What is Mimamsa?

Mimamsa is the Indian branch of philosophy considered to be founded by Jaimini Rishi, but Mimamsa science was there even before the period of Jaimini. It has two parts, the initial part of Vedas, known as Karma Kanda or Purva Mimamsa and the later part of Vedas, known as Brahma Kanda or Uttara Mimamsa.

Since the Uttara Mimamsa deals only with the items of debates about soul of the human life, it is still under public usages and practices. The Purva Mimamsa requires high grade knowledge of Vedas so it is less popular but more practical in Vedic life and in Indian astrological remedies, it is openly and frequently used as Parihara Karmas.    

Who wrote Markandeya Purana? 

Vyasa Maharshi had written Markandeya Purana. But Vyasa got the story and principles of Goddess Devi from Markandeya Maharshi. More about Mimamsa Science is elaborated in Markandeya Purana.

With the example of birds feeding their young ones, in Markandeya Purana, the divinity of Goddess is explained. The works and results of the living bird are referred as the principles of motherhood as well as hidden secret principles of Mimamsa. Since Vyasa was the teacher of Jaimini, it could be proved as Mimamsa existed prior to Jaimini Rishi.

Represntative image of jaimini Maharshi writing scriptures while sitting under a tree
Represntative image of jaimini Maharshi
Who were the disciples of Vyasa and what were their contributions?

Vedavyasa had four prime disciples and they were Paila, Vaishampayana, Jaimini and Sumanthu. Paila was responsible for Rigveda, Vaishampayana Yajurveda, Jaimini Samaveda and Sumanthu for Atharva veda. In additions to these books, they contributed to Puranas and other philosophical texts called as Dharma shastras.

Jamini was considered as the founder of Mimamsa branch of Indian philosophy. Shukamuni was elder than these disciples, and he was the son as well as the disciple of Vedavyasa Rishi. 

How Mimamsa is classified according to works?

There are three types of Karma(works) or actions, Nitya, Naimittika and Kamya. Nitya Karma includes Yajna, Dana and Tapas, and such actions are time-oriented and the Sankalpa or oath of action clarifies the purpose of performing the works, place and time. Naimittika is reasonable or casual works. Kamya means due to desires.

Trikala puja is performed to get some desired results. Shiva puja is done to get wealth and family welfare, Mrityunjaya homa to get prosperity, and so on. If these works are done considering Mimamsa aspects, the results are guaranteed. 

How Mimamsa is classified according to time?

The purpose of doing work is to get happiness. Sanchita means what is already achieved in balance of virtues or sins accumulated due to past events. Agami means to be had in future. Prarabdha is related to relatives, liked friends, premises, or hereditary. Sins or virtues are the two factors in this philosophy.

Sanchita, Prarabda and Agami are the three types of Mimamsa classified subjects but this branch of knowledge has lost its scope due to the financial poverty conditions of the learned scholars and its teachers. In ancient ages, there were Mimamsakarakas Parishads, formed with Vedic scholars, having good experiences, with such priest-hoods and regular practices. 

What is the easiest way to know about the science of Mimamsa?

The science of Mimamsa is well explained in the shlokas of Bhagavad Geetha. The Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga are the best examples of Karma Kanda told in the old subject of Mimamsa including the Karma Phala. 

न हि ज्नानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते ।
तत्स्वयं योग संसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ॥ 

Meaning: There is no equivalent thing as holy as the knowledge. That is self- achievable through the practice of yoga in due course of time.

Hence the easiest way to follow and to have the good results of Mimamsa is to memorise Bhagavad Geetha daily in routine life, and serve the God by means of performing one’s own duties dedicatedly.   

What is the main difference in style of thought between Indians and others? 

Indian style of scriptures state Knowledge is the God’s blessing, and the most holiest and incomparable. But according to a few other thinkers, Knowledge is a kind of problem in life. 

Why the remedies prescribed by the astrologers as Pariharas result in success?

When the remedies prescribed are in accordance with the Mimamsa laws and rules, the performances of the doer get successful and the different planets, moving in their unmistaken path and positions, provide the results always watching the actions of the performers. The angels get quickly satisfied as they are subordinate servants of God. Angels usually prefer to accept the grains and herbals and get pleased normally.

Since all the Vedas are in oral orders, no single priest can finish the rituals and hence at least two scholars may be witnessing the sacrifices and conducting the offering actions. The reciting verses, the offering items and the sacrificing methods should be convinced by both the scholars. The Vedic scholars are not depending up on any written books, since they had already practiced in oral order of Chandobaddha Shlokas, and hence experts.   

सह यज्ञा: प्रजा: सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजपतिः ।
अनेन प्रसयिष्यध्व मेषवोऽस्त्विष्ट कामधुक् ॥

Meaning: After creating the human beings, the creator Brahma advised the people on this Earth to have their desired legal wishes by performing the Yajnas since such Yajnas were also created with them for the same purpose.   

Krishna repeated the above lines in Bhagavad Geetha in support of Mimamsa Science. It is a part of practice of Karma yoga.

How to achieve welfare in the society as per the views of Krishna?
देवान् भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः ।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ ॥

Meaning: Offer the Angels and Honor them respectfully and accept the balances as their gifts. Mutually with one another, you treat with good thoughts. By means of mutually and generously treating and thinking about one another, the people of the society as a whole would get their welfare.

According to Krishna people should co-operate in the society and there lies the secrets of their welfare. It is a part of practice of Jnana yoga.

How Shankaracharya explained Mimamsa?

Shankaracharya explained, God exists and he can incarnate as Rama or Krishna. Anybody can be enlightened to the level of God, and hence he declared the words in Sanskrit as Aham Brahmasmi. He was fully conversant in Sanatana Dharma and thus he had composed the Geetha Bhashya. The initial part or Purva Mimamsa explained by him called Karma Kanda and Uttara Mimamsa was explained as Upanishads or Brahma Jnana Kanda.

How Madhvacharya explained Mimamsa?

Madhvacharya explained the knower within the living self is life and the known universal or eternal soul is God and by sitting in front of Krishna, the two existences could be perceived really. He debated in dualism all vedas are generated by God himself and this changing world is also real.

In the Madhvacharya arguments, Dvaita and Mimamsa move together and show strong hold for the Sanatana Dharma. His views are not only supporting Shankaracharya Mimamsa Darshana but reinforce both Purva and Uttara parts of Mimamsa. His Geetha Bhashya hence got worldwide acceptance.  

How Ramanujacharya explained Mimamsa?

Ramanujacharya had clearly classified the Indian philosophies into six group headings. These are Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. He had not founded them but picked up them from the Shankara School of thoughts. The initial five are the replica of Advaita system but only the sixth one Vedanta is more sophisticated and explains as Vishishta-advaita. The Geetha Bhashya written by Ramanujacharya is his proof. A father, mother or son would have only one God and that is God, and the same principle is his support for Mimamsa.

How Buddhism explained Mimamsa?

Since Buddhism does not support desires, Karma Kanda had nothing to do in Buddhism and hence later failed to fulfill the desires of human beings. Thus slowly Buddhism vanished away from India. 

How Jainism explained Mimamsa?

Since Jainism mainly supports non-violence, Karma Kanda or Mimamsa had nothing to do in Jainism and hence later, social developments were seen fulfilled with its merger within Sanatana Dharma. Thus steadily Jainism remained in India maintaining its status quo. 

How Parsi religion explained Mimamsa?

Parsi religion supports happiness in life and does not interfere in the subject of Mimamsa science. 

How Sikh religion explained Mimamsa?

Sikh religion supports prestige in life and does not interfere in the subject of Mimamsa but after death, funeral is similar to the systems of Sanatana Dharma. Therefore, Ganga River is holy for every Sikh follower.

How foreigners explained Mimamsa?

Foreigners support only physical happiness in life and do not interfere in the subject of Mimamsa. They do not think of rebirth also. It is recommended to follow pure vegetarianism food habits to understand Mimamsa science.

The varna system of classification in society also related to Mimamsa. 

What is the opinion of Vyasa on Mimamsa Science?
सुखस्य दुःखस्य न कोपि दाता परो ददातीति कुबुद्धिरेषा ।
अहं करोमीति वृथाभिमानः स्वकर्म सूत्रेण ग्रथितो हि लोकः ॥

Meaning: There is not a third party provider for the pleasures or sorrows, the very same thought being certainly crookedness. Thinking, as I shall do my pleasures or sorrows is futile and false egotism. This world is already woven by the past Karma Kandas and the Mimamsa science.   

Thus Veda Vyasa Rishi had taught Jaimini, the same had been postulated.     

How a curse or blessing is explained with reference to Mimamsa?

Penance is a special kind of work which is directly related to Mimamsa. A curse of a man practicing penance results in its right time without fail because the Purva Mimamsa guarantees, in the following shloka of Bhagavad Geetha:

कर्मण्येवधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्म हेतुर्भू  मा ते संगोस्तु अकर्मणि ॥

 Meaning: Human beings have the right in Karma or actions. There is no right to provide its results. Don’t be the cause or reasonable one for the idleness or don’t be affiliated to simply time pass, since time is also the form of God and Mimamsa science makes living beings do Karma always.

Similarly, the blessings of parents, teachers, or the donors result in welfare. In Sanatana system, a few drops of water are offered to God, Rishi scholars, or ancestral parents in token memory of thankfulness, called as Tarpana.

What was the main purpose of studying and debating about Mimamsa? 

The main purpose of studying and conducting the debates about Mimamsa was to provide domestic happiness of human life to Sanatana Dharma followers and their neighbours. The good fruits of Sanatana principles are later brought into practices by its sincere followers, after knowing their previous errors in their life styles.  

The Jaimini sutras are the leading principles of Mimamsa. Initially, he had also postulated astrological sutras but due to the planets motions and geographical change of situations, they were later edited by several writers according to the human requirements for the happy family life, with the names as yogas. The results of works, like taking a dip in the holy water of River Ganga or participating in Kumbha Mela are the best examples of Karma Kanda, or Mimamsa science, where finally the Tarpana offering is generally practiced. 

How Mimamsa is classified according to Vedic branches?

There are ten types of Vedic branches of Shruthi hymns. Naturally, the related prayogas or experiments enriched with their Karma kandas have ten types of Mimamsa styles. The ten branches of Vedas are always there in India as studied by different Veda shakha practitioners living in different parts of India.

Out of these ten branches, disciples were studying in maximum interested branches, but in life, for their own practice, one branch was sufficient. Only for teaching purpose the knowledge of other branches were used. Mimamsa science with its different Karma kanda methods differs in these ten branches.

  1. Rigveda
    1. Shakhala Shakha – Atri Rishi propagated.
  2. Atharva Veda
    1. Shaunakiya shakha – Shaunaka Rishi propagated
    2. Pippaladaya shakha – Pippalada Rishi propagated
  3. Sama Veda
    1. Kautuma shakha – Ajaputra Rishi propagated
    2. Jaiminiya shakha – Jaimini Rishi propagated
    3. Ranayaniya shakha – Aditya Rishi propagated
  4. Yajur Veda
    • Shukla Yajurveda:
      1. Kanva shakha – Kanva Rishi propageted
      2. Madhyandina shakha – Vajasaneya Rishi propagated
    • Krishna Yajurveda:
      1. Taittariya shakha – Yajnavalkya Rishi propagated
      2. Maitrayaniya shakha – Maitreyi lady Rishi propagated

Thus, in total, ten Rishis were represented in a full-fledged Mimamsakara Parishad. Seven teachers of the above Rishis are having star positions, called as Saptarshis.  

What is the benefit of reading of this article?

According to Sanatana Dharma, there are purposes for human life. As to why should one human being live, the specific answer is to experience the four purusharthas in life. These are termed as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. The Mimamsa science lays the guide lines for the life for the Sanatana Dharma family members.

After six months, a child should be given solid foods and it is called Anna prashana karma. After three years, a child should be administered into letter writing and it is called Vidyarambha karma. After Education and starting a job, a person may be eligible for married life or to be a free yogi by following its principles and these are called Vivaha karma or Naishtika Bhrahmacharya( lifelong bachelor). These are a few examples and in total named as Dharma Karmas.

If a person deviates from his Dharma karma, immediately, he would not be getting any adverse results. But in due course of time, nature of this Earth and planets in the horizon when positioned in different combinations, termed as yogas, the delinquent person starts experiencing less favourable or unhappy results in life, and then he may desire or start to consult and check his own past events.

One need not worry, in Sanatana Dharma, there are easy remedies and one could rectify the mistakes committed in the past. Kumarila Bhatta was famous for the self-punishments but in our current times, it may be better to read and follow Bhagavad Geetha teachings. Peaceful, comfortable and a happy life is the benefit of reading this article. Success in the desired achievements is guaranteed for the sincere follower of the Mimamsa Science.

In future also, readers may expect better articles in this website frequently.   

Esteemed readers would get solutions for life problems by browsing this website. 

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