The eighteen persons necessary for the performance of sacrifice are transitory and not permanent and karma in its nature inferior, has been stated as resting upon these. Those ignorant persons who delight in this, as leading to bliss, again fall into decay and death. (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.7)

The ignorant following the diverse ways of ignorance, flatter themselves that their objects have been accomplished. As these followers of karma do not learn the truth owing to their desire, they grow miserable and after the fruits of their karma are consumed, fall from Heaven. These ignorant men regarding sacrificial and charitable acts as most important, do not know any other help to bliss; having enjoyed in the heights of Heaven the abode of pleasures, they enter again into this or even inferior world. (Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.9-10)

All these verse are against ritualistic part of the Vedas(strictly against)

What is Mimamsa's interpretation of these verses?

This verse from the gita says the same :

[BG 2:42] : Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.

1 Answer 1


First, it appears you are referring to the Purva Mimamsa school, and not the Uttara Mimamsa school (all modern day Hindus or Vedanta) - as the Uttara is the school of Vyasa. The Purva Mimamsa, although astika, has no modern day followers and should be thought of as a school of Indian thought, not to be confused with modern Hinduism - followers of the school of Vyasa. Remember that the Gita is part of the Uttara school. Although the Purva school itself has not survived, their guidance as to ritualistic ceremonies and worship and daily duties has.

Professor Surendranath Dasgupta in his seminal work A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1, writes on the Purva Mimamsa school in Chapters IX (Nyaya and Mimamsa) and X (Sankara and the Upanishads) - here - https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism

Briefly he states in Chapter IX:

The Mimamsa sutras were written by Jaimini and the commentary (bhasya) on it was written by Sahara. But the systematic elaboration of it was made by Kumarila who preceded the great Sankaracharya, and a disciple of Kumarila, Prabhakara...The Mimamsa sutras deal mostly with with the principles of the interpretation of the Vedic texts in connection with sacrifices, and very little philosophy can be gleamed out of them. What we know of Mimamsa philosophy consists of their views and theirs alone.It did not develop any further after them. Works written on the subject in later times were but of a purely expository nature.

[and Chapter X] For the other Hindu systems of thought, the sutras (Jamini sutra, Nyaya sutra, etc.) are the only original treatises, and no foundation other than these is available...The most formidable opponents in the way of accomplishing his [Sankaracharya] task were the Mimamsists, who held the Vedas did not preach any philosophy, for whatever there was in the Vedas was to be interpreted as issuing commands to us for performing this or that action. They held that if the Upanishads spoke of Brahman and demonstrated the nature of pure essence, these were mere exaggerations intended to put the commandment of performing some kind of worship of Brahman into a more attractive form.

The Purva Mimamsa exponents were from before the time of Sankaracharya, and his recension of the Gita and his commentary are the earliest that exist today. If the Purva Mimamsists engaged in any commentary on other schools (which it appears they did not), none of have survived to the modern day.

  • So, Purva Mimamsa rejects upanishad. Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 6:19

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