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

Are words an instrument of knowledge?

Are words an instrument of knowledge? And, if so, what sort of? Are they an instance of inference insofar as one infers the meaning on the basis of the words used? Or are they are an independent instrument of knowledge, Continue reading

Why are postulation (arthāpatti) and inference not the same thing?

Arthāpatti ‘postulation’ is the instrument of knowledge through which we know that Devadatta is out given that he is alive and not home. In Classical India, just like among contemporary scholars, several thinkers (especially of the Nyāya school) have tried Continue reading

Anand Venkatkrishnan on Vedānta, bhakti and Mīmāṃsā through the history of the family of Āpadeva and Anantadeva in 16th–17th c. Banaras

When, where and how did bhakti become acceptable within the Indian intellectual élites?