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Born~ 4th to 2nd century BCE[1]
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Jaimini was an ancient Indian scholar who founded the Mīmāṃsā school of Hindu philosophy. He is the son of Parāśara and is considered to be a disciple of sage Vyasa. Traditionally attributed to be the author of the Mimamsa Sutras [2][3] and the Jaimini Sutras,[4][5] he is estimated to have lived around 4th to 2nd century BCE.[4][1][6] Some scholars place him between 250 BCE and 50 CE.[7] His school is considered non-theistic,[8] but emphasizes ritual parts of the Vedas as essential to dharma.[9] Jaimini is known for his studies of the older Vedic rituals.

Jaimini's guru was Badarayana,[3] who founded the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. He is also credited with authoring the Brahma Sutras.[10] Both Badarayana and Jaimini quoted each other as they analyzed each other's theories. Badarayana emphasises knowledge, while Jaimini emphasises rituals. They sometimes agree with each other, sometimes disagree, and often present antithesis to each other.[10]

Jaimini's contributions to textual analysis and exegesis influenced other schools of Indian philosophies. The most studied bhashya (reviews and commentaries) on Jaimini's texts were written by scholars named Shabara, Kumarila, and Prabhakara.[11]


Jaimini is most known for his great treatise Purva Mimamsa Sutras, also called Karma-mimamsa (“Study of Ritual Action”), a system that investigates the rituals in the Vedic texts. The text founded the Purva-Mimamsa (Mimamsa) school of Indian philosophy, one of the six Darsanas or schools of Indian philosophy.

Dated to around the 4th century BCE, the text contains about 3,000 sutras and is the foundational text of the Mimamsa school.[2] The text aims at an exegesis of the Vedas with regard to ritual practice (karma) and religious duty (dharma), commenting on the early Upanishads. Jaimini's Mimamsa is eminently ritualist (karma-kanda) in comparison to the metaphysical focus on knowledge of the Self (Atman) and Brahman of the Vedanta philosophy.[3][10] His Mimamsa Sutra was commented upon by many, of which Śābara was among the earliest.[12][13]

Jaimini's Mimamsa emerged in a time when traditional Vedic beliefs were losing their persuasive power. It was no longer taken for granted that sacrifices pleased deities, maintained the universe, or that the Vedas were infallible. Buddhist, Jain, and skeptical perspectives questioned the significance of sacrifices, while some adherents continued their practice despite doubts. This challenged the notion of a comprehensive understanding of rituals. In his works, Jaimini sought to address these criticisms.[14]

Jaimini also wrote a version of the Mahabharata narrated to him by his preceptor Vyasa, but today, only the Ashvamedhika Parva and the Shasramukhacaritam of his work are available.[15] It was translated into English in 2 volumes along with the Mairavanacaritam by the retired Brigadier General Shekhar Kumar Sen and Dr. Pradeep Bhattachaarya who is also the editor of the translation.

Other mentions[edit]


When sage Veda Vyasa classified ancient Vedic hymns into four parts based on their use in sacrificial rites and taught them to his four chief disciples – Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu, Samaveda was transmitted to sage Jaimini.

He classified the Veda into four, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. The histories and the Puranas are said to be the fifth Veda.

— Brahmanda Purana 1.4.21

Markandeya Purana[edit]

One of the major Puranas, the Markandeya Purana, opens with a dialogue between sage Jaimini and Markandeya.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, pages 310, 438, 537-538
  2. ^ a b James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1 & 2, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, pages 438, 437-438, 746
  3. ^ a b c Radhakrishna, Sarvepalli (1960). Brahma Sutra, The Philosophy of Spiritual Life. p. 22 with footnote 3 and 4.
  4. ^ a b "Jaimini Sutras".
  5. ^ P.S.Sastri (2006). Maharishi Jaimini's Jaimini Sutram (complete) (2006 ed.). Ranjan Publications. ISBN 9788188230181.
  6. ^ Klostermaier, Klaus K. (1 January 1994). A Survey of Hinduism: Second Edition. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2109-3.
  7. ^ Adamson, Peter; Ganeri, Jonardon (26 March 2020). Classical Indian Philosophy: A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, Volume 5. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-885176-9.
  8. ^ FX Clooney (1997), What’s a god? The quest for the right understanding of devatā in Brāhmaṅical ritual theory (Mīmāṃsā), International Journal of Hindu Studies, August 1997, Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 337-385
  9. ^ P. Bilimoria (2001), Hindu doubts about God: Towards Mimamsa Deconstruction, in Philosophy of Religion: Indian Philosophy (Editor: Roy Perrett), Volume 4, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-8153-3611-2, pages 87-106
  10. ^ a b c Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon, Translator: Charles Johnston, ISBN 978-1519117786, page 20
  11. ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1 & 2, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, pages 438, 616
  12. ^ Purva Mimamsa Sutras of Jaimini Archived 9 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1 & 2, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, page 616
  14. ^ Clooney, Francis X. (1987). "Why the Veda Has No Author: Language as Ritual in Early Mīmāṃsā and Post-Modern Theology". Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 55 (4): 659–684. ISSN 0002-7189.
  15. ^ "The Jaimini Bharata: A Celebrated Canarese Poem, with Translations and Notes". Printed at the Wesleyanmission press. 1852.

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