What happens when commands clash? A standard devise to deal with the topic is the idea of taking one as a general rule and the other as a specific one. In Sanskrit, these are called, respectively, utsarga and apavāda. Mīmāṃsā authors have, however, other devices.
For instance, Kumārila, discusses the prohibition to perform violence and its seeming conflict with the ritual prescription to perform ritual killing within a given sacrifice.
See his Commentary in verses (Ślokavārttika), chapter on Injunction (codanā), vv. 223—224:
तेन सामान्यतः प्राप्तो विधिना न निवारितः ||
फलांशोपनिपातिन्या हिंसायाः प्रतिेषेधकः |
“Therefore the prohibition to killing, obtained in general applied and not stopped by another injunction, prohibits the killing when it pertains to the fruit-portion |
Is this a case of a general rule overturned by a specific one (as claimed in Kei Kataoka 2012, Is Killing Bad?)?
If it were so, we would have the general prohibition to perform violence (F(violence)/T) being overruled by the more specific obligation to perform ritual killing in a specific setting:
O(violence)/sacrifice for Agni and Soma
However, this is not the solution adopted by Kumārila. Rather, Kumārila’s point is that the original prohibition to perform violence should be reconfigured as a prohibition regarding only violence as the result of the action, and not regarding instrumental violence.
That is, according to Kumārila, the Vedic prohibition to perform violence should not be read as
F(violence as a result)/T
which does not conflict with (instrumental violence)
Comments, as usual, welcome!