Author: , Priest, Dharma teacher, counselor, Gov. Advisor (1998-present)
April 10th, 2020
Mīmāṁsa means “investigation”
Mīmāṁsa – properly known as PŪRVA (prior) Mīmāṁsa are the rules of interpretation of Vedic texts – a science known as Exegesis. It lays down the 100 + rules for how one is to read and understand the Yajur Veda and all the texts relating to yajña and Dharma. It is an atheistic system.
- The Mīmāṁsa Sūtras open with athāto dharma jijñāsaḥ — “now, therefore, the investigation into Dharma”.
Vedānta – known as UTTARA (latter) Mīmāṁsa – relies on the very same rules of exegesis and methodology in order to interpret all the statements in the Upaṇiṣads regarding ātman and Brahman and the goal & the way.
- The Vedānta sūtras open with athāto brahmā jijñāsaḥ — “Now, therefore, the investigation into the Ultimate Reality”.
Rāmānujācārya insisted on the study of Mīmāmsa BEFORE Vedānta, but Shankarachārya did not.
In their commentaries on the Brahmā-sūtras, both Ācāryas use the rules and methodology of Mīmāṁsa to frame their arguments, establish their position and to refute the others.
And it is most important to stress – Vedānta is a PRAGMATIC system of philosophy so the theoretical understanding of BRAHMAN must translate into practice through DHARMA.