Mimamsa, also spelled Mīmāṃsā, is a Sanskrit term that translates to "reflection" or "critical investigation." It is one of the six traditional schools of Indian philosophy and is considered to be the earliest of the six. The Mimamsa school of thought is primarily concerned with interpreting the meaning of Vedic texts, specifically the ritualistic portions of the Vedas.
The Mimamsa philosophy was first developed by Jaimini, a disciple of the sage Vyasa, in the 2nd century BCE. Jaimini wrote the Mimamsa Sutras, which serve as the foundation of the Mimamsa school. These sutras provide a systematic and logical framework for interpreting the Vedic texts and understanding the nature of dharma, or moral duty. The sutras are divided into four chapters, with the first two chapters focusing on the interpretation of the karma-kanda (ritualistic) portion of the Vedas and the last two chapters focusing on the interpretation of the jnana-kanda (knowledge) portion of the Vedas.
The Mimamsa school of thought posits that the ultimate goal of human life is to attain the state of dharma, which is achieved through performing rituals and fulfilling one's moral duty. The Mimamsa philosophers believed that the Vedas are eternal and infallible and that the rituals prescribed in the Vedas are the only means of attaining dharma and liberation. They held that the meaning of the Vedic texts is to be determined through linguistic analysis and logical reasoning, rather than through any sort of spiritual insight or revelation.
In terms of epistemology, the Mimamsa school holds that knowledge comes from perception and inference. They also hold the view of eternalism, which means that the atoms that make up the physical world are eternal and unchanging, and that the physical world is also eternal and unchanging.
The Mimamsa school of thought was highly influential in ancient India and had a significant impact on the development of other schools of Indian philosophy, such as the Vedanta school. It continues to be studied and debated by scholars and philosophers to this day.
In conclusion, Mimamsa is one of the six traditional schools of Indian philosophy, it was written by Jaimini in the 2nd century BCE, it is primarily concerned with interpreting the meaning of Vedic texts, specifically the ritualistic portions of the Vedas, and it holds that the ultimate goal of human life is to attain the state of dharma, which is achieved through performing rituals and fulfilling one's moral duty.