The role of the prescription to learn the Veda

Why should one study Mīmāṃsā? In order to understand the meaning of the Veda, say Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā authors. But why should one learn the Veda? According to Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā, because a Vedic prescription itself tells you to do so. The Continue reading

Hyman’s analysis of atheism and some interesting Indian parallels

Gavin Hyman explains in his 2007 contribution to Martin’s Cambdride Companion to Atheism as well as in his 2010 A Short History of Atheism that atheism is always the refusal of a given form of theism. In particular, in European Continue reading

Bhavanātha and the move towards theistic Mīmāṃsā

The Mīmāṃsā school of Indian philosophy started as an atheist school since its first extant text, Jaimini’s Mīmāṃsā Sūtra. At a certain point in its history, however, it reinterpreted its atheist arguments as aiming only at a certain conception of Continue reading

Why should one study the meaning of the Veda? I.e., why studying Mīmāṃsā? (It is hard to present your research program to the public)

At a certain point in the history of Mīmāṃsā (and, consequently, of Vedānta), the discussion of the reasons for undertaking the study of Mīmāṃsā becomes a primary topic of investigation. When did this exactly happen? The space dedicated to the Continue reading

Proximity, semantic fitness and syntactic expectancy as criteria for the sentence meaning

Words (for the Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā authors) get connected into a complex sentence meaning through proximity (sannidhi), semantic fitness (yogyatā) and syntactic expectancy (ākāṅkṣā). These three criteria correspond to the requirement of being uttered one after the other with no intervening Continue reading

Meanings of Words and Sentences in Mīmāṃsā

Mīmāṃsakas of both the Bhāṭṭa and the Prābhākara subschools refute the idea of a sphoṭa carrying the meaning and being different from what we experience, namely phonemes and words, since this contradicts the principle of parsimony and our common experience. Continue reading

The Mīmāṃsā approach to the sentence meaning as something to be done

According to Mīmāṃsā authors, and unlike Nyāya ones, Vedic sentences do not convey the existence of something, but rather that something should be done. This means that the entire Veda is an instrument of knowledge only as regards duties and Continue reading

Who is the Īśvara of the Yogasūtra/Pātañjalayogaśāstra?

Is Īśvara in the Yogasūtra/Pātañjalayogaśāstra just the model of a puruṣa who has realised its being separated from nature? Or is He an omnipotent (and perhaps compassionate) God?

Śabara on sentences

The discussion on the epistemological validity of sentences starts in Jaimini’s Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra (PMS) and in Śabara’s commentary thereon when the opponent notes that, even if —as established in PMS 1.1.5— there were really an originary connection between words Continue reading