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According to the Pūrva Mīmāṃsaka exegetes, arthavāda is the division of the Veda into which descriptive statements fall. Such statements complement injunctions (vidhis) and prohibitions (pratiṣedhas). Through their glorification of what is enjoined and their excoriation of what is forbidden, their function is simply to incite the ritualist to act or to abstain from action. Such statements as: ‘The sun is the sacrificial post’, ‘Indra hurled the thunderbolt at Vṛtra’—indeed, all statements about gods and heaven—fall into this category of arthavāda. Their purpose is not to signify independently existent entities, but simply to shore up the sacrificer's performance. Their only form is as words in the mantras when the offering is made.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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