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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

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The Mima@msa Literature.

It is difficult to say how the sacrificial system of worship grew in India in the Brahma@nas. This system once set up gradually began to develop into a net-work of elaborate rituals, the details of which were probably taken note of by the priests. As some generations passed and the sacrifices spread over larger tracts of India and grew up into more and more elaborate details, the old rules and regulations began to be collected probably as tradition


had it, and this it seems gave rise to the sm@rti literature. Discussions and doubts became more common about the many intricacies of the sacrificial rituals, and regular rational enquiries into them were begun in different circles by different scholars and priests. These represent the beginnings of Mima@msa (lit. attempts at rational enquiry), and it is probable that there were different schools of this thought. That Jaimini's _Mima@msa sutras_ (which are with us the foundations of Mima@msa) are only a comprehensive and systematic compilation of one school is evident from the references he gives to the views in different matters of other preceding writers who dealt with the subject. These works are not available now, and we cannot say how much of what Jaimini has written is his original work and how much of it borrowed. But it may be said with some degree of confidence that it was deemed so masterly

a work at least of one school that it has survived all other attempts that were made before him. Jaimini's _Mima@msa sutras_ were probably written about 200 B.C. and are now the ground work of the Mima@msa system. Commentaries were written on it by various persons such as Bhart@rmitra (alluded to in _Nyayaratnakara_ verse 10 of _S'lokavarttika_), Bhavadasa {_Pratijnasutra_ 63}, Hari and Upavar@sa (mentioned in _S'astradipika_). It is probable that at least some of these preceded S'abara, the writer of the famous commentary known as the _S'abara-bha@sya_. It is difficult to say anything about the time in which he flourished. Dr Ga@nganatha Jha would have him about 57 B.C. on the evidence of a current verse which speaks of King Vikramaditya as being the son of S'abarasvamin by a K@sattriya wife. This bha@sya of S'abara is the basis of the later Mima@msa works. It was commented upon by an unknown person alluded to as Varttikakara by Prabhakara and merely referred to as "yathahu@h" (as they say) by Kumarila. Dr Ga@nganatha Jha says that Prabhakara's commentary _B@rhati_ on the _S'abara-bha@sya_ was based upon the work of this Varttikakara. This _B@rhati_ of Prabhakara had another commentary on it--_@Rjuvimala_ by S'alikanatha Mis'ra, who also wrote a compendium on the Prabhakara interpretation of Mima@msa called _Prakara@napancika_. Tradition says that Prabhakara (often referred to as Nibandhakara), whose views are often alluded to as "gurumata," was a pupil of Kumarila. Kumarila Bha@t@ta, who is traditionally believed to be the senior contemporary of S'a@nkara (788 A.D.), wrote his celebrated independent


exposition of S'abara's bha@sya in three parts known as _S'lokavarttika_ (dealing only with the philosophical portion

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