The Purva Mimamsa Home Page: प्रभाकर मिश्र (prabhakara mishra)

c. 650-720 AD [TB p. 34]

The founder of the प्राभाकर or गुरुमत school.

He was the शिश्य of कुमारिल भट्ट but disagreed with his master on many things.

On a certain point connected with the after-death rites, प्रभाकर happened to hold with characteristic tenacity to a certain opinion diametrically opposed to his teacher. Having failed to with the pupil to his views by reasonings, the teacher had recourse to a trick: one morning it was suddenly discovered that the teacher had died; and there arose among the pupils a discussion as to the exact manner in which his after death rites were to be performed; when the question was refered to प्रभाकर, as the exponent of one view, he declared that the view held by his teacher was the right one, and that he had put forward another view simply for the purposes of exciting discussion. On hearing this, the teacher who had feigned illness only for obtaining this confession, sat up and expressed satisfaction at प्रभाकर having at last been won over to his views; thereupon प्रभाकर said—"Yes, you won me over to your views, but not while you were living." [PS p. 10]

He is known in the tradition as गुरु. In the course of their studies, the students of कुमारिल came across the sentence—अत्रतुनोक्तन्तन्तत्रपिनोक्तमितिद्विरुक्तम्; this apparently meant—'this has not been mentioned there, nor has it been mentioned here, thus it has been mentioned twice,' an apparent absurdity. The teacher could not find a satisfactory explanation, and ultimately gave it up and went to attend to his evening prayers. When the class assembled again, प्रभाकर suggested that the sentence in question admitted of the construction--अत्र तुना उक्तम् तत्र अपिना उक्तम् इति द्विः उक्तम्, the meaning being 'what is mentioned there by means of the निपात तु is again mentioned here by the निपात अपि, and thus it has been mentioned twice.' The teacher was so pleased at the ingenuity of his pupil that he thereupon conferred upon him the title of गुरु.[PS p. 11]

He has written two works,

  • बृहती or निबन्धन
  • लघ्वी or विवारण

Both are commentaries on the शबर भाष्य.

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Last edited Sun Jan 10 13:17:53 2010