Mimamsa interpretation of Vedic Injunctions (Vidhi)

by Shreebas Debnath | 2018 | 68,763 words

This page relates ‘Niyamavidhi and Mantra’ 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 8.1 - Niyamavidhi and Mantra

Sacrificial deities, substances etc. are to be remembered by hymns only. Here the instruction is ‘mantrair eva smartavyam’. Here also the injunction of restriction is resorted to. The remembering of the sacrificial deities, substances etc. can not be done through meditation, utterances of the priest etc. It must be done by pronouncing the hymns. Because hymns have the capacity to express deities etc. Though there is niyamādṛṣṭam (invisible result produced through maintaining restriction), yet it can not be denied that hymns have results i.e. reminding the deities etc.

The opponent says that some hymns do not have the capacity of expressing deities, substances etc. For example,

devasya tvā savituḥ prasave’svinorbāhubhyāṃ pūṣṇo hastābhyām agnaye juṣṭaṃ nirvapāmi.”

Here this mantra tells about the Fire as well as the Aśvins and Pūṣan. But it is used only in separation (nirvapana) of substance for the Fire. So, the power of expressing the Aśvins and Pūṣan by this hymn also produces the invisible result—it is to be admitted. But is it logical that the same hymn produces a visible result and an invisible result? So, all hymns are pronounced for creating the invisible result—this view is to be accepted for its logical foundation. This is the view of the opponent.

The answer of the Mīmāṃsakas is that though the deities Aśvins and Pūṣan are not related to the act of separation for the Fire, yet those deities are related to other actions.

Keeping this in mind it can be said that the above hymn means,

“I, the adhvarju, set apart the crumbs, not only by my hands and arms, but also by the hands and arms of the Aśvins and Pūṣan.”

So, the above hymn has also a visible result i.e. expressing the deities Aśvins and Pūṣan.

Where the visible result can not be established by any way as in the case of ‘huṃ phaṭ’, there the invisible result of the hymn is to admitted. Because there is no other way. Though the first adhikaraṇa of the fourth pāda of the twelfth chapter of Mīmāṃsādarśana establishes the invisible result of japa, stuti, āśīs, abhidhāna etc., yet the visible result is also accepted in these cases.

Through this discussion it is proved that mantras must be uttered at the time of sacrificial rites for the remembrance of the deities, substances related to those rites. Niyamavidhi is applied here.

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