Mimamsa interpretation of Vedic Injunctions (Vidhi)

by Shreebas Debnath | 2018 | 68,763 words

This page relates ‘Verbal Understanding of Injunction’ 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 2.8 - Verbal Understanding of Injunction

According to Naiyāyikas, the term having the first case ending is the subject of a sentence. So, ‘devadatta gacchati’ means Devadatta who has the effort which is conductive to going delimited by the present tense—(vartamāna-kālāvacchinna-gamanānukūlakṛtimān-devadattaḥ).

But the grammarians say that the meaning of the verb is the subject of a sentence. So, the above sentence means the act of going which is delimited by the present tense and which takes Devadatta as its agent (devattakartṛka-vartamānakālīnagamanam).

According to Kumarila Bhaṭṭabhāvanā’ is the subject of injunction. So, “svargakāmo yajeta” (One desiring of heaven should sacrifice.) means the objective urge produced by the verbal urge, by which heaven is to be accomplished and in which sacrifice, oblation, contribution etc. are regarded as means (svargabhāvyakā yāgādikaraṇikā śabdabhāvanāprayojyā ārthībhāvanā).

Prabhākara Miśra regards the state of being to be accomplished (kāryatā) as the subject of an injunction. So, in his opinion “svargakāmo yajeta” means the activity produced by obejective urge preceded by verbal urge in which heaven is regarded as something to be accomplished and sacrifices etc. are means (svargabhāvyakā yāgādikaraṇikā śabdabhāvanāprajojyā ārthībhāvanāniṣpādyā kāryatā).

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