The English translation of the Mimamsaslokavarttika, the magnumopus of Kumarilabhatta was prepared by Dr. Ganganath Jha and published by the Asiatic Society during 1900-1908. The work was long out of print. But the demand for the same persisted. The Society in its bicentenary year decided to issue a reprint of the same as a mark of respect to the learned translator who utilised both the Kasika of Sucaritamisra and the Nyayaratnakara of Parthasarathimisra, which ascertain the view of Kumarila. I am happy that the book is available again to our scholars and researches.
The word Mimasa more properly Purva Mimansa is applied to the system originally propounded by Jaimini. The other names given to this system are Pureakanda Karma Mimansa, Karmakanda, Yajnavidya, Adhvaramimansa, Dharmamimansa and so forth some people evern speak of it as the Dvadacalackshmi.
Inasmuch as the avowed object of this system is a consideration of Dharma it is commonly spoken of as Dharmanimansa of the Veda there are three sections or kandas. The Karmakanda the Upasanakanda and the juanankanda and it is only that portion of the Veda which is contained in the first of these that is dealt with in the purva mimansa and for this reason it is spoken of as purvukanda purvamimansa or karmamimansa. Though the karmakanda of the Veda treats of many such actions as sacrifice only. And for this reason people speak of this as yajnamimansa or Adhvara mimansa.
This consideration of dharma is found to consist of twelve parts and these parts have been put by Jaimini in the form of twelve Adhyayas and hence the system has come to be known by the name of Dvadacalaskshani.
For a detailed explanation of the subject matter of each Adhyaya and adhikaransa the render is referred to the Appendix.
While Chiefly dealing with these subjects Jaimini has in many places dealt with other things in connection with these. It is clear that all that is treated of by Jaimini is chiefly Vedic. In the work known as the Veda beginningless and authorless were found mentioned here and there at random many sacrifices offerings &c. and hence it was very difficult to understand and grasp the methods and procedure of the various sacrifices &c: Consequently at the time of the performance of a sacrifice at each step the performers would meet with serious doubts and difficulties. And all this difficulty has once for all been set aside by Jamini by means of the sutras dealt with here. And it was only after the Mimansa philosophy had been duly propounded that the path of karmakanda became easy.
At the very outset Jaimini divided the Vedic sentences into two kinds. The mantra and the Brahmana the former is now known as the Sauhita Rgveda samhita &c. there are many Brahmanas that we known as Upanishat the Brhadaranyaka and the ohandogya. Then again he proceeds to sub divide these two kinds into other sorts the Rk the sama and the yaju.
The definitions that he lays down for the differentiation of the mantra and the Brahmana are embodied in the sutras II -i-32 and 33 wherein it is said that which at the time of the performance of a sacrifice points out certain details in connection with it is called Mantra and the rest are called Brahmana. But the earlier author have distinctly declared that this definition of Mantra is only a tentative one as there are many Mantras that do not fulfill the conditions herein laid down and are yet called Mantras. The mantras in reality take the place of aphorisms dealing with sacrificial details and the Brahmanas are commentaries on them in fact they are frequently spoken of as such by Cankaracarya.
Rk Yajush and Sama are the three sub divisions of the said two divisions of the Veda. Among Mantras and Brahmanas that sentence wherein we have distinct divisions into feet is calle a Rk (Sutra II-i-35) the other names of which are Rca, Cloka, Mnatra the sentence that are capable of being sung are known as Sama (II-i-36) the rest are called yajush )II-i-37).
The text of the Mimansa philosophy is the most extensive of all the Sutras have twelve Adhyayas divided into sixty padas containing about 1,000 Sutras, dealing with 1,000 sections or Adhikaranas.
The word Adhikarana really means discussion Consideration Inquiry Investigation. In the Mimansa we find that each discussion is made up of five parts viz: (1) Vishaya the subject matter under consideration (2) vipaya or suncaya the doubt arising of the opponent and the arguments in support thereof (4) Uttara or Siddhanta the demonstrated conclusion (5) Sanguti Relevancy of the discussion with the particular context. Some author explain uttara as the arguments against the view of the opponent and instead of Sangati they have Nirmaya which then explain as siddhanta. This system of discussion is adopted more or less in all the Sanskrit philosophical systems.
The sutras are all arranged in the above order of discussion. But a mere reading of the Sutras does not afford us any idea as to where a discussions ends and another begins. For all these as also for a proper understanding of the Sutras themselves we have to fall back upon certain commentaries upon the sutras.
Of these commentaries and commentaries on commentaries we have an almost endless series. The oldest commentary on the sutras that is available now is the Bhashya by Cavara Svami (published in the bibliothen Indica) though we find this bhashya referring to other commentaries chief among which is the Vrtti of the revered Upavarsha. On the Bhashya we have the commentary of Kumarila Bhatta generally spoken of as Bhatta. This work is divided into three parts known under three different names (1) Clokavartika treating of the first the Tarka (polemical) Pada of the first adhyaya (published in the caukhambha sanskirt series Benares). (2) the Tantravartika dealing with the last three Padas of Adhyaya 1 and the whole of Adhyayas II and III (published in the Benares Sasnkrit series and being translated into English by the present translator) and (3) the Tuptika dealing with Adhyayas IV-XII (Published in the Benares Sanskrit Series ). On the first of these we know of two commentaries (1) the Kavika by sucarita Micra and (2) the Nyayaratnakara of parthasarathi Miera (published in the Caukhambha Sanskrit series Benares) extracts from these two commentaries have been put in as notes in the present work and (3) the Nyayasudha of Someovara Bhatta. On the second the only commentary we know of is the Nyayasudha generally known as Banaka by somevara Bhatta (in course of publication in the Caukhambha Sanskrit Series Benares) and on the third we have only one vartikabharana by Venkata dikshita the other the tantraratna cannot be spoken of as a commentary in the proper sense of the word as it is a semi independent commentary on the sutras themselves though here and therer taking up and explaining certain passages from the Bhashya and the Vartika. This closes the list of works indirectly dealing with the present work.
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