Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Purva Mimamsa - Part I

FAQ on pUrva mImAmsA (PM)
1. What is pUrva mImAmsA (PM)?
eans "antecedent", and "mImAmsA" means examination. So "pUrva mImAmsA" "pUrva" means "Examination of the antecedent (portions of the Veda)".anishhad. PM studies the first three parts which are commonly The Veda consists of four parts: saMhita, brAhmaNa, AraNyaka,known as "karma kANDa". The last part, the upanishhad, is known as "GYAna amental enquiry of PM?
Questions such as: 'Is there a kANDa", and is studied as "uttara mImAmsA" or VedAnta.
2. What is the fundright or wrong way to act?', 'What are the means of knowing right action from wrong action?', 'What is good Ethics". 
Thus PM is essentially an enquiry into the nature of dharma (and evil?', etc. are studied by a branch of philosophy called 'Ethics'.PM can be best construed of as "VedicDuty/Morality/Virtue), and answers ethical and moral questions from the Vedicviewpoint.

3. Why study PM?

There are at least two motivating factors to the study of PM on this the list:
(1) The chief pUrvapaksha (objection) to Shankaran VedAnta is PM. It is reasonable that without understanding the pUrvapaksha, it would be impossible to properly understandsiddhAnta (conclusion).  
(2) Non-sannyAsins are not really qualified to study VedAnta, and can (and ought to) only study PM, which is considered a stepping stone to of VedAnta, which studying VedAnta. 

4. How does PM fit into the practical aspect of advaita VedAnta?

The goal of the Vedas is Self-realization. This can be achieved only by a study
 demands pre-requisites of the student, which are: viveka  (discrimination - between the permanent and transient), vairAgya (dispassion - to objects that are transient), shhaT-sampat , and mumukshutva (Yearning for Liberation). If one does not posse (six virtues, which are - shama (calmness), dama (Self-restraint),uparati (Self-withdrawal), titikshA (forbearance), shraddhA (Conviction - in the way), samAdhAna (self-settledness) )ss the pre-requisites, then one is ineligible to study VedAnta (such study will not lead to Self-realization), and ought to practise dharma in order to develop the aforesaid qualities. The practise of dharma is aided by a thorough oks constitute the first exegeses of the Vedas - of the study of dharma, which forms the subject matter of PM. 

5. What are the texts, and who are the proponents of PM? 

The primary text of PM is Jaimini's "pUrva mImAmsA sUtra" (JPMS). Along with BAdarAyaNa's "Brahma sUtra", the two karma kANDa and GYAna kANDa portions respectively. Jaimini and BAdarAyaNa were undoubtedly contemporaries, as revealed by the fact that JPMS 1.1.5 refers to BAdarAyaNa while Brahma sUtra 1.3.31 refers to Jaimini. Tradition believes that Jaimini was a disciple of BAdarAyaNa.

key proponent) | |-->Sucharita Mishra |
The authoritative commentary on JPMS is by ShabarasvAmin, on which two sub-commentaries exist by PrabhAkara and KumArila BhaTTa. The school branches out in this manner: Jaimini (founder) | |-->ShabarasvAmin | |-->PrabhAkara | |-->KumArila BhaTTa ( |-->PArthasArathi Mishra | |-->Someshvara BhaTTa The most important and key proponent of PM is traditionally considered to be KumArila BhaTTa, whose vArttika consists of three parts: (1) shlokavArttika (1.1 of Jaimini), which gives the fundamentals of of the Vedas, questioning modes of conduct such as wine-drinking, whe dharma - what it is and how it can be known, what the differences are between PM and the other schools, various PM theories on Self, world,etc. I will be using this extensively. (2) tantravArttika (1.2 - 3.8 of Jaimini) deals heavily with arguments against the Buddhists in defense n and where to perform a Vedic rite,etc. I will only make peripheral use of this text. (3) tuptikA (remaining chapters 4-12 of Jaimini), which is "very advanced" vaidika dharma, such as the relationship between mantra-deity-yaGYa, how a particular Vedic rite (such as the ashvamedha yaGYa) should be performed, etc. I will not be using this text at all.

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