Carvaka, Cārvāka: 19 definitions


Carvaka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Charvaka.

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Cārvāka (चार्वाक).—A Rākṣasa, who was a close friend of Duryodhana. He took the form of a brāhmaṇa and tried to condemn Yudhiṣṭhira as an enemy of the people. He was recognized by the brāhmaṇas who then chanted mantras turning him into ashes.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Cārvāka (चार्वाक).—A Rākṣasa, who was a close friend of Duryodhana. The following story is told about how he happened to become Duryodhana’s friend.

In the Kṛtayuga this Rākṣasa did tapas to please Brahmā at Badaryāśrama, and Brahmā gave him the boon that he would be safe from all beings. Then he went round the world troubling brahmins, who, at last sought refuge in Brahmā, and he pacified them with the assurance that Cārvāka would become a friend of Duryodhana when he would insult Brahmins and be reduced to ashes in the fire of their anger.

Accordingly Cārvāka became a friend of Duryodhana. When, after the great war, Dharmaputra entered Hastināpura with his followers thousands of brahmins gathered around and blessed him. Cārvāka also disguised as a brahmin came there and condemning Dharmaputra as an enemy of his own people cursed him. The brahmins recognised him and cursed him to ashes. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapters 38, 39).

2) Cārvāka (चार्वाक).—Certain Sanskrit texts refer to another Cārvāka, a philosopher in ancient India. He was an atheist. He controverted in a powerful manner the belief in the existence of heaven and hell after death.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Mantra-sādhana: Chapter One of the Kakṣapuṭatantra

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) is the name of an Āgama or Tantra mentioned in the Kakṣapuṭatantra  verse 1.5-7.—“At a previous time, when Pārvatī asked him, Śaṅkara told of the attainments of vidyā in the wide worldly life, in various ways. I observed each teaching taught also by the troops of Gods, Siddhas (those who have attained supernatural power), Munis (saints), Deśikas (spiritual teachers), and Sādhakas (tantric practicioners). They are [, for example]: Cārvāka... I shall carefully extract all the above-mentioned āgamas, which are transmitted from mouth to mouth, like butter extracted from coagulated milk”.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (philosophy)

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) refers to the “materialists”.—The “followers of Bṛhaspati” (bārhaspatya) refers to some materialists (cārvāka) who embrace the ideas expressed in the sūtras traditionally ascribed to Bṛhaspati (on the known fragments of this work and the probability that it was written around the sixth century, see Namai 1976, Bhattacharya 2002 and Franco 2011, 634–636). According to Abhinavagupta, they understand the relationship between the apprehending subject and the apprehended object as the mere result of various combinations between four material elements. [...]

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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Carvaka in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) refers to a “Materialist”, according to the Dattātreyayogaśāstra 41-42.—Accordingly, “Whether a Brahmin, an ascetic, a Buddhist, a Jain, a Skull-Bearer or a materialist (Cārvāka), the wise man who is endowed with faith and constantly devoted to the practice of [haṭha] yoga will attain complete success”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) refers to the system of Materialism, as mentioned in chapter 1.1 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha (history)

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) philosophy refers to one of the topics taught at the Educational institutions in ancient India, which attracted students from near and distant countries, as depicted in the Kathās (narrative poems) such as Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—Page 150.17 f. & 151.1-5: There is described an educational institution which included students from Lāṭa, Karṇāṭaka, Mālava, Kaṇṇujja, Godāvarī (Nasik), Mahārāṣṭra, Saurāṣṭra, Śrīkaṇṭha (Thanesvar) and Sindha. The courses of study comprised [e.g., Lokāyata or Cārvāka philosophies] [...]. At another place (151.6-11) the prince came across persons who cultivated the seventy-two arts and sixty-four sciences, [...].

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

cārvāka (चार्वाक).—m (S) An atheist or infidel of a certain form. His main tenets are The eternity of the present succession of causes and effects, the non-existence of a future state, and that death is the only mōkṣa or emancipation. Ex. kiṃ vēdāntāpuḍhēṃ cā0 || kiṃ śaṅkarāpuḍhēṃ maśyaka ||.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

cārvāka (चार्वाक).—m An atheist.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Cārvāka (चार्वाक).—[cāruḥ lokasaṃmato vākovākyaṃ yasya, pṛṣo° Tv.]

1) Name of a sophistical philosopher (said to have been a pupil of Brihaspati), who propounded the grossest form of atheism or materialism (for a summary of the doctrines of Chārvāka; see Sarva. S.1.).

2) A follower of the philosophy of Chārvākā चार्वाकाणामिवैषां हि भयं न परलोकतः (cārvākāṇāmivaiṣāṃ hi bhayaṃ na paralokataḥ) Rāj. T.4.345.

3) Name of a Rākṣasa described in the Mahābhārata, as a friend of Duryodhana and an enemy of the Pāndavas. [When Yudhiṣṭhira entered Hastināpura in triumph, he assumed the form of a Brāhmaṇa and reviled him and the assembled Brāhmaṇas, but he was soon detected, and the real Brāhmaṇas, filled with fury, are said to have killed him on the spot. He also tried to deceive Yudhiṣṭhira at the end of the great war by telling him that Bhīma was slain by Duryodhana; see Ve.6].

Derivable forms: cārvākaḥ (चार्वाकः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) or Cārvvāka.—m.

(-kaḥ) 1. A sophist, a philosopher; one acquainted with the doctrines of the schools, a sceptic n many matters of Hindu faith, and considered by the orthodox as an atheist or materialist. 2. Name of an old philosopher a pupil of Brihaspati who taught the rankest form of Atheism E. cāru good, beautiful, and vāka discourse. cāruḥ lokasammato vāko vākyaṃ yasya pṛṣo0 . vṛhaspatiśiṣye .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cārvāka (चार्वाक).— i. e. cāru-vac + a, m. The name of a philosopher holding materialistic and heterodox principles, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in Chr. 210, 16.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cārvāka (चार्वाक).—[masculine] [Name] of a Rakṣasa & a sceptic philosopher; [adjective] pertaining to [Causative], [masculine] [plural] his followers.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Cārvāka (चार्वाक):—m. (for ru-v = cārvāc sub voce cāru) Name of a Rākṣasa (friend of Duryodhana, who took the shape of a mendicant Brāhman, when Yudhiṣṭhira entered Hāstina-pura in triumph, and reviled him, but was soon detected and killed by the real Brāhmans), [Mahābhārata i, 349; ix, 3619; xii, 1414]

2) Name of a materialistic philosopher (whose doctrines are embodied in the Bārhaspatya-sūtras), [Vedāntasāra; Śīlāṅka; Rājataraṅgiṇī iv, 345; Prabodha-candrodaya; Madhusūdana]

3) a follower of Cārvāka, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]

4) mfn. composed by Cārvāka, [Prabodha-candrodaya ii, 18/19 [Scholiast or Commentator]]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cārvāka (चार्वाक):—(kaḥ) 1. m. A sophist, sceptic.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Cārvāka (चार्वाक) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Cavvāka, Cavvāga.

[Sanskrit to German]

Carvaka in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Cārvaka (ಚಾರ್ವಕ):—[noun] = ಚಾರ್ವಾಕ - [carvaka -] 1.

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Cārvāka (ಚಾರ್ವಾಕ):—[noun] a follower of 'ಚಾರ್ವಾಕದರ್ಶನ [carvakadarshana]' (see below) the materialistic philosophy.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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