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A concept developed by Pūrva Mīmāṃsā to explain the interval between the sacrifice and its result. According to Kumārila (in his Tantravārttika), a sacrificial action immediately produces a storable ‘potency’ called an apūrva in the person who has performed it. This takes the form of a trace or disposition (saṃskāra) which automatically works itself out as a fruit or consequence for the sacrificer at some later date. (According to Śabara, it is the injunction prescribing an action, e.g. ‘He who desires heaven sacrifices’, that brings the apūrva into being as its necessary corollary.) This consequence may occur in another life, since the apūrva is transmissible from death to rebirth as an element of the subtle body. Although the specific connection is not made by the Mīmāṃsakas, the term apūrva is used by Śaṅkara in relation to karma. It is synonymous with the term adṛṣṭa.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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