mantras (was Re: [Advaita-l] The Wisdom in ...)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at
Mon Mar 14 05:49:34 CST 2005

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at wrote:
>The book by Jha says on KumArila's commentary to pUrva mImAmsA sUtra 1.2.44 
>that reciting >mantras does lead to a transcendental result. Is there a 
>difference of opinion between KumArila >and KR^ishhNa yajvan on this point 
>- as to whether or not recital of mantras leads to a >transcendental 
> >result?

The mImAMsA position on mantras and their meanings is further clarified in 
the mImAMsA nyAya prakAsha:

tatra ye mantrA yatra paThitAsteShAM tatra yadyarthaprakAshanaM prayojanaM 
saMbhavati tadA tatraiva viniyogaH | yeShAM tu na saMbhavati teShAM yatra 
saMbhavati tatrotkarShaH | yathA pUShAnumantraNamantrANAM ityuktam.h | 
yeShAM kvApi na saMbhavati taduchchAraNasya tu agatyAdR^iShTArthatvam.h | 
sarvathApi tu teShAM nAnarthakyaM iti |

If the mantras express meaning (remind us of something related to the 
sacrifice) such that the meaning can be useful at the point where the 
mantras are recited, then the mantras find application right at that point 
(in the text where they are recited). However, when the mantras cannot (be 
used in this way), then they (the mantras) are to be transferred to the 
point where they can (be used in this way). This is as per the explanation 
of the pUShan anumantras (after recitation mantras). When the mantras cannot 
(be applicable in this way) at any place, then their recitation is for a 
transcendental result as there is no other resort, but in no case can they 
(the mantras) be without meaning.

Thus the mImAMsaka holds that mantras have meanings in the sense they remind 
us of something connected to the yajna. If the mantras remind us in this way 
in the context of a yajna in the text, then they are applicable right there. 
Otherwise, we will have to search for a context where they are applicable. 
This scheme does seem to make a lot of sense at least in the case of the 
Krishna Yajur Veda, where the mantras and brAhmaNa texts are mixed with each 
other. The mantras of a yajna do not necessarily occur in the same place as 
the corresponding brAhmaNa texts. It is only when such a point of 
applicability is not found anywhere that we will have to conclude that the 
given mantras are recited for a  transcendental result.

Thanks for posting the pUrva mImAMsA articles. I will look forward to them.


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