Charvakas believe in materialism and they reject almost every thing about spirituality, and they reject reincarnation, karma, Moksha, and God.

So is there any good and logical arguments against this materialistic philosophy by any astika school of Hinduism.

  • astika - accept the vedas. charvakas - do not accept vedas. Question is therefore not about Hinduism. Mar 23, 2021 at 7:18
  • @SwamiVishwananda it is about Hinduism because astika believes in vedas and vedas are holy text of Hinduism. And any people from different schools of thought have criticize their philosophy. Mar 23, 2021 at 7:20
  • @SwamiVishwananda it can be aslo understood as what is the most logical argument against materialism. Mar 23, 2021 at 7:21
  • What argument do you want ? Adi Shankara or modern day scientists. The latter try to prove that consciousness is a fundamental reality and is independent of the body and mind. That's the stance of Advaita also but Advaita argues it through shabda pramana i.e Vedas. Remember Buddhist philosophy is also against charvakas and they argue differently against them because they also don't believe in Vedas.
    Mar 23, 2021 at 7:55
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    From Advaita, the refutation is simple. Charvaka believes only in perception as a pramana. Earth appears flat based on perception. Sun appears to set and rise but actually it does not. Even in material aspects, perception as pramana is faulty. For moksha, we believe in sabdha pramana based on Vedas.
    Mar 23, 2021 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


From Advaita, the refutation is simple. Charvaka believes only in perception as a pramana. Earth appears flat based on perception. Sun appears to set and rise but actually it does not. [These were arguments given at that time as no one could visit space and see that the Earth was spherical etc.] Even in material aspects, perception as pramana is faulty. Therefore, for things that are adrishta (not visible), we believe in sabdha pramana (based on Vedas).

Let us see what Shankara says in his book sarva siddhanta sangraha. The following is the refutation by the Vaisheska school and Shankara agrees with this.

  1. Now, the Vaisheshka, who upholds the teachings of the Vedas, refutes (the position of) the Bauddhas, the Lokyatikas (Charvakas) and the Arhatas (Jains), who are all atheistic and outside the pale of the Vedas.
  2. The Vedas alone constitute (as revealed scripture) the authoritative criterion of truth. According to the logic of elimination, He alone is to the individual souls the giver of the fruits of (their) works.
  3. The individual souls, or (their) works, or prakrti (nature), are not capable of bestowing here (in this world ) the fruits of works on individual souls.
  4. If individual souls be themselves capable of obtaining the fruits of works, then let them, being such as are (naturally) devoted to their own happiness, prevent by means of (their own) efforts the unwished-for miseries (that often befall them).
  5. Works (karma*) are here incapable of bestowing their own fruits on individual souls ; because they (the works) are nonintelligent, and so have no access to (the power to bestow) svarga and other such regions as are (won as) the fruit of works. 6. Owing to its being lion-intelligent, it is impossible for the prakrti (also) to be the giver of the fruits (of karma).
  6. Time also is non-intelligent, and so it surely cannot bestow on them (the individual souls) the fruits of their karma. Therefore (some) other Being, who is different from all these, happens to be the giver of the fruits (of karma ).

Next, an example is given, if a yagna called Kariristhi is performed, rain falls. As this happens, it becomes necessary to place faith in those - invisible things (known as) svarga (heaven) and apavarga (the final bliss of soul-deliverance). As one part of the Vedas (performing yagnas and getting rain) is found to be true by experience, the other part talking about heaven and moksha must also be true.

The details of the kariristhi yagna can be found.

In his book, Hindu Dharma, Kanchi periyava gives a modern day example

"Leave aside the question of God consigning a man to eternal hell after his death, " I said to the foreign lady. "We are not witness to such a phenomenon. But now you have seen with your own eyes how differently the children are born in the hospital that you visited. How would you account for the differences? Why should one child be born rich and another poor? Why should one be healthy and another sickly? And why should one be good-looking and another not so good looking?

"If you accept the doctrine that men are born only once, you cannot but from the impression that God is neither compassionate nor impartial- think of all the differences at birth- and that he functions erratically and unwisely. How are we to be devoted to such a God and have the faith that he will look on us with mercy? How are we to account for the differences between one being and another if we do not accept the doctrine that our life now is determined by the good and the bad we did in our past births. " The lady from the West accepted my explanation.

Such an explanation is not, however, good enough for people in modern times.

  • From Advaita, the refutation is - - - pramana is faulty. Know we can see round earth from space. And sun also. Mar 23, 2021 at 11:30
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    These are arguments now. In those days, no one went to space and looked at the earth from there.
    Mar 23, 2021 at 11:33
  • flate earth can be the same no one went to space and saw round earth Mar 23, 2021 at 11:35
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    Our scriptures say that earth was round, earth revolves around the sun, actually the sun does not set etc. These were not based on perception in those days. They were deduced from the shastras. So we say that one can not believe perception alone. Now, some of them can be perceived.
    Mar 23, 2021 at 11:38
  • "Earth appears flat based on perception." - No. The visible part of earth appears flat based on perception. Jump from visible earth to entire earth being flat is inference which Charvaka explicitly deny being source of the truth.
    – tejasvi88
    Jan 15 at 10:01

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