Unity and Diversity in the Lokāyata/Cārvāka Perspective

Pradeep P. Gokhale

in Lokāyata/Cārvāka

Published in print October 2015 | ISBN: 9780199460632
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199085507 | DOI:
Unity and Diversity in the Lokāyata/Cārvāka Perspective

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The first chapter tackles the question of unity and diversity of the system variously described as Lokāyata-darśana, Cārvāka-darśana, and Bārhaspatya-darśana. The chapter argues that these are not the names of a uniform single system, but of a family of systems or a family of philosophical trends. The chapter brings out the unity of this philosophical family in terms of the methodological similarity among its members which consists of anti-dogmatic, anti-authoritarian application of reason and also the ‘metaphysical element’, which is largely negative. Acceptance of worldly practices (loka-vyavahāra) is the common positive element, whereas denial of ‘soul’ or ‘self’ apart from the ‘body’; denial of God, other worlds, and karma; and rejection of the authority of religious scriptures and of indubitable authority of anumāna (inference) is the negative common element among the Lokāyata members, which is stronger and clearer than the positive element.

Keywords: Lokāyata; Cārvāka; Bṛhaspati; Ānvīkṣikī; loka-vyavahāra; anumāna; denial of God

Chapter.  7937 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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