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Monday, August 13, 2012

Annotated basic bibliography on Mīmāṃsā in 15 titles

The following texts are thought as an introduction for students/scholars who prefer to read texts along with a translation.

–Kei Kataoka,  Kumārila on Truth, Omniscience, and Killing. Part 1. An Annotated translation of Mīmāṃsā-Ślokavārttika ad 1.1.2 (Codanāsūtra), Wien 2011.

Kataoka's edition, translation and study of Ślokavārttika ad Śābarabhāṣya, codanā, since it is far more accurate than Jhā's translation and since it gives a lot of interesting material (its footnotes constitute almost a reference book on Mīmāṃsā in themselves). It is targeted at readers that know Sanskrit.

Mīmāṃsānyāyaprakāśa of Āpadeva, edited and translated by Franklyn Edgerton, New Haven 1929.

The great introduction, footnotes, glossary etc. by Edgerton make it very accessible, and it is a good example of a post-classical Mīmāṃsā prakaraṇa.

Mīmāṃsānyāyasaṅgraha. A Compendium on the Principles of Mīmāṃsā, edited and translated by James Benson, Wiesbaden 2010.

Another among the few primary texts which have been translated in English. It is not a philosophically-oriented text, rather a compendium of ritual-exegetical issues, arranged according to the order of the adhikaraṇas in the Mīmāṃsāsūtra. The fact of having the complete text, with the translation and together with the index means that you can easily see in the commentary of which Mīmāṃsāsūtra Mīmāṃsā authors dealt with, say, the issue of adhikāra, or of women's role. A good example of post-classical Mīmāṃsā commentary on the MS.


Mīmāṃsākośa by Kevalānandasārasvatī

An unsurpassable mine of information for each key concept and term of the school (all in Sanskrit).

Francis Xavier Clooney, Thinking Ritually, Vienna 1990.

A key text to understand Jaimini without Śabara and to penetrate a non-ontological world-view.

–Lawrence McCrea, The Hierarchical Organization of Language in Mīmāṃsā Interpretive Theory, Journal of Indian Philosophy 2000.

It is one of the few good articles on Mīmāṃsā's being a philosophical school exactly insofar as it deals with ritual exegesis.

Lars Göhler, Reflexion und Ritual in der Pūrvamīmāṃsā. Studie zur frühen Geschichte der Philosophie in Indien, Wiesbaden 2011.

A very good explanation of how Mīmāṃsā emerged out of previous speculations on the ritual and how it influenced the classical Indian philosophy.

–R.C. Dwivedi (ed.), Studies in Mīmāṃsā. Dr. Mandan Mishra Felicitation Volume, Delhi 1994.

A really good collection of essays on various topics of Mīmāṃsā. It has contributions by all Mīmāṃsā scholars (until 1993). And it is a good mix of introductory studies and thought-provocative ones. One gets an idea of what one could study in one's PhD on Mīmāṃsā, for instance.

–Jean-Marie Verpoorten, Mīmāṃsā Literature, Wiesbaden 1987.

In the Gonda series about the History of Indian Literature. Short and not pausing enough (in my humble opinion) on each author and work, but absolutely essential to get a first idea of who wrote what in Mīmāṃsā.

Tattvabindu by Vācaspatimiśra with Tattvavibhāvanā by Ṛṣiputra Parameśvara: Introduction by V.A. Ramaswami Sastri, Annamalai 1936.

The (about 200 pp.) introduction to the Tattvabindu has a history of Mīmāṃsā literature which nicely complements Verpoorten's one, since it goes in much deeper detail on the contents of each work, until the 19th c.(!)

–John Taber, A Hindū critique of Buddhist epistemology: Kumārila on perception: the "Determinatin of perception" chapter of Kumārila Bhaṭṭa's Ślokavārttika / translation and commentary, 2007.

Among the few works which are both accurate and philosophically stimulating. A "must" for people interested in Mīmāṃsā epistemology and in direct realism in general.

Gaṅgānātha Jhā, Pūrva-Mīmāṃsā in its sources, 1942.

No matter how old, it is often the first book I check when I cannot make sense of something in a text. Good balance of epistemology and hermeneutics.

Kiyotaka Yoshimizu, Der ''Organismus" des urheberlosen Veda: eine Studie der Niyoga-Lehre Prabhākaras mit ausgewählten Übersetzungen der Bṛhatī, Vienna 1997.

 It is great, accurate and very innovative. Unfortunately it is in German.

Gaṅgānātha Jhā, The Prābhākara school of Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, 1911.

Old and not completely flawless, from today's point of view. Still, Jhā had his core-competence in Mīmāṃsā and there are not many other comparable primers on this school.

K.T. Pandurangi, Prakaraṇapañcikā of Śālikanātha with an exposition in English, New Delhi 2004.

–If one cannot access Yoshimizu's German translations of parts of Prabhākara's Bṛhatī and does not want to read the Prakaraṇapañcikā in Sanskrit only, this is a rich commented summary of the principal text by the principal Prābhākara. The text deals with almost all primary topics of Prābhākara

All choices are personal and open to debate. What would be your list?

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