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Charvaka Philosophy In Hinduism – Importance of Charvak Darshan in Hindu Religion

Charvaka Philosophy in Hinduism is related to materialistic ideas and rejects the idea of Karma and Moksha. Also known as Lokayata (related to the world), the teachings in Charvak Darshan are atheistic and borders on hedonism. The teachings were propounded by Charvaka and are believed to be older than 6th century BC. The importance of Charvak darshan in Hindu religion stems from that only Hindu religion can accept an atheistic school of thought.

There are no original texts associated with Charvaka Philosophy. People came to know about Charvak Darshan from the reference about the philosophy in later texts.

The main teachings of Charvaka Philosophy are:

  • There is no God
  • There is no life after death.
  • All that is here came from nature and not from God.
  • Fire is hot and water is cold due to its nature.
  • Darshans (spiritual teachings) were found by man and not god
  • Charvaka also states that Vedas were written by Jokers.
  • The school of thought gives importance to direct perception or Anubhava.
Important teachings of Charvaka Philosophy are found in the Sarvadarshanam Samgraha of Madhvacharya. In the book, Madhvacharya refutes the teachings of Charvaka.

Critics have condemned followers of the Charvak Darshan as Hedonists. They are of the opinion that the teachings were propounded to lure princes and rich people.

Charvaka philosophy never had a great number of followers. It disappeared during the medieval period.