The Mimamsa Sutra (Sanskrit: मीमांसा सूत्र, Mīmāṁsā Sūtra) or the Purva Mimamsa Sutras (ca. 300–200 BCE[1]), written by Rishi Jaimini is one of the most important ancient Hindu philosophical texts. It forms the basis of Mimamsa, the earliest of the six orthodox schools (darshanas) of Indian philosophy. According to tradition, sage Jaimini was one of the disciples of sage Veda Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata.


The work is divided into twelve adhyayas (chapters), which are further divided into sixty padas (sections).[1]

The text provides rules for the interpretation of the Vedas and also provides philosophical justifications for the observance of Vedic rituals, by offering meaning and significance of Vedic rituals to attain Moksha.[2]


Over the centuries many commentaries have been written on this text, with the most important being the Śabara Bhāṣya written by Śābara, which is the only extant commentary on all 12 chapters of the Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini.[3] The major commentaries written on the text, including the Śabara Bhāṣya, were by Kumarila Bhatta and Prabhakara Mishra.


Jaimini, in his Mimamsa Sutra, presents material activity and its results as the whole of reality (vipanam rtam). He, along with later proponents of Karma-mimamsa, philosophy teaches that material existence is endless and that there is no liberation. For Mimamsas, the cycle of karma is perpetual, and the best one can aim for is higher birth among the Devas. Therefore, they assert that the primary purpose of the Vedas is to engage human beings in rituals for creating good karma, and consequently the mature soul's prime responsibility is to ascertain the exact meaning of the Vedas' sacrificial injunctions and to execute them.[citation needed]

Codana-laksano 'rtho dharmah: "Duty is that which is indicated by the injunctions of the Vedas."(Mimamsa Sutra 1.1.2)


Mimamsa Sutra consists of twelve chapters:[4]


  1. ^ a b Hiriyanna, M. (1995). The Essentials of Indian Philosophy. Delhi: Motilal Banrasidass. p. 130. ISBN 81-208-1330-8.
  2. ^ "Jaimini: Mimamsasutra at Sansknet project". Archived from the original on June 9, 2007.
  3. ^ "Shabara Bhashya at Chinmaya Mission". Archived from the original on July 13, 2004.
  4. ^ Cowell, E. B.; Gough, A. E. (2001). The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha or Review of the Different Systems of Hindu Philosophy: Trubner's Oriental Series. Taylor & Francis. pp. 178–179. ISBN 978-0-415-24517-3.