Introduction to Charvaka Philosophy
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Vivekananda International Foundation organised a talk on Jan 25, 2021, on Introduction to Charvaka Philosophy by eminent speaker, Prof. Shashi Prabha Kumar, Dean, Sri Sankaracharya Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. This lecture was a part of the VIF lecture series 'Philosophy for Beginners'. The webinar began with the opening remarks by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF.

Prof. Shashi Prabha Kumar began the lecture by reciting a Vedic invocation. Then, she introduced Charkvaka Philosophy as a different school under the Indian Philosophy. The Charvakas or the practitioners of Charkvaka Philosophy are thorough Nastikas who don't believe in God, Vedic authority or verbal testimonies, said Prof. Kumar. Moving further, she quoted Prof. Shree I.C. Sharma,

"Charvaka is the material system of Indian philosophy. Therefore, chronologically, its treatment must be given the first place. Even though the school appears as a note of discord in Indian philosophy's symphony, this school's tendency towards gross materialism, atheism, individualistic hedonism, and radical selfishness has become an object of ridicule. However, this fact should not prompt us to overlook the ethical contribution of the Charvaka school to the development of Indian thought; on the contrary, this protestant ideology and radical empiricism has been responsible for strengthening the logical aspects of all other systems of Indian Philosophy."

In moving forward, Professor Kumar explained that the Charkava school of Indian Philosophy rejects the spiritual outlook propagated by Upanishads. She added that Charvaka Philosophy emphasises the naturalistic, realistic, atheistic, rationalistic, and logical perspective. Furthermore, Prof. Kumar quoted the different sources of Charvaka Philosophy. She also highlighted a few debates between Charvakas and practitioners of other schools of India, Buddhist and Jain schools of Philosophy. Finally, she said that Kama and Artha are the two pursuits of Charvakas. To conclude, the lecture included various aspects of Charvaka Philosophy and was followed by closing remarks by Dr Gupta and a question and answer session.

Event Date 
January 25, 2021

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