Not all Purva Mimamsa followers believed in the existence of Brahman, but they all believed in the Jivatma.

They also believed the verses in the Upanishads that speak of Brahman actually refer to the soul.

Now, the word "Brahmana" means 'one who knows Brahman,' but since they believed Brahman refers to the Jivatma, does this mean they thought "Brahmana" means one who knows the Jivatma?

But they didn't consider self knowledge all that important, so how did this etymology affect their views?

Or perhaps there is another valid etymology of "Brahmana" ?

  • First of all, it is not the case that everyone with knowledge of Brahman is a Brahmana, and it is not the case that you must have knowledge of Brahman to be a Brahmana. Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are also eligible for knowledge of Brahman, as Adhyaya 1 Pada 3 of the Brahma Sutras make clear. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 14 '17 at 2:02
  • And it is only the best among Brahmanas, not all Brahmanas, who have knowledge of Brahman, as the Manu Smriti makes clear. "Of created beings the most excellent are said to be those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the Brahmanas; Of Brahmanas, those learned (in the Veda); of the learned, those who recognise (the necessity and the manner of performing the prescribed duties); of those who possess this knowledge, those who perform them; of the performers, those who know the Brahman." – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 14 '17 at 2:04
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    @KeshavSrinivasan I already know all of that, I'm wondering how the school can reconcile this etymological fact with their belief that performing rituals is more important than self-knowledge. – Ikshvaku Nov 14 '17 at 2:55

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