Mimamsa interpretation of Vedic Injunctions (Vidhi)

by Shreebas Debnath | 2018 | 68,763 words

This page relates ‘Classification of Vedic Sentences’ of the study on the Mimamsa theory of interpretation of Vedic Injunctions (vidhi). The Mimamsakas (such as Jaimini, Shabara, etc.) and the Mimamsa philosophy emphasizes on the Karmakanda (the ritualistic aspect of the Veda). Accordingly to Mimamsa, a careful study of the Veda is necessary in order to properly understand dharma (religious and spiritual achievement—the ideal of human life).

Chapter 1.3 - Classification of Vedic Sentences

Sāstrakāras [Śāstrakāras?] have divided vedic sentences into five categories. These are:

  1. injunctions (vidhi),
  2. hymns or sacred text (mantra),
  3. names (nāmadheya),
  4. prohibitions (niṣedha) and
  5. explanatory or eulogic passages (arthavāda).

The injunctions indicate an unknown matter or subject. The mantras help to recall the things i.e. sacrificial offerings, deities etc. concerned at the time of performance. Names express the names of sacrifices like Agnihotra sacrifice, Śyena sacrifice, Udbhid sacrifice etc. Prohibitive statement prohibits something which should not be performed. The eulogic or corroborative statement is an auxiliary to the injunctive sentence. This kind of sentences are authoritative as forming unitary passages with the sentences inculcating the injunctions. Actually, Arthavāda leads to praiseworthiness of the thing enjoined.

Out of these varieties, only the injunctive sentences will be discussed thoroughly in this thesis paper.

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