The Present book Verbal knowledge in Prabhakara Mimamsa, is in the form of commentary in English of the Vakyarthamatrika of the Prakarana-Pancika. The original text presented piecemeal has been critically exposed and a comparative study of it with other systems of though such as Bhatta school of Mimamsa, Nyaya, Vedanta and Vyakarna has also been made. The book contains elaborate notes and references. An Index and text of the Vakyarthamatrika Vritti is included in the book.
Dr. R.N. Sarma is presently in the Department of Sanskrit, Guwahati University.
I had the pleasant opportunity of being initiated to the
study of Mimamsa system of Indian Philosophy when I had
been a student in the Darsana group of the M.A. class in
Sanskrit of the University of Gauhati during the period
1972-74. My acquintance with the Mimamsa works in that
period resulted in developing a keen interest in me for making
a critical study on the Prabhakara-mimamsa, especially in the
context of verbal knowledge.
Later on, when I joined the Deptt. of Sanskrit, Gauhati
University as a Lecturer in 1978. Professor Dr. Mukunda
Madhava Sharma, M.A., Ph.D. D. Litt. Kavyatirtha. the
then Supervisor of mine suggested me to make a critical
exposition of the Vayarthamiurka of the Prakarana-Pahcika
and according to his valuable suggestion, I prepared my
doctoral thesis under the supervision of Dr. Ashok Kumar
Goswami Reader, Deptt. of Sanskrit, Gauhati University for
which I have been awarded the Ph.D. degree by the University
of Gauhati in 1984. The present work is the thesis itself
under new title, "verbal knowledge in prabhakara-mimamsa.
It may be mentioned here that I have also given the
English translation of the Vakyartha-Miurka in my thesis
which has been already published by Indian Books Centre,
The scheme of the present work is unusual as the usual
chapterwise division is not maintained in it. It is in the form
of a commentary in English. The original text presented
piecemeal has been critically exposed and a comparative study
of it with other systems of thought such as Bhatia school of
Mimarilsa. Nyaya Vedanta and Vyakarana has also been made
I like to add here that the present work is devoted to
the issue on the Sabdabodha (Verbal knowledge) according
to the Prabhakara school of Mimarnsa.
I am very much indebted to my revered teacher Dr.
Ashok Kumar Goswami under whose supervision, this work
I shall also remain ever grateful to my teacher Professor
Dr. Mukunda Madhava Sharma who was kind enough to
supervise my work initially.
I am also grateful to my teachers Dr. Priyamsu Prabal
Upadhyaya and Dr. Apurba Chandra Barthakuria. M.A"
Ph.D. for their fruitful suggestions offered to me.
I also put on record the help I received from late
Acharya Manoranjan Shastri in respect of understanding some
passage of the Vokyartha-Matrka.
I express my gratefulness to my wife Smt. Jamini Devi;
M.A., Kavya-Sastri, for ungrudgingly relieving me of the
domestic responsibilities during the period of the preparation
of the present work.
To Indian Books Centre, Delhi, are my sincere thanks
due for bringing out this work.
The schools of Indian Philosophy are classified into two types
namely, the Astika or Orthodox schools and the Nastika or
Heterodox schools. While the former type accepts the authority
of the vedas, the latter does not. The Astika or Orthodox schools
are six in number. These are Sarnkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisesika,
Purvamlmarhsa and Uttaramtmamsa or Vedanta. The Nastika or
the Heterodox schools are mainly three viz., the Bauddha, Jaina
The Purvamlmarhsa or Karmamlmarnsa system of Indian
Philosophy is ascribed to the great sage Jaimini who wrote the
Mimamsa-Sutras. Sabarasvamin wrote the major commentary
known as Sabarabhayra on Jaimini's Sutras. He was followed by
a long line of commentrators and independent writers of whom
Kumarila Bhatta and Prabhskara Misra deserve special mention.
These two scholars founded the two chief branches of Purvamimamsa known after their names, viz., the Bhatta school and the
Prabhakara Misra composed two commentaries namely,
Bthati and Laghvi on the Sabarabhasya. The reputation enjoyed
by Prabhakara among scholars was mainly due to the subsequent
contribution of Salikanatha Misra, a first-rate scholar and an
independent writer of the Prabhakara system. Among other
writers of this school are Bhavanatha Misra, author of the Nayaviveka, Nandlsvara, author of the Prabhiikaravijaya and Ranianujacarya, author of the Tantrarahasya. They are the only
ancient writers of the Prabhakara system. Of the modern scholars
writing on this system, the names of Dr. Ganganatha Jha and
M.M. Kuppuswami Shastri deserve to be specially mentioned. It
may perhaps be deduced from the length of the list of scholars
of this system, both traditional and modern, that there were only
a few scholars who were interested in the study of the Prabhakara school and as such, this school unlike the Bhatia school was not
so popular among the students of Indian Philosophy. It will,
however, be wrong to conclude that as the Prabhakara school of
Purvamimarhsa was not popular and not widely studied; so it
has no importance as a system of philosophy. Rather it can be
said that the school of Prabhakara is more important than the
Bhatia school despite its wide popularity. Dr. Ganganath Jha is
of the view that Prabhakara is more faithful to the Bhasya of
Sabara than Kumarila. According to Professor Hiriyanna, the
original teaching of. the Mimamsa is better preserved in the
writings of Prabhakara than in those of Kumarila.' Prabhakara,
however, was a more original thinker than Kumarila and he will
always be remembered as the author of a peculiar theory of
knowledge known as Triputipratyaksavada or the theory of triple
perception and a theory of error called Akhyativada or the
Vivekakhyativada.s To understand the Mimamsa-system fully and
precisely, one must go through the works of the Prabhakara
system. S. Subrahmanya Sastri maintains the view that though
many theories of this school are criticised in other Darsanas
particularly in the Nyaya and although the Advaitins are wedded
to the Bhatta school in matters of phenomenol Reality ('vyavahare Bhattanaya'), the Prabhakara school commands respect
from and is actually made use of by reputed scholars. The
Visistadvaita school of philosophy follows the Prabhakara school
in matters regarding the categories of the world.?
It may be added here that the study of the system of
Prabhakara is indispensable even for acquiring a clear knowledge
of the Dharmasastras and the Sayanabhasya of the vedas as well.
The Bhatia and the Prabhakara schools differ in certain points.
There is wide difference between both the schools in the exposition
of the process of Sabdabodha centering round the concept of
Bhavana. Some important points of difference between the two
systems may be mentioned here:
(i) The Prabhakara school recognises only five pramanas,
viz., Pratyaksa, Anumana, Sastra, Uparnana and Artha-
patti. But the Bhatta school recognises six Pramanas
including Anupalabdhi. it eight Padarthas namely,
and Samavaya, the Bhattas recognise only five
Padarthas, viz., Dravya, Guna, Karma, Sam inya and
(iii) The school of Prabhakara advocates the theory of
Anvitabhidhana, while that of Kumarila advances the
theory of Abhihitanvaya.
(iv) While the Bhatta school accepts the theory of Anyatha-
khyati, the Prabhakara advocates the theory of Akhyati.
(v) The Prabhakaras admit the theory of Niyogavakyartha,
while the Bhartas accept the theory of Bhavanavakyartha.
(vi) While the Bhatta school admits importation of words
(Sabdadhyaharah), the Prabhakara school recognises the
importation of ideas (Arthadhyaharah).
These are only the most important points of difference between the two sister schools of Purvamtmarhsa.
In addition to the aforesaid two schools of Mimamsa , one
more school is found to exist, known as the 'Misramata' initiated
by one Murari Misra. This school, however, is not known except
through some references in other works. He appears to have
given birth to a new school within the Mimarhsa system, which
had led to the saying- 'Murarestrtiyah panthah' (the third path i.e., school initiated
by Murari) But materials for preparing a full account of this
'Misramata' are not yet available to the scholars."
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