Why not be a "Hindu Atheist"? Its not because of any philosophical disagreement with the Charvaka/Lokayata school. Most atheists would in fact agree with this school of materialism on almost everything. Speaking for myself, I do.Let me elaborate.(1/n)
The first aspect of the Charvaka school is negation. The Charvakas denied the existence of God as well as afterlife. They were actively hostile to Vedas. Consider this passage from Sarva darshana Samgraha of Madhavacharya. (2/n)
As is clear from the passage,it isn't that vedas were just "untrue". The Vedas were written by "buffons,knaves and demons". They are only good for those "destitute of knowledge and manliness". How did the Hindus of that time reacted to this school?(3/n)
Hostility! The claim that there's just no hostility towards Charvakas is untrue. Charvakas were always a heterodox school. They were hated and despised. Hindus didn't welcome them with open arms. You want evidence? I've got enough. Brace your seats.(4/n)
When Yudhistir is made king after the war in Mahabharata,a Charvaka enters the palace along with Brahmanas. The Charvaka is described as a "rakshasha"(demon) and "wicked wight, desirous of evil". He criticizes Yudhistir for killing his kin. (5/n)
The Brahmanas quickly denounce the wicked demon, utter the sound of hun(Om?) and kill him there. This satisfied them. Yudhistir too "felt great happiness"(Shanti Parva) This act is actually divinely ordained, planned by "eternal and unchangable God"(Brahma himself) {6/n}
In fact, Brahma refers to Charvaka as "rakshasha". He is portrayed as a villian who "gives pains to Gods". Not a flattering portrayal,I must add. Ramayana is kinder, as we shall see.(7/n)
In Ramayana, Jabali uses atheistic arguments to persuade Ram to rule the kingdom. Ram retorts Jabali, calls him one of "misleading intelligence" further saying that a "firm atheist has fallen from true path".(8/n)
He further clarifies that "no wise man" should "consort with an atheist". Quite welcoming. Jabali isn't killed though. Ram merely engages in a dialogue with him. Tho Jabali later clarifies that he made those arguments only to pacify him. Not sure if he actually believed in it(9/n
I can give you countless examples of hostility towards Charvakas. My point is that the majority of Hindus believe in God. They believe in Ram. They venerate Vedas. Charvakas have historically been hostile to all of it(10/n)
The modern day Hindu atheists,OTOH,often treat Ram with respect. They advocate for temple in Ayodhya. They talk about the greatness of Vedas. All of these would actually frustrate the real Charvakas,who mocked Hindu Gods and vedas.(11/n)
I'm not a Hindu Atheist. I dont want to be in a fold whose majority don't even agree with me. Not to mention the fact that saying Vedas were written by "idiots" would enrage most Hindus today. They won't accept me into their fold(12/n)
I dont believe the Vedas were written by "idiots" but I do believe they were written by men of their times. Not by divine inspiration. Same w/every religious text. For me, simple "atheist" is enough.Religious texts are valuable only in the sense Plato,Socrates etc. are valuable
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