Lokayata-(Charvaka)

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October 12, 2012 by Indian Schools of Thought


LOKAYATA-CHARVAKA-BRHSPATYA.

Charvaka : was a term implied as derogatory to Lokayata by the opponents of Logic.

Lokayata means that which is prevalent among the people and also that which is essentially this worldly.  This originated from a primordial complex of this world outlook related to a body of ritual practices and whole them being somehow or other prevalent among masses.  The most conspicuous feature of this primitive world –appears (Outlook related to a body) to be DEHAVADA, the view that the materal human body is the microcosm of the universe, along with cosmogony attributing the origin of the universe to the “Union of the Male and the Female”.

This archaic world-outlook  represent stage of the consciousness yet to witness the birth of the spiritualistic concepts like God, Soul and the other World., essentially it was pre-spiritualistic outlook and was far from a philosophical out look proper.  It had for reaching philosophical success to achieve in India scenario.  For it eventually became a highly developed philosophical system and represented the strongest opposition to the earliest form of India Idealism,  namely Vedanta.

Their primitive rituals are related to the primitive complex, the way of life, a struggle for the existence in the rugged conditions as directly interwoven with the productive activity o men living evidently at a primitive lee o development.

The primordial complex is related to the primitive obscure rituals-a popular name Tantrism, which is not only ancient but also medieval and modern.  Its relics are not only ancient but also are traced as back as Indus period and its influence  has continued unbroken till today.  The peculiar tenacity of the archaic beliefs throughout the cultural history of India can only be accounted for by the actual survival of social reality of those material conditions of which these were the products.

The most conspicuous features of the Indian social history had been uneven development and tribal survival.  The primitive society has always persisted here along with and by the side of an advanced and civilized society, as it is a in fact persisting even today.  Secondly, relics of such  primitive or tribal society have always strongly characterized the social fabric of India, ancient, modern and medieval.

It is a incomplete de-tribalization,   the ethnic composition, the village communities, the cast organizations and customary laws.  Survivals of primitive elements in the Indian culture.

Agriculture was the discovery of the women, the initial stage of the agricultural economy created the material conditions for the social superiority of the female Mother right in India could have been historically.

The peculiar tenacity with which the elements of mother right have survived in the lives of the Indian people is quite striking.

First what could be the ultimate material basis of the primitive rituals related to it or how , the stage at which these were ori8ginally evolved, could these be concrete with the mode of securing the material means of the subsistence? The origin of the Tantra the fertility magic  early agriculturists.

Agriculture ritual, in which it has its ultimate source, rests on the assumption that the productivity of nature- of mother earth-can be enhanced or induced for by the imitation of human reproduction and conversely, hence fertility is similar relative to the natural fertility .  In the primitive stage these principles were not , consciously formulated.

The human body and the earth are assumed to have the same nature, the two taken being taken as interacting and interdependent.  First it should be possible to understand the mystery of nature if we can understand the mystery of human body-the DEHA or the material human body is the microcosm of the universe.  Secondly, the birth of the universe is the result of similar process as the birth of the human beings.  The DEHA-VADA and the cosmogony of the TANTRISM are elaborations of these two corollaries.

In such a s scheme of thought there is no place what so ever for anything that may attribute primary to spirit.

The earlier receptacles for the notion of spirit primacy of the spirit-the conception of Gods, Soul-and of the other world are conspicuously absent from all these.

It is an instinctive acceptance of the primacy of the material human body and the material earth on which it lives.

Science and magic are in their earliest stages indistinguishable.  It was manual labour, magic and science were originally united in a single indifferentiated complex of manual operations.  Indian Tantrism, became of its rooted ness in the manual operations of agriculture, and in spite of being magic, di also contain potentialities of later Indian science particularly the sciences of the physiology and alchemy.

This philosophy was called LOKAYATA because it believed in nothing but this concrete material world (LOKA) and denied everything beyond.

LOKA as all that could be the object of sense perception.

Thus Lokayata meant not only the philosophy of the people but also the philosophy of this worldliness.  Trend of philosophical thought which our tradition had Trend of philosophical thought which our tradition had centered to attribute to the Indian masses. Judging from the bitter hostility expressed in so many places against LOKAYATA-views, it is often conjectured that these might have been deliberately destroyed.  “LOKAYATA” denied the validity of any source of knowledge other than immediate sense, perception and therefore they denied all realities except the gross objects of the senses.  There was no God, no soul and no survival after death.

There is a sect, and numerous  one too, the followers of which believe that DEHA, or the material human body, is all concerned with the Union of Man and Women and their success .  These call themselves VAISHNAVAS, but they do not believe in VISHNU or KRISHNA or his incarnation.  They believe in DEHA  .  They have another name SAHAJIA,  which is the name of a sect of Buddhists, which arose om MAHAYANA, in the last four centuries of its existence in India.

The SASTRA of NASTIKAS , denied God and the authority of the VEDA, These NASTIKAS had also their positive thesis, SARVAM SVABHAVAKAN MATAM, that is the doctrine according to which everything is governed by natural LAWS.

These logicians with the aid of arguments, were disproving the other world, the sacrificial creed and the authority of the VEDA.  The HETUKA  were those that were denying the next world and the efficiency of gifts and sacrifices. Purandhar-CHARVAKA-MATE GRANTHKARA.

Even according to the  CHARVAKA inference was valid within the range of empirically known world, if, however, one proposed to extend its application beyond the range of this worldly objects, ends claim would be a forbidden one.

The main reason for upholding such a distinct distinction between the validity of inference in our practical life of ordinary experience, and in ascertaining transcending truth beyond experience , lies in this, that as an inductive generalization is made by everything a large number of cases of experiment in presence together with agreement in absence, cases of agreement in Epistemology of LOKAYATA.

LOJKAYATA  were very popular among the vast masses, because of the simple daily life reasoning and practical  uses, and reality of the parasitic access, and the people who were being used to plunder their production, by using such sophisticated arguments of Vedantits and other religious outfits.  This was the reason they were vehemently opposed by the proponents of he religion.

According to SUKRA NITISARA,  in the list of sciences and arts mentioned NASTIKA (LOKAYATA) as very strong in logical arguments.  The SASTRA of  NASTIKA denied God and the authority of the VEDA.  This was of course employing arguments merely for the destructive purpose called (VITANDA) .  But according to the SUKRA NIT SASTRA itself, the NASTIKA had also their positive thesis: sarvam svabhavikarm matam, sarvam svavikam matam, THAT IS THE , DOCTRINE ACORDING TO WHICH EVERYTHJING IS GOVERNED BY NATURAL LAWS.  We have , thus here a possible clue.

They were highly skillful in using reasoning or arguments but also to the employment of such arguments for the purpose of defending a positive thesis.

MANU law giver used legal measures against LOKAYATA,( HAITUKAS AND NASTIKAS), The reason was that these logicians (lokayata)  with the aid of arguments,were disproving the other world, the sacrificial creed and the authority of the VEDA.  They were denying the efficiency of gifts and sacrifices and the other world.

Haitukas were (VEDA VIRODHI TARKA VYAVAHARINAH).

VEDANTA  used negative or destructive attitude to the validity of reasoning as such, accordingly is intrinsically invalid, because reasoning depends upon the individual capacity of the person arguing and therefore, on the basis of argument, what is proved by one can be disapproved by another.

For LOKAYATA the inferential process was secondary (GAUNA) in importance, they attribute primacy to sense perception.  The reason were social and political.  These are cunning deceptors, in religious garbs, trying to generate in the minds of people.  Illusions concerning the attainment of the heaven and the discrimination between the good and the bad , an they are trying to establish their knowledge as inference, scriptures etc.  The lokayata insistence on the primacy of sense perception was meant to be defense against such deception and exploitation.  Being the philosophy of the people it wanted to warn the people against the dangers of religious exploitation and subjugation.

MANIBHADR  The unperceived , too, were given the status of existence the  poor could as well delude themselves with the idea of possessing a heap of Gold and such as they would trample over their sense of poverty with kind of indifference, the slave , too, would delude himself with the idea that he had become Master.  Such delusions, like the illusions generated by the religious deceptors, in defense of the existence of the imperceived, were talking too much of inference and testimony,  LOKAYATA challenged and refuted by arguing in favour of primacy of the sense=perceptions,   Found it equally necessary to argue against the spurious claims of the deceptors in defence of the people.

The LOKAYATA were the first logicians of this country, that the birth of Indian Logic was linked up with the defence of popular interest against religious deceptions.

The knowledge of lokayata  was considered vital to the accomplishment of mind , a mark of culture and knowledge.  Many learned and distinguished Brahmins were known , not only professing and teaching the Knowledge of logicians (LOKAYATA).

The fundamental features of LOKAYATA  materialism was DEHA VADA, the view that the self was nothing but body .  It was a  word used to refer to popular  cults characterized which, though opposed to the brahamanical rituals were nevertheless characterized by rituals of this worldly character.  It was described as ASURA view by the Brahamins.  Two prominent features of this ASURA view were DEHA VADA and a peculiar cosmogony.  The LOKAYATA  denied the authority OF SRUTI AND SMRITI, ridiculed the Brahamanical rituals and mocked at the idea of the other world or heaven.  It was a body of beliefs and practices, deeply rooted in the lives of the masses and at same time hostile to the Brahaminical doctrines.  LOKAYARA acknowledged the reality of nothing but the physical human body and the material universe around us.  LOKAYATA practiced the rituals which had nothing to do with other worldliness.

Lokayata  ENJOYED ENJOYED EXTENSIVE VOGUE AND SEDUCTIVE CHARM IN THE COUNTRY, LOKESU AYATA, an implication which lies at the root of the name- prevalent among the masses or extremely deep rooted among the vast majority of the people, a form of tribal culture and customs.

ASURA view:  Lokayata views were ascribed to the peoples as demons and monsters the raksas, daitya and asura.

Brhspati became Sukra, created the ignorance- AVIDYA  FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF asura AND FOR THE SECURITY OF Indra.  By this men declare inauspicious is auspicious.  They say that there should be attention to law (DHARMA) which is destructive of the VEDA and  other scripture sasatra) FRIGHTEN AWAY PEOPLE FROM lokayata VIEWS

Sutras :  Many Many of their sutras are not only directed against brahmin domination and Chatur Varna -caste system. They are brutally polemical. They are extremely sharp and categorical.

“Charvaka doctrines should be adopted as they are for the good of the people.”

“The body, the face and all limbs (of all the People ) being the similar, how can there be any distinctions of Varna and and caste? Such distinctions   are unscientific and can not be defended.”

“Real bondage lies in servitude. Real Moksha lies in freedom”

“There is no thing like Moksha Death is the end of Life”.

“There is no rebirth. There is no other world.”

“There is no heaven and no hell. There is no such thing as the fruit of Karma.”

“Dharma is a conspiracy of the crafty.  Fools fall victim to it.”

“If what is offered in SHARADHA can satisfy beings supposed to be in heaven, why not offer food at the foot of a tower for one who is actually on its top.”

“The authors of the three Vedas are just rogues and cunning thieves.  All the learned formulas of rituals are nothing but the inventions of the cheats for the purpose of obtaining their sacrificial fees.”

“There is no heaven and no hell.  There is no such thing as the fruit of Karma.”

“There is no God.”

Note: The social origin and motivation of the LOKAYATA  school stands out more boldly and sharply than that of any other philosophical system in India.  Its very name makes it clear that its ideas were prevalent among the common people and they were derived from the common people.  Lokayata Sutras having been destroyed, we can get them only as enunciated by their OPPONENTS.

 

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