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Mimansa

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MIMANSA (from the Sanskrit man, to investigate), investigation, is the collective name of two of the six divisions of orthodox Hindu philosophy. The two Mimansi divisions are: (1), the Pfirva-mimansa (Prior Inquiry, or Karma-miminsi), investigation concerning works that deal chiefly with the Vedic ritual and its significance; and (2), Uttara-miminsi (Later Inquiry, or Brahma mimansi.), investi gation concerning the Supreme Spirit, or, more commonly, Vedanta (see VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY) , dealing with speculations on the nature of the Supreme Spirit. The principles are em bodied in a series of Sutras, or aphorisms, in 12 books, discussing the sacred ceremonies of the Veda and the merit accruing from their proper performance. Although the Mimansa is ranked by all Indian writers with the other philosophical systems, the term philosophy can hardly be applied to it in the same sense as to the other systems of philosophy. The object of the Miniiinsa is merely to lay down a correct interpretation of such Vedic passages as refer to the Brahmanic ritual; to solve doubts wher ever they may exist on matters concerning sac rificial acts and to reconcile discrepancies (or seeming discrepancies) of Vedic texts. Jas

mini, a sage, was the founder of this school of interpretation. The standard introduction to the study of the Mimansa is by Madhava Achaeya. Consult Cowell and Gough, 'The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha of Madhava Acharya> (London 1894). The oldest extant commentary on the Miminsa is the Bhashya of Cabara-Svanim, written before the birth of Christ. This commentary was annotated about 700 A.D., by Kumarila, a great authority on In dian philosophy. Colebrooke published a treat ise on this subject in 1826, which was published in his 'Miscellaneous Essays> (London 1873). The subject is finely treated in 'The Six Sys tems of Ancient Indian Philosophy,' by Max Muller (New York 1903). Consult also Mac donell, 'Sanskrit Literature' (London 1913).