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Mimamsa School On The Concept Of Atman - Soul

The Mimamsa school, one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, has distinct views on the concept of Atman or the soul. According to Mimamsa, the Atman is considered an eternal and infinite substance that is intrinsically connected to a real body in a tangible world. Unlike some other philosophical traditions, Mimamsa emphasizes the reality of the physical world and the importance of performing actions in it.

In the Mimamsa perspective, the Atman survives death, allowing it to experience the consequences of the actions performed during its existence. The school holds that consciousness is not the essence of the Atman; instead, it is considered an adventitious quality. This means that consciousness arises under specific conditions and is not a fundamental aspect of the Atman's nature.

Mimamsa posits the existence of as many souls as there are individuals, highlighting the individuality and distinctiveness of each Atman. Liberation (moksha) in the Mimamsa tradition is achieved through disinterested performance of obligatory actions, knowledge of the Atman, and the gradual wearing out of karmas accumulated in the past. The concept of karma plays a crucial role in Mimamsa philosophy, as it is believed that the consequences of one's actions determine the course of rebirths.

Liberation, according to Mimamsa, is characterized by the total cessation of the cycle of rebirth (samsara) and the attainment of a state beyond pleasure and pain. This state is described as a transcendent condition where the liberated soul remains unaffected by the dualities of the material world.

In summary, the Mimamsa school provides a unique perspective on the Atman, emphasizing its eternal nature, the reality of the physical world, and the significance of performing actions in accordance with prescribed duties to attain liberation. Knowledge of the Atman, disinterested action, and the resolution of past karmas are central to the Mimamsa understanding of the path to liberation.