There are about twenty-six works extant that exemplifies the Mimamsa Darsana system. The main works are the Sutras of Jaimini, Purva Mimamsa Sutras. Then is the Bhashya, by Shavara, the Satika-Sastra-Dipika or the Mimansa-Sara and the Mimamsa Sangraha.
From the last three works the synopsis of Mimamsa Darsana system is that Jamini taught that God is to be worshipped only through the summoning of the Vedas. The summarization was that Vedas, which were uncreated and included in themselves the proofs of their own divinity, the very words of which were unalterable. Jaimini's reasonings on the nature of material things were similar to those of Gautama Buddha, insisting that truth is capable of the clearest expression, excluding any mistakes. He represented creation, preservation and destruction, which are regulated by the merit and demerit of works. He rejected the principle of the total destruction of the universe. Jaimini maintained that the images and idols of the gods were not real illustration of real God, but only assists the mind of the worshiper. The inference drawn was that the mere forms of worship had neither merit nor demerit in them. Also the promises of the Shastra to persons, who presented so many offerings and so many prayers, are only given as allurements to duty.
To cherish a firm belief in the Vedas, Jaimini headed the person, who required final liberation. He also assisted the person with persuasion of the benefits of religion, and the desire of being engaged in the service of the gods. Thus according to him by entering upon the duties of religion, and by degrees ascending through the states or stages of a student, a secular, and a hermit, he would be sure to obtain final union in Brahma.
There are three divisions in Veda. The first one is the Karma Kanda, or "practical part," relates to religious ceremonies including moral and religious obligations. In this segment Jaimini has tried to explain in his Sutras. In the Purva Mimansa Sutras, meaning first reflection or Karma-Mimamsa, "Study of Ritual Action" he explained as a system that investigates the nature of Vedic injunctions. The text founded the Purva-Mimamsa school of Ancient Indian philosophy, one of the six Darsanas or schools of Ancient Indian philosophy.
Purva-Mimamsa Sutras is said to be dated to the 3rd century B.C. The text contains about 3,000 sutras and is the opening text of the Mimamsa School. Jaimini's Mimamsa is a ritualistic counter-movement to the mystics Vedanta currents of his day.
According to Jaimini sound in opposition to the Nyaiyikas, who deny this, is uncreated and eternal, and is of two kinds. One is the simple sound, or that which is produced by an impression on the air without requiring an agent, as the name of God. The other is the compound sound, which is symbolized, or audible. Thus, he gave an example in which he said that the state of the sea, in a perfect calm, represents simple, uncreated sound; but the sea, in a state of agitation, illustrates sound as made known by an agent.
As the meaning of sound the symbols of sounds, or letters, are eternal and uncreated. For example, when a person has pronounced 'ka', however long he may continue to utter 'ka'. 'Ka' is the same sound, sometimes present and sometimes absent; but sound is never new. Its manifestation alone is new by an impression made upon the air. Therefore sound is God or Brahma, and the world is nothing but the name.
The Veda has no existence of the normal human being but restrains in itself the evidence of divine authorship, and comes forth as the command of a monarch. It is present in men to receive as divine, those works of the sages or Rishis, which are found to agree with the Veda. It also has clear definitions of duty, and to be free from any opposition.
The meaning of religion explained is that which secures happiness. It is the duty of man to attend to the duties of religion, not only on this account, but in obedience to the commands of God. The divine law of religion is called Vidhi. Jaimini explained that any forms of praise, motives to duty, and religious observances, are auxiliaries to the divine law, and have, therefore, a relative sanctity and obligation.
There are five modes of ascertaining the commands of God, they are the subject to be discussed is brought forward; the questions respecting it are stated; objections are stated; replies to these objections are given; and the question is decided.
In Mimamsa Darsana system, God is stated as who acts in religion according to the decision thus come to, does well. And therefore he who rejects what will not bear this examination; but he who follows rules, which have been hereby condemned, labors in vain.
Religious means those actions from which future happiness will arise or good, because fruitfulness of happiness. Those, which tend to future misery, are called evil, on account of their evil fruits. Therefore, according to Jaimini, actions of themselves have in them neither good nor evil. Actions nature can only be inferred from the declarations of the Veda respecting them, or from future consequences.
From the evidence of things which God has afforded, especially the evidence of the senses, mistakes cannot arise either respecting secular or religious affairs. When there may exist error in this evidence, it will diminish, but cannot destroy the nature of things. If there be any defect in seed, the production may be imperfect, but its nature will not be changed. The seat of error and inattention is to be found in this reasoning faculty, and not in the senses; error arising from the confused union of present ideas or anubhava with recollection.
Some sages believed that ideas are received into the understanding separately, and never two at the same time. This is wrong, for it must be admitted, that while one idea is maintained, there is an opening left in the understanding for the admission of another. Thus, as stated in the arithmetical calculations when one added to one it makes two.
In some parts, Veda has prohibited all injury to conscious beings, and in others parts, has prescribed the offering of bloody sacrifices. Jaimini explains this apparent contradiction by observing that some commands are general, and others are particular. He means that the former must give way to the latter, as a second knot always loosens, in a degree, the first. Thus for example when it is said that Goddess Saraswati is in general white, then it must be clear generally but not literally as for the hair and eyebrows of the goddess are not white but black along with the lips. Thus, in cases where general commands are given, they must be observed with those limitations, which are found in the Shastra.
In Shastra, the promises of reward contained in it upon a minute attention to the different parts of duty, have been given rather as a provocation to its performance than with the intention of entire fulfillment. It is believed that the person who has begun a ceremony, but by circumstances, been incapable to finish it, shall yet be rewarded.
The advantages resulting from the due performance of civil and social duties are confined to this life. Those connected with the performance of religious duties are to be enjoyed in a future state, while some praiseworthy actions or virtues, and reap their reward both in the present and the future life.
Work done by a person gives birth to indistinguishable consequences; they can be either auspicious or unfavorable. According to their nature and besides works, there is no other sovereign or judge. These consequences, ever accompanying the individual, as the shadow the body, appear in the next birth. This occurs in accordance with the time and behavior in which those actions were performed in the previous birth. There is a saying relating to this theory, 'Works rule and men by them are led or driven, as the ox with a hook in its nose.'
There are various ways of the progress of all actions, whether they originate in the commands of the astras, or in the customs of a country. Firstly, the act is considered and resolved on in the mind, and then it is followed by means of words. Lastly it is proficient by executing the different constituent parts of the action. Therefore it follows that religion and non-religion refer to thoughts, words, and actions. Some actions, however, are purely those of the mind, or of the voice, or of the body. The virtue or vice of all actions depend on the state of the heart.
There is a principle in Mimamsa Darshan , which says that it is not correct that at a certain period, the whole universe will be destroyed. The world had no beginning, and will have no end. As long as there are works, there must be birth, as well as a world like the present, to form a theatre on which they may be performed, and their consequences either enjoyed or endured.
One of the sages of the Mimansa School thus expresses God as simple to sound to assist the pious in their forms of meditation (or incantations). He is represented as light; but the power of liberation lies in the sound 'God - God.' When the repeater is perfect, the incantation, or name repeated, appears to him in the form of simple light or glory.
He also says that the objects of worship, which are within the cognizance of the senses, are to be received; for without faith religious actions are destitute of fruit. Thus, let no one treat an incantation as a mere form of alphabetic signs, nor an image as composed of the inanimate material, lest he should be guilty of a serious crime.