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Mimamsa Darshana: The Science of Discovering Your Purpose

Carrying on with our #VEDA101 series with the fifth of six Vedic schools of philosophy- Mimamsa Darshana.

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Derived from the words “Mi,” meaning “to change,” “to alter,” or “to destroy,” + “Mam” meaning “to me” or “into me” + “Sa” which holds a grammatical purpose for describing a possession between the two. It could also have some form of connection to another root word, “Mamsa,” meaning “flesh,” “meat,” or “muscle.” Because of these varied meanings, Mimamsa Darshana encompasses a wide range of possible translations describing the practice of personal change and growth.

Mimamsa Darshana is based on a classical Vedic text known as The Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini, which were written around the 3rd century CE. Within its twelve chapters it sums up, and sometimes elaborates on, the rules outlined in the previous four Darshanas: Sankya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, and Yoga. Thus, providing a way to interpret the Vedas and perform its rites and rituals.

Because Mimamsa Darshana summarizes topics I already wrote about in detail in past articles, this article is going to be a much quicker read as I am not going to cover them in length again.

While Nyaya Darshana recognizes five Pramanas, or parameters of attaining information, Mimamsa includes an additional one. It recognizes “Non-Apprehension” or “Anuplabdhi,” which is essentially deducing your conclusion based on facts that you know are not true, like ruling out the wrong answers in order to decide upon the correct one.

While Nyaya and Vaisheshika Darshana recognize nine dravyas, or substances that make up our material world, Mimamsa adds two more: Tamas (the absence of light) and Sabdha (sound).

While the other systems believe Moksa is the ultimate goal humans should purse, Mimamsa believes it is Dharma.

Derived from the root word “dhr,” meaning “to put, place, or support growth,” Dharma is considered our individual purpose or moral duty in the world.

If you have ever asked yourself “why am I here?,”

the answer is “to carry out your Dharma.”

If you have ever asked yourself “what is my purpose?,” the answer is that IS your Dharma.

No one person or source can actually tell you what your Dharma is, but Mimamsa Darshana can help us recognize it through the various rituals, rites, and responsibilities outlined within in it.

Mimamsa is considered the most controversial of the six Darshanas because it was heavily influenced by the ritual of sacrifices and does not quite fall in line with the concepts within the other Darshanas.

Therefore, I think the greatest lesson this philosophy gives us is the wisdom of following our Dharma.


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