About the Book
This book explains Law of Dharma, Law of Action, their relation, the subject-matter of the Vedas, exposition of gunas and nature, idea of sacrifice, meaning of Agni, evil and desire, nature of Dana, Law of Man's life, etc.
Importance of mind, reason, the meaning of Svaha, different ways of its interpretation, idea of repetition in Yajna, the Law of Intellect, interpretation of Saman hymns, authority of teachers, control of Desire, action and its renunciation are given in the book, explained in detail.
How the desire is an attribute of mind, object of action, how to understand sacred books, the idea of planets, cause and its effect, the meaning, of some special terms like Dadati, Daks ina etc., Rtvij priests, Japa, life and death, extinction of action, different ways of recitation, perception of time, Soul, Vis QU, have been thrown proper light upon.
The book also speaks about "Disguise" and Krama, meaning of God, language of the Vedas, doubt, silence, ahankara, creation, restrictions, instinct to have offspring, power of pleasure, beauty, importance of resolution, proof of the existence of soul, Rtvij priests and jyotistoma didactically.
Text in the book along with its translation and notes make this book understandable and the efforts put in to make this book come out in this form will certainly prove fruitful for the readers also.
It is not without some hesitation that I am releasing the present work - a translation of the Mimamsa Sutras of jaimini-the longest and, perhaps, the least understood of all the six principal systems of Hindu Philosophy, for a more regular course would have been to begin with the Sankhya, and then go on to the other systems. But, for reasons explained in the Introduction, it has been necessary to do so, in order that the reader may be able to form an idea of the real character of the Sacred Books of the Hindus.
The present work is an attempt at a simple, but a reasonably accurate, translation of the original text. A purely literal rendering of a work, even in a modern language, would make difficult reading; and an English version of so simple a book as the Bhagavad Gita has often to deviate from the original idiom to be understood. This difficulty is greatly increased in the case of the Sutras of Hindu Philosophy; for they are not short, pithy, and independent utterances of great truths, as is commonly believed - but brief; exact, and clearly defined statements of great ideas, which. are closely knit together and need to be properly understood. It would have been possible to translate each Sutra literally and separately; but, while that may have been more exact and accurate, it would have broken up the unity of thought and continuity of expression of the work as a whole, and that was perhaps even more important. It was accordingly necessary to steer a middle course, and that has been attempted in the present work.
A correct translation of the text depends on three main factors: appropriate meanings of words used in the Sutras, a just connection between the parts of a Sutra, and a proper correlation between one Sutra and another. But it is not always easy to satisfy these conditions, simple as they appear to be; for words in Sanskrt have often a large number of meanings, out of which a proper selection has to be made; and a wrong choice can heap error on error without end. Indeed, the chief difficulty in getting at a properly connected meaning of the text would be due to this; and it is complicated by the idea, commonly held by scholars, that each Sutra is complete or almost complete in itself. Nor is the language of the text always free from ambiguity, and extreme conciseness has often been gained at the expense of clarity of expression; while a total absence of punctuation within a Sutra makes it difficult to disentangle its parts. But, even as the author of the Yedanta Sutras tells us, it requires calmness, patience, and devotion to the task to be able to enter into the spirit of the text; and once we succeed in grasping its form and mode of expression, it is not difficult to get at the correct meaning; and the whole idea is then found to be consistent and continuous from end to end. This applies not only to the Mimamsa, but to all systems of Philosophy composed in this form.
I should like to take this opportunity of thanking all those who have assisted me or lightened my task. I am very grateful to Dr. S. N. Shastri of Hindu College, who, at great cost of time and trouble, has gone through the entire rendering, Stara by Satra, and made some very valuable suggestions. He has also read some of the proofs and interested himself in the publication of the work. I am also very thankful to the authorities of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry, for the assistance they have rendered in printing the book, - more specially the Mother, Dr. Indra Sen, and Mr. N. D. Gupta, Manager of the Press. But my deepest debt of gratitude is due to my wife who, with rare self-denial, has lightened my task, and enabled me to do my work. It was she who started me on the study of the Mahabharata thirty years ago, and has throughout been a source of great comfort to me.
The Law of Dharma
The Law of Action
Action, Motive and the Soul
Krama and the Method of Interpretation
The Problem of Action
The Method of Interpretation
The Method of Interpretation:
The Law of Action
Sacrifice and the Intellect:The Method of Interpretation
The Method of Interpretation: Desire, Purpose and Action
Action, Effort and Result: The Method of Interpretation
Sacrifice and Intelligence: The Instinct of Creation
Appendix-I - Rtvij Priests
Appendix-II - Jyotistoma
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