Swami Vivekananda is known to have been a follower of the Vedanta and Yoga schools. However, Swamiji also is said to have taught that all paths lead to the same God. So what was Swamiji's opinion of the Purva Mimamsa school which was a rival of the Vedanta school? Did he ever criticise the Purva Mimamsa school?

1 Answer 1


Here is an excerpt of a letter where he quotes another author on Mimamsakas.

DEAR ADHYAPAKJI (Prof. John Henry Wright),

I do not know what you are thinking of my long silence. ...............................................................

Dear Adhyapakji, I am moving about just now. Only when I come to Chicago, I always go to see Mr. and Mrs. Lyons, one of the noblest couples I have seen here. If you would be kind enough to write to me, kindly address it to the care of Mr. John B. Lyon, 262 Michigan Ave., Chicago.

"He who gets hold of the One in this world of many — the one constant existence in a world of flitting shadows — the one life in a world of death — he alone crosses this sea of misery and struggle. None else, none else" (Vedas).

"He who is the Brahman of the Vedântins, Ishvara of the Naiyâyikas, Purusha of the Sânkhyas, cause of the Mimâmsakas, law of the Buddhists, absolute zero of the Atheists, and love infinite unto those that love, may [He] take us all under His merciful protection": Udayanâchârya — a great philosopher of the Nyâya or Dualistic school. And this is the Benediction pronounced at the very beginning of his wonderful book Kusumânjali (A handful of flowers), in which he attempts to establish the existence of a personal creator and moral ruler of infinite love independently of revelation.

Your ever grateful friend,


The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 7, Epistles (third series), X.

Swami Vivekananda has criticized the Purva Mimamsa doctrine of work.

Disciple: But, sir, since the obstacles to Self-manifestation are not overcome without the performance of work in some form or other, therefore indirectly work stands as a means to knowledge.

Swamiji: From the standpoint of the causal chain, it so appears prima facie. Taking up this view it is stated in the Purva-Mimâmsâ that work for a definite end infallibly produces a definite result. But the vision of the Atman which is Absolute is not to be compassed by means of work. For the rule with regard to a seeker of the Atman is that he should undergo spiritual practice, but have no eye to its results. It follows thence that these practices are simply the cause of the purification of the aspirant's mind. For if the Atman could be directly realised as a result of these practices, then scriptures would not have enjoined on the aspirant to give up the results of work. So it is with a view to combating the Purva-Mimamsa doctrine of work with motive producing results, that the philosophy of work without motive has been set forth in the Gita. Do you see?

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 7, Conversations and Dialogues (From the Diary of a Disciple), XII

The disciple was Sri Sharat Chandra Chakravarty

  • Thanks but I have slightly added some more details in my question. I want to know whether Swamiji ever criticised the Purva Mimamsa school?
    – user9969
    Mar 18, 2018 at 17:18
  • 1
    I have added the Swami's criticism of the Purva Mimamsa doctrine of work. Mar 19, 2018 at 10:39

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