According to Mīmāṃsā authors, and unlike Nyāya ones, Vedic sentences do not convey the existence of something, but rather that something should be done. This means that the entire Veda is an instrument of knowledge only as regards duties and cannot be falsified through sense-perception, inference, etc. No Mīmāṃsā author, for instance, could ever blame a scientist for reaching a conclusion that clashes with data found in the Veda.
Intrinsic validity means that each cognition is in itself valid, unless and until the opposite is proven. I do not need to prove that I am typing in order to know that I am. I know that I am typing unless and until something shows me that I am wrong (e.g., I wake up and realise I was only dreaming of typing).
Several distinct component are constitutive of what we now know to be Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta and are not present at the time of Rāmānuja:
- 1. The inclusion of the Āḻvār’s theology in Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta
- 2. The Pāñcarātra orientation of both subschools of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta
- 3. The two sub-schools
- 4. The Vedāntisation of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta
- 5. The impact of other schools
Was Rāmānuja the first author of the Vedāntisation of the current(s) which later became well-known as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta? Possibly yes. But, one might suggest that there are many Upaniṣadic quotations also in Yāmuna’s Ātmasiddhi and that Rāmānuja’s Śrībhāṣya seems to speak to an already well-established audience, and I wonder how could this have been the case if he were the first one attempting the Vedāntisation…
Does sense-perception have natural limitations? Or can it be improved through practice and still be perceptual?
Can one speak of theology without partaking a given faith and belonging to a given community of believers? Religious texts can be read as historical or literary documents, but can they also be read as theological ones outside a community of believers?
(apologies in advance for the lack of diacritics, I am home, ill, with no access to a unicode keyboard)
Purva Mimamsa authors are generally not interested in the topic, whereas several Uttara Mimamsa (i.e. Vedanta) ones deal at length with the status of the Mimamsasastra (I am tempted to say that, similarly, Christians alone are concerned with the unity of the two testaments within the Bible).
A particularly puzzling element, in this connection, is the status of an “intermediate part” of the Mimamsasastra,
Why do Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedāntin authors care for a Mīmāṃsā-related text which Mīmāṃsākas ignore, and which only seems to deal with minor ritual topics?