Also found in: Wikipedia.



a materialist doctrine in ancient and medieval India—a late variant of, and sometimes identified with, the Lokayata. No written work by followers of this school, or Charvakas, has been preserved.

The Charvakas rejected the orthodox Indian religious-philosophical systems whose authority was derived from the Vedas and Vedic principles; they not only denied the existence of an absolute god and of the soul (the brahman and atman) but also rejected the concepts of dharma and karma as the basis of morality. The Charvakas held that only what is directly perceived is true; this world is all that exists, and matter is the only reality. Concentrating on the development of ethical concepts, the Charvakas regarded the notion of good and evil as an illusion created by the human imagination. In their view, only the pain and pleasure of sensory existence are real. They rejected the ascetic restrictions imposed by the rules of the Indian religious-philosophical systems, asserting that the achievement of pleasure is the one goal of human existence. They held that one should strive toward the goal even though the pleasure may be coupled with suffering.

The Charvaka’s consistent materialism and hedonism make it a unique phenomenon in the history of Indian thought, even with respect to unorthodox Indian philosophical systems.


Shcherbatskoi, F. I. “K istorii materializma v Indii.” In Izbr. trudy russkikh indologov-filosofov. Moscow, 1962.
Anikeev, N. P. O materialisticheskikh traditsiakh v indiiskoi filosofii. Moscow, 1965.
Radhakrishnan, S. Indiiskaia filosofiia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from English.)


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
He says while Sanskrit is celebrated as a priestly language, it also has a larger body of firmly agnostic and atheistic literature ( in the works of Lokayata and of the Charvaka schools, among others), than any other classical language in the world.
5) Strong textual support for such an intra-traditional reading of Samskara is available in the fact that Naranappa's "borrow, if you must, but drink your ghee" (Murthy 1999, 21) dictum actually presents a resonant play on the Charvaka tenet: "While life remains let a man live happily, let him feed on ghee even though he runs in debt" (Sarva darsana Sangraha of Madhavacharya 2007, 10).
Desire for the Pleasing in Samskara, recalling Charvaka materialism in many ways, is conceptually akin to preyas; it turns on the axiom of instant gratification.
Second, Naranappa, rehearsing Charvaka brahmin-baiting, takes a savage delight in confounding Madhva pieties.
Charvaka Duvvury is a Texas Instruments Fellow at Texas Instruments (ti.
Much of modern liberalism was foreshadowed in ancient times by the Sophists and Cynics of Greece, the Charvaka nihilists of India, the Legalists of China, and other groups rightly disdained by history.
The award was presented at the EOS/ESD Symposium in Anaheim, California last week by Charvaka Duvvury, chairman of the ESD Association's awards committee.
Other educational resources available from the ESDA include textbooks such as ESD Program Management by Theodore Dangelmayer or ESD in Silicon Integrated Circuits by Ajith Amerasekera and Charvaka Duvvury; technical reports, such as Can Static Electricity Be Measured?
Such a view is shared by virtually all schools of Hinduism except the philosophy of Charvaka (Balasubramanian, 1990; Sinha, 1987).
According to Charvaka Duvvury of Texas Instruments, a contributor to the Technology Roadmap, the purpose of the Roadmap is to project the impact of technology scaling in the IC industry.