Mimamsa, aka: Mīmāṃsā; 9 Definition(s)


Mimamsa means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism


[Mimamsa in Purana glossaries]

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा).—A philosophical system issuing from Brahmā's mouth;1 read by the Asuras;2 an aṅga of the Vedas.3

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 3. 4; 53. 6; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 27; V. 1. 38.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 87; IV. 12. 17.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 78.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

[Mimamsa in Dharmashastra glossaries]

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा):—The central idea of Mīmāṃsā philosophy is to know dharma. The relation between this branch and Manusaṃhitā is much connected. It is because the Manusaṃhitā mainly deals with the social and religious behavior of people following the concept of dharma. So dharma plays important role in the Manusaṃhitā. This aspect of Mīmāṃsā generally is explained by commentators with the help of the definition of dharma propounded by Jaimini, the great authority on the said branch of philosophy.

(Source): Shodhganga: Facts of society in the Manusamhita

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा) refers to “analysis” or “interpretation” and represents one of the nine divisions of the Paurūṣeya classification of Śāstra knowledge; all part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person.

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Mīmāṃsā (school of philosophy)

[Mimamsa in Mimamsa glossaries]

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा) simply takes for granted the philosophical concepts of the other 5 systems; it does not enter into any analysis or debate on the nature of the Ultimate Reality, the Self, and the Universe, or their mutual relationship. Its entire methodology is dependent upon their acknowledged existence. Its basic premise of right action (dharma) can be established and validated by the means of knowledge taught by the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika school. And, on the other hand all the declared effects of Dharma would be meaningless without the analysis of the evolution of consciousness taught by the Sāṃkhya-Yoga school.

Mīmāṃsā is divided into two systems based on the twofold division of the Vedas (karma-khāṇḍa dealing with sacrifices and jñāna-khāṇḍa dealing with spiritual knowledge); both use the same logical method of handling their problems; both use the same literary form; but each has its own limited sphere of interpretation.

The primary purpose of Mīmāṃsa is to establish the nature of right action (Dharma). The basic premise of Mīmāṃsa is that action is fundamental to the human condition. Without application, knowledge is vain; without action, happiness is impossible; without action human destiny cannot be fulfilled; therefore, right action (Dharma) is the sine-qua-non of a meaningful life on earth.

(Source): Srimatham: Mīmāṃsa: The Study of Hindu Exegesis
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Mimamsa (मीमांसा, mīmāṃsā) refers to one of the six orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy, emphasizing the nature of dharma and the philosophy of language. The literature in this school is also known for its in-depth study of ritual actions and social duties.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

[Mimamsa in Jyotisha glossaries]

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा).—The Vedāṅga of philosophical investigation of scripture; a division of Indian philosophy. Note: Mīmāṃsā is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

(Source): Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Mimamsa in Hinduism glossaries]

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा), a Sanskrit word meaning "investigation" (compare Greek ἱστορία), is the name of an orthodox (Sanskrit: astika) school of Hindu philosophy whose primary enquiry is into the nature of dharma based on close hermeneutics of the Vedas. The nature of dharma is not accessible to reason or observation, and must be inferred from the authority of the revelation contained in the Vedas, which are considered eternal, authorless (apauruṣeyatva), and infallible. The school of Mimamsa consists of both atheistic and theistic doctrines and is not deeply interested in the existence of God, but rather in the character of dharma.

Mīmāṃsā is strongly concerned with textual exegesis, and consequently gave rise to the study of philology and the philosophy of language. Its notion of "speech" (Skt. śabda) as indivisible unity of sound and meaning (signifier and signified) is due to Bhartṛhari (ca. 5th century CE).

The core tenets of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā are ritualism (orthopraxy), anti-asceticism and anti-mysticism. The central aim of the school is elucidation of the nature of dharma, understood as a set ritual obligations and prerogatives to be performed properly.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Mimamsa in Marathi glossaries]

mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा).—f (S) A philosophical system of the Hindus. The first part, the pūrvamīmāṃsā or mīmāṃsā simply, illustrates the karmakāṇḍa of the Vedas, or the practical part (the ritual) of religion and devotion, including also moral and legal obligations. The second part, or uttaramīmāṃsā, is the same as the Vedant, founded on the jñānakāṇḍa or theological portion of the Vedas, and treating of the spiritual worship of the divinity as the substance of the universe. 2 Investigation of truth, research, study.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा).—f A philosophical system of the Hindus. Research.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Mimamsa in Sanskrit glossaries]

Mīmāṃsā (मीमांसा).—[mān-vicāre svārthe san a]

1) Deep reflection, inquiry, examination, investigation; अथातो व्रतमीमांसा (athāto vratamīmāṃsā) Bṛ. Up.1.5.21; रसगङ्गाधरनाम्नीं करोति कुतुकेन काव्य- मीमांसाम् (rasagaṅgādharanāmnīṃ karoti kutukena kāvya- mīmāṃsām) R. G.; सैषा आनन्दस्य मीमांसा भवति (saiṣā ānandasya mīmāṃsā bhavati) Tait. Up.; so दत्तक°, अलंकार° (dattaka°, alaṃkāra°) &c.

2) Name of one of the six chief darśanas or systems of Indian philsophy. (It was originally divided into two systems :-the pūrvamīmāṃsā or karmamīmāṃsā founded by Jaimini, and the uttaramīmāṃsā or brahmamīmāṃsā ascribed to Bādarāyaṇa; but the two systems have very little in common between them, the first concerning itself chiefly with the correct interpretation of the ritual of the Veda and the settlement of dubious points in regard to Vedic texts; and the latter dealing chiefly with the nature of Brahman or the Supreme Spirit. The pūrvamīmāṃsā is, therefore, usually, styled only mīmāṃsā or the Mīmāṁsā, and the uttara- mīmāṃsā, vedānta which, being hardly a sequel of Jaimini's system, is now considered and ranked separately.) मीमांसाकृतमुन्ममाथ सहसा हस्ती मुनिं जैमिनिम् (mīmāṃsākṛtamunmamātha sahasā hastī muniṃ jaiminim) Pt.2.34.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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Brahmamīmāṃsā (ब्रह्ममीमांसा).—the Vedānta philosophy which inquires into the nature of Brahma ...
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