EPUB Ebook here { }. .. Soul and Consciousness The Charvaka philosophy said there is no soul apart from the body. Perception Charvaka philosophy believes that whatever is arrived by the. PDF | several commentators on the base texts of the materialists, known as In the history of classical Indian philosophy the Cārvākas since the eighth century. Carvaka-materialistic Philosophy in Ancient India - Download as Word Doc .doc) , PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.

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3, Views. 7 Favorites. DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. download 1 file · ABBYY GZ download · download 1 file · PDF download · download 1 file. Charvaka /Lokayat philosophy is a heterodox school of. Indian philosophy. • Do not believe in the authority of the Vedas. • Founder of this school is shrouded in. Materialism of. Charvakas. Dr. Desh Raj Sirswal,. Assistant Professor ( Philosophy),. College for Girls, Sector,. Chandigarh http://drsirswal. webs.

Though materialism in some form or other has always been present in India, and occasional references are found in the Vedas, the Buddhistic literature, the Epics, as well as in the later philosophical works we do not find any systematic work on materialism, nor any organised school of followers as the other hilosophical schools possess.. Our knowledge of Indian materialism is chiefly based on these Available evidence suggests that Carvaka philosophy The Carvaka scholars carried on research, termed Aanvikshiki,whereevery branch of knowledge and developed it elaborately.

It is possible that they also observed and kept records of the historical supernovae, which the Chinese, the Incas and Mayans and all other ancient civilizations did, as per records left to posterity in the form of astrological writings Chinese and cave paintings Incas and Mayans. However, the Indian records have not yet come to light, perhaps due to the predominance of oral tradition in India, liable to easy distortion.

Indian philosophy

More probably, any records have been destroyed by the Carvakas' opponents. NO original text of the Carvaka school of philosophy has been preserved. Its principal works are known only from fragments cited by its materialistic, atheistic sutras were the foundational text of the Carvaka school of materialist nastika philosophy. Dale Riepe says, "It may be said from the available material that Carvakas hold truth, integrity, consistency, and freedom of thought in the highest esteembut how can we attribute to the Divine Being the giving of supreme felicity, when such a notion has been utterly abolished by Charvaka, the crest-gem of the atheistic school, the follower of the doctrine of Brihaspati?

The efforts of Charvaka are indeed hard to be eradicated. A symposium of philosophers of all faiths held in at Akbar's insistence. Under the heading "Nastika," Abul Fazl has referred to the good work, judicious administration, and welfare schemes that were emphasised by the Carvaka lawmakers. Somadeva has also mentioned the Carvaka method of defeating the enemies of the nation. Carvakas cultivated a philosophy wherein theology and what they called "speculative metaphysics.

According to the Carvakas, there is no such thing as the atman.

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One does not and cannot perceive the atman, and one cannot establish its existence with the help of inference, because inference is not a valid source of knowledge. The Carvakas state that consciousness is not due to the atman. Being conscious is a peculiar quality of the living human body. It can keep back the consciousness so long as the physical parts are healthy and stay together in a certain form. Consciousness thus is an emergent quality of the physical parts coming together in specific proportions.

For example, when yeast is blended with certain juices, they turn into wine. The property of being wine is a new quality which yeast and juices obtain when blended. Therefore, according to Carvakas metaphysics, life also is only a new configuration of matter.

Nothing but matter is real. Therefore the atman or self-awareness is only the physical body with a new emerging quality.

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The Carvakas metaphysics speak of the mind manas , which is different from the atman. But the Carvakas appear to think of mind as the consciousness in its knowing function, which of course is not separate from the body. The body together with its consciousness is the atman and consciousness in its experiencing function is the mind.

Mind knows the external world through the senses.

The world is the material world only. According to the Carvakas, it does not consist of five elements, as the Mimamsa believes. Earth, water, fire, air, and ether are the usual five elements corresponding to the qualities smell, taste, colour, touch, and sound, and also corresponding to the five sense organs, nose, tongue, eye, touch, and ear. The first four elements are perceivable, but not ether. So the Carvakas deny the reality of ether. It was thought that the cause of sound in the ear was the all-pervading ether.

But the Carvakas say that sound is caused by air touching the ear. It is due to the movement of air not of ether. The other four elements constitute the world. They consist of tiny particles, which are not, however, the invisible atoms of the Naiyayikas.

The particles accepted by the Carvakas are visible particles; they could not accept the reality of anything that could not be perceived with the senses. There is no external cause for the four elements coming together and obtaining the qualities of life and consciousness. It is their nature to come together and to have those qualities. But we cannot generalize on this process and establish a law that, whenever these four elements come together in certain ratio, life and consciousness will emerge.

The elements may change their nature any time. We cannot, therefore say that Nature contains some eternal laws. Every event is a chance, and if it develops into something, then it develops according to its own particular nature. One may conclude that, according to the Carvakas, the existence of everything is a chance, and that there are no laws of nature, but every object has its own nature.

Carvakas defended a complete reductive materialism according to which the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air are the only original components of being; all other forms are products of their composition. Consciousness arises from the material structure of the body and characterizes the body itself—rather than a soul—and perishes with the body.

Ajita Keshakambalin, a prominent Carvakas and contemporary of the Buddha, proclaimed that humans literally go from earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust: According to the Carvakas, the soul is only the body qualified by intelligence. It has no existence apart from the body, only this world exists Carvaka metaphysics states that nothing that is not perceived with the senses or consciousness is real and existing".

It can keep back the onsciousness so long as the physical parts are healthy and stay together in a certain form. Therefore, according to Carvaka metaphysics, life also is only a new configuration of matter. Therefore the atman or self- awareness is only the physical body with a new emerging quality. The Carvaka metaphysics speak of the mind manas , which is different from the atman. Carvaka metaphysics are of the faith that there is no external cause for the four elements coming together and obtaining the qualities of life and consciousness.

It is their inherent quality to come together and to have those qualities.

Sarva-darsana-sangraha of Madhavacharya

However one cannot generalise on this process and establish a law that, whenever these four elements come together in certain ratio, life and consciousness will emerge. The elements may alter their nature any time. One cannot, therefore say that Nature comprises some eternal laws.

In this school the four elements, earth, fire, water and air are the original principles.

When the body is destroyed, intelligence at once perishes also. Therefore the soul is only the body distinguished by the attribute of intelligence, since there is no evidence for any self distinct from the body. Therefore the existence of such a separate self cannot be proved,According to the Carvakas, the soul is only the body qualified by intelligence.

It has no existence apart from the body, only this world exists. All anti-Vedic schools and even some Vedic schools such as Samkhya and Mimamsa, were atheistic. The existence of god was a standard topic for rational debate. In the 11th century Udayana, , set forth five ways of proving the existence of god. The atheists put forward excellent rejoinders, like the following: "If the universe requires a maker because it undergoes change, even God needs a maker because he sometimes creates, sometimes destroys.

They did not believe in the theory of divine creation of the universe by a supernatural power. According to them, if there is a benevolent God supervising humanity, then why is it that a majority of the human population is in the throes of misery and suffering? If there is a just God above us, then why is there so much injustice on the earth, against the poor and deprived sections of society? No one has ever seen God and no one can see him in future.

In fact, in the Carvaka way of life, even the minor gods also do not exist. They and the Vedas belong to the imagination of guileful priests, who invented them to make a living out of them by refereeing at sacrifices, and to awe people into submission by saying that God would punish them if they did not abide by the Vedas.

There is no heaven, no hell, no God, and there are no objective ethical laws. The only laws binding men are the laws of the state, obedience to which brings rewards and disobedience of which fetches punishment. And the science shastra of the laws of state is the only science worth studying. What is meant by heaven is the pleasure one has in eating, drinking, making merry and singing.

And hell is the pain one experiences in this world itself "Madhavacharya, in his works, has elaborated on the theory of materialist philosophers who believed only in the present existing world.

Of the three important sources of knowledge accepted in common by all the orthodox schools perception, inference, and verbal testimony , the Carvakas accepted only perception as the valid source of knowledge and rejected both inference and verbal testimony. Whatever we know through perception is true and real. The Carvakas at first seem not to have been aware of the difficulties in accepting perception as a valid source of knowledge, which were pointed out later by the Buddhist and Vedanta dialecticians.

The later Carvakas showed that they knew of the difficulties, but they did not discuss the implications of this question and maintained on the whole a realistic position. It is interesting to note that, in their examination of inference, the Carvakas anticipated the European skeptics. They said that inference was not a valid source of knowledge, because the major premise of an inference cannot be proved.

This is the classical example of inference in Indian epistemology. The Carvakas ask: i How can we formulate the major premise unless we have seen all the instances of smoke?

If we have not seen all the instances, how can we logically be justified in using the word 'wherever'? If we have seen all the instances, we must have seen the present case, viz. So the Carvakas say that inference is either impossible or unnecessary.

Inference cannot yield truth. But are not causal statements like 'Fire causes the bodies to expand' true? And they are universal propositions like the major premise. The Carvakas say that these causal laws also cannot be true. If we are able to apply causal laws and find them to be true, it is only an accident.

In fact, there are no causal laws. Every event is a chance everything comes into existence and passes out of it according to its own nature. Even this nature is not a universal law; it too may change. However, i t should also be noted that they did not deny the formal validity of inference, because they used the very laws of inference to show that one cannot obtain material truths about the world through inference.

They questioned only on the premises regarding how one can obtain the major premise. But they never stated that, even if one had the major premise, inference was wrong. They did not criticise the structure of the syllogism, but only wanted to prove that it was absolutely useless for obtaining any new truth about the world.

In fact, they used the law of contradiction in disproving the doctrines of their rivals. On verbal testimony the Carvakas make a strong attack. Verbal knowledge is only knowledge of words and their meanings based upon inference. My friend says: 'The orange is red. But it has already been pointed out that inference is a risky source of knowledge. And how can I be sure of the reliability of my friend?

For either reason, verbal testimony is not a reliable source of knowledge. But are not the Vedas reliable? The Vedas are not reliable at all, because they are self-contradictory. Carvakas theory of knowledge is not exactly skepticism or agnosticism, but a fairly thoroughgoing positivism. They accept the reality of whatever we can perceive with our senses and deny the reality of whatever we cannot so perceive. They did not deny the formal validity of inference, because they used the very laws of inference to show that we could not obtain material truths about the world through inference.

As a reaction against the ascetic and meditative practices of the religious devout, Indian Materialism celebrated the pleasures of the body. People began gratifying their senses with no restraint. This is one of many areas of the history of Indian Materialism that remains open to debate. Because of its association with hedonistic behavior and heretical religious views, followers of the spiritualistic schools of Indian philosophy Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism are reticent on the subject of the materialistic tendencies present in their own systems; however, some scholars, such as Daya Krishna, have suggested that materialism is, in varying degrees, present in all Indian philosophical schools.

This is not to say that materialism replaces other ideologies—it is to say rather that notions about the priority of this-worldliness appear even in some spiritualistic schools. While matter does not take priority over the spiritual realm in every sense, its significance is elevated more so than in other major world religions.

This observation, for some, carries little weight when examining the philosophical import of the various Indian schools of thought; however, it seems relevant when considering the evolution of Indian thought.

This is not to say that materialism is widely accepted or even that its presence is overtly acknowledged, but it is difficult to deny its far-reaching influence on Indian Philosophy as a whole. Contributions to Science The most significant influence that Materialism has had on Indian thought is in the field of science.

The spread of Indian Materialism led to the mindset that matter can be of value in itself. Rather than a burden to our minds or souls, the Materialist view promoted the notion that the body itself can be regarded as wondrous and full of potential. Evidence in this shift in perspective can be seen by the progress of science over the course of India's history. Materialist thought dignified the physical world and elevated the sciences to a respectable level.

Moreover, the Materialist emphasis on empirical validation of truth became the golden rule of the Scientific Method. Indian Materialism pre-dated the British Empiricist movement by over a millennium.

Materialism as Heresy Regardless of its positive influence on Indian thought, the fact remains that Indian Materialism is often regarded as blatant heresy against the Spiritualistic schools.

It rejects the theism of Hinduism as well as the moralism of Buddhist and Jain thought. The anti-orthodox claims of the Materialists are seen as heretical by the religious masses and fly in the face of the piety promoted by most religious sects.

However, it is questionable whether the formal ethics of Materialism are truly practiced to their logical extent by those who claim to belong to the school.

It is suspected by many scholars that Indian Materialism today stands for an atheistic view that values science in place of supernaturalism. More than anything, Materialists have historically expressed a view that has not found favor among the established religious and social authorities.

The available materials on the school of thought are incomplete and have suffered through centuries of deterioration. Clues about the history of Indian Materialism have been pieced together to formulate at best a sketchy portrayal of how the "philosophy of the people" originated and evolved over thousands of years.

To be a mere skeptic during the time amounted to very low philosophical stature. In fact, it has been compared to the empiricism of John Locke and David Hume. However, logical inferences that were made based on premises that were derived from direct experience were held as valid.

They realized that not all sorts of inference were problematic; in order to proceed through daily life inference is a necessary step. The common example used to demonstrate the difference is the inference that if smoke is rising from a building it is probably an indication that there is a fire within the building.

Critics of this school of thought point to the fallacy of moving from the premise "the soul cannot be known" to the conclusion "the soul does not exist.

They held that all of existence can be reduced to the four elements of air, water, fire and earth. All things come into existence through a mixture of these elements and will perish with their separation. Perhaps the most philosophically sophisticated position of Indian Materialism is the assertion that even human consciousness is a material construct.

According to K. For the manifestation of life and consciousness, body is an inalienable factor. That body is the substratum of consciousness can be seen in the undoubted fact of the arising of sensation and perception only in so far as they are conditioned by the bodily mechanism. Mittal 47 Mittal reports ibid. One forwarded the position that there can be no self or soul apart from the body; another posited that a soul can exist alongside a body as long as the body lives, but that the soul perishes with the body.

The latter view adopted the position that the soul is pure air or breath, which is a form of matter. Cosmology To speculate as to why the universe exists would be an exercise in futility for an Indian Materialist.

The purpose and origin of existence is not discoverable through scientific means. Furthermore, the speculation about such matters leads to anxiety and frustration, which reduce pleasure and overall contentment.

There is no teleology implicit in Indian Materalism, which is evidenced in the school's position that the universe itself probably came into existence by chance.

Although there can be no certainty about the origin of the universe, the most probable explanation is that it evolved as a result of a series of random events. The principles of karma action and niyati fate are rejected because they are derived from the notion that existence in itself is purposeful. The fundamental principle of Indian Materialism was and remains "Svabhava" or nature.

This is not to suggest that nature itself has no internal laws or continuity. It would be a misinterpretation of Indian Materialism to suppose that it forwards a cosmology of chaos.

Rather, it resembles most closely the naturalism forwarded by the American philosopher John Dewey. While it posits no "creator" or teleology, Indian Materialism regards nature itself as a force that thrives according to its own law. Ethics The most common view among scholars regarding the ethic of Indian Materialism is that it generally forwards Egoism. In other words, it adopts the perspective that an individual's ends take priority over the ends of others.

Materialists are critical of other ethical systems for being tied to notions of duty or virtue that are derived from false, supernaturalist cosmologies. Indian Materialism regards pleasure in itself and for itself as the only good and thus promotes hedonistic practices.

Furthermore, it rejects a utilitarian approach to pleasure.

Utilitarianism regards pleasure both higher and lower as the ultimate good and therefore promotes the maximization of the good pleasure on a collective level. Indian Materialism rejects this move away from pure egoism. The doctrine suggests that individuals have no obligation to promote the welfare of society and would only tend to do so if it were to ultimately benefit them as well. In fact, some scholars hold that Indian Materialism is purely nihilistic. It claims nothing more than the rejection of both what we think of now as a Platonic notion of "The Good" along with any notion of "god" or "gods.

Ethical practices and one's spiritual education in Indian culture are inextricably tied to one another. Those who identify with the Indian Materialist school are criticized by the prominent Indian philosophical schools of thought because they are viewed as largely ignorant of both metaphysical and moral truths.

This sort of ignorance is not perceived as a grave threat to the greater good of society, but rather to the individual who is bereft of spiritual and moral knowledge. That Indian Philosophy as a whole shows concern for the individual beliefs and practices of its members is in stark contrast to the cultural and individual relativism that is largely embraced by the West.

References and Further Reading a. Primary Sources Gunaratna. Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya. James L. Robert Goldman and Sally J. Robert Goldman.Food bestowed upon a Brahman, can it serve our Fathers then? Historians have estimated that the Vedas were written and compiled between the years B.

According to the Carvakas, there is no such thing as the atman. The name Carvaka is first used in the 7th century by the philosopher Purandara, who refers to his fellow materialists as "the Charvaka, and it is used by the 8th century philosophers Kamalaala and Haribhadra.

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