Mimamsa in Sanskrit means “Through Investigation”, of Vedic texts. It has two parts the first one is Purva Mimamsa which strongly defend the ritualistic part of Vedas and the one to follow it is Uttara Mimamsa dealing with the later part of Vedas called Upanishads, it is also called Vedanta. Both are among the six Aastika Darshana (Theist school of Thought).
On the banks of Narmada in a place called Mahishmati lived Mandana Mishra. He was a great champion of Purva Mimamsa and a confirmed ritualist. It is said that even the parrots living on a tree near his house would be repeating the Vedic Mantras. Such was his ritualistic practice.
With an interest to have a debate with him Sri Sri Sankara who advocated Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta went to Mahishmati along with his disciples. Mandana Mishra was performing the Sraddha (paying homage to ancestors) ceremony of his father. He was not pleased by the sudden appearance of a sanyasi there. He got even more annoyed to know that the sanyasi was not a ritualist and had come to have a debate with him.
He asked him in a sarcastic manner: “Kuto Mundi?” (From where are you, O clean shaven one?)
Sri Sri Sankara could see the sarcasm in the words and decided to reply in a sarcastic manner. The words “Kuto Mundi” can also be interpreted in Sanskrit as “How far have you shaved?”
Sri Sri Sankara replied: “Agalan Mundi” (Shaven up to the neck).
Not knowing why Sri Sri Sankara was mentioning about his tonsured head. Mandana Mishra clarified, “Margam Prichate Maya” (I asked the way).
Sri Sri Sankara did not stop there, he quipped, “Kim kaha Patha” (What did the way tell you?).
Mandana Misra was visibly upset by the taunting answers; he shouted angrily, “Patha prokta tava Matuh Vidhava” (The way said your mother is a widow).
Sri Sri Sankara said mischievously, “Tha Thevahi” (May be it is true). Thus Sri Sri Sankara meant that the “way” was referring to mother of Mandana Mishra.
Mandana Mishra angrily shouted, “Sura Pita?” (Have you drunk liquor?).
Sri Sri Sankara replied, “Sura Shweta na Pita” (Liquor is white, not yellow). The word Pita in Sanskrit can mean both “yellow” as well as “drunk”.
“Tatha hi, tvam janasi varnam” (So you know the colour?) asked Mandana Mishra sarcastically.
“Maya varnat etavat janami, tvam ruchim api jasyati va” (I know only the colour, but perhaps you might know how it taste too) said Sri Sri Sankara.
Mandana Mishra became furious and wanted to say something, but the other guests who were present at the Sraddha ceremony intervened and advised Mandana Mishra to invite Sri Sri Sankara for biksha.
“I want only a Vaada Bhiksha (Alms of discussion) nothing to eating.” said Sri Sri Sankara.
Mandana Mishra said, “We shall have it tomorrow, now you and your disciples can have food with me.”
We all know that there was a very healthy discussion on Purva and Uttara Mimamsa between Mandana Mishra and Sri Sri Sankara, later Mandana Mishra's wife Ubhaya Bharati too joined her husband. When Sri Sri Sankara established the greatness of Vedanta over the debate both the husband and wife became disciples of Sri Sri Sankara.
Mandana Mishra then went on to become the first peetadhipati of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetam at Sringeri by the name Sureshwaracharya.