice (or specific modes of action) will draw certain benefits.
This knowledge is derived only from the Vedas. Though the pramana of the Veda is the only source of our knowledge of dharma, the others are considered, since it is necessary to show that they cannot give rise to a knowledge of dharma.
They are also found useful in repudiating wrong views.
- Verbal cognition
Verbal cognition is defined as the cognition of something not present to the senses, produced by the knowledge of words.
These words may be uttered by men or may belong to the Vedas.
The formers are valid if there is certainty that their authors are not untrustworthy; and the latter are valid in themselves.
The Mimamsakas protest against the view, which regards the Vedas as the work of God.
They believe instead that the Vedic hymns deal with the eternal phenomena of nature, and attempt to prove that every part of the sacred text refers to acts of duty. .
- Division of Veda
The contents of the Veda are also classified into
prohibitions (nisedha), and
explanatory passages (arthavada
- Mimansa Metaphysics
The Mimamsakas think that the atman is one with consciousness.
Therefore the self is regarded as distinct from the body, the senses and the understanding (buddhi).
The self is present even when buddhi (intellect) is absent (non-functional), as in sleep.
The self is also not the senses, since it persists even when the sense-organs are destroyed
- Atman and consciousness
The body is material, and in all cognitions we are aware of the cognizer as distinct from the body.
The elements of the body are not intelligent, and a combination of them cannot give rise to consciousness.
The body is a means to an end beyond itself, and so is said to serve the soul which directs it.
Cognition, which is an activity (Kriya), belongs to the substance called the soul.
.It is regarded as vibhu or all-pervading, and as able to connect itself with one body after another.
The soul directs the body, with which it is connected, until release
- Plurality of soul
The Mimamsakas adopt the theory of the plurality of selves to account for the variety of experiences
Presence of the soul is inferred from the activity of the bodies, which are inexplicable without such a hypothesis.
As one's actions are due to his soul, other activities are traced to other souls
The differences of dharma (right action) and adharma (wrong action), which are qualities of souls, require the existence of different souls
- Plurality of soul
What appears as the "I" is the self, free from all objective elements
The self is distinct from the body. The self is not perceptible in itself, but is always known as the agent (karta) of the cognition and not the object (karma).
The self cannot be the subject as well as object of consciousness.
It is the agent, the enjoyer, and is omnipresent, though non-conscious.
It is thus entirely distinct from the body, senses and understanding, is manifested in all cognitions, and is eternal.
Though it is omnipresent, it cannot experience what is going on another body, since it can experience only that which goes on in the bodily organism brought about by the past karma of the soul
- Plurality of soul
There are many souls, one in each body.
In its liberated state the soul continues to exist as a mere esse (sat), serving as the substratum of the collective cognition of all things taken together, but not feeling, since the properties of pleasure and pain cannot manifest themselves except in a body.
It is imperishable, since it is not brought into existence by any cause.
Note that the atman is consciousness itself, though the souls are many.
Since all souls are of the nature of consciousness, the Upanisads speak of them as one. The atman is consciousness as well as the substrate of cognition, which is a product of the atman.
The existence of the self is inferred through the notion of "I". The self is manifested by itself, though imperceptible to others.
- The Nature of Reality
The Mimamsaka theory of perception assumes the reality of objects, for perception arises only when there is contact with real objects.
The universe is real and is independent of the mind, which perceives it.
Thus the theory of the phenomenality of the world is not accepted.
The real can be described in terms of eight categories:
similarity (sadrsya), and
- Dharma or Ethics
Dharma is the scheme of right living.
Jaimini defines dharma as an ordinance or command. Dharma is what is enjoined, and it leads to happiness.
Activities which result in loss or pain (anartha) are not dharma.
Thus the lack of observing the commands leads not only to missing the happiness but becoming subject to suffering also.
- Authenticity of Vedas
The smrti texts (documents on traditions or customs) are supposed to have corresponding sruti texts (Vedas).
If certain smrti is known to have no matching sruti, it indicates that either the corresponding sruti was lost over time or the particular smrti is not authentic.
Moreover, if the smrtis are in conflict with the sruti, the formers are to be disregarded.
When it is found out that the smrtis are laid down with a selfish interest, they must be thrown out.
To gain salvation,
the observing of nitya karmas (regular or daily duties) like sandhya, etc., and
naimittika karmas (duties on a special occasion) are recommended
These are unconditional obligations, not fulfilling of which incurs sin (pratyavaya).
To gain special ends, kamya (optional) karmas are performed.
Thus by keeping clear of kamya karmas, one frees himself from selfish ends, and if he keeps up the unconditional (nitya and naimittika) duties he attains salva