Charvak, Charvaka Char What?

     Charvak, Charvaka, Char what? Yes, that’s my new article. My mind was hovering over the topic to write about as my third article. I wanted a different subject rather than just another life hack story or giving a solution to one’s problems. I wanted to write something that most people are not aware of as I personally get bored with a similar routine or the same type of anything be it entertainment, writing, food, and life in general.  You can also listen to this same information in the form of Podcast in Hindi language.  

The quest begins...

           So here I am with a new topic to dig into some philosophy and some mystery with a slice of history.  In the quest to find a new topic and challenge my knowledge,  I contemplated it for a long time. After thinking too much for Five long minutes and so-called hard work, I started talking to myself. Think something Charwak or do something. Charwak are your listening? Charwak! My mind whispered and I found the answer to my questions. No, I am not going to write about me. Yes, I am going to talk about Charvak, Charvaka or Charwak but not about me. I am going to talk about Charwak or Charvak, Charvaka- the word not the person. What does it mean? Or does it even mean something? The answer is yes.

Charvak, Charvaka and controversy

           Charvak is one of the most controversial words in the history of Indian philosophy but there is a difference of opinion about it. Few scholars think that Charvak, Charvaka is the representative of negativity, and few advocate this word by saying that it actually supports and guides the modern school of thought. I am just a narrator here so I won’t take the side of either of it. I will just show both sides of the coin for you to decide the best solution based upon your reasoning and logic. Either way, you are right.

            Personally, I used to hate my name in school days because self-introduction was quite a task for me.

 I used to feel like that skydiver who is forced to jump out of a plane without carrying a parachute. 

The human perception

      Whenever I would introduce my name, all I would hear was a cross-question and not a nod of acknowledgment.

Char what? Char walk?

'Do you walk four times?' My friend asked as char means four in Hindi language. Until then I used to believe that only English was a funny language. Whether its English or any other language, humans interpret the meaning as per their perception.  I was in a Marathi medium school. We used to communicate in Marathi language and in Marathi, Wak means to bend. ‘Do you bend four times?’ Another school friend asked. Trust me, appreciating your bending ability in school days is not actually an appreciation but something else.

        Jokes apart, let us focus on the real meaning of the word Charvak, charvaka or Charwak. Charvak is one of the oldest philosophies in India. Humans are the lords of perception. They interpreted the meaning of Charvak, Charvaka as per their convenience of understanding. There fore, though its an ancient word that is related to philosophy, we get to know the different editions and versions of this word on the pages of the glorious history of Indian philosophy.

Mystery unfolds…

Charvak Darshan or Charvaka philosophy is also known as ‘Lokayat’. In Sanksrit, 'Lok' means people and 'Ayat' refers to 'universal.' It means a philosophy that is accepted and practiced by most of the people in the world.  Some scholars say that Charvak believes that whatever our five sense organs sense and can be proven with logic and reasoning, is the only truth.  It denies life after death and the idea of heaven and hell and the existence of life or happiness beyond this life.

        On the other hand, some scholars believe that Charvakas are materialistic and believe only in materialistic things. Their aim is to be happy in the materialistic world, irrespective of any responsibilities. They will borrow a loan to enjoy all the materialistic luxuries in life but will not work or take any responsibility for their actions or to earn money. Needless to say, that

humans are intelligent in interpreting the meaning of anything and perception plays a vital role in understanding any word or language.

Existence of God

According to few scholars, Charvak, Charvaka or Charwaks believe in using reasoning and logic to find out the truth about anything in this world that refers to the scientific approach.

Eg- Stealing something isn’t good, not because it’s a sin but because if you get caught, you might end up getting injured or even be punished for it.

   Charvak denies the existence of God and the idea of heaven and hell or any idea that can’t be proved with logic and reasoning. It doesn’t believe that everything good happens to those who do good deeds. It is not necessary that bad things will happen to bad people. There are so many good people who suffer and there are so many bad people who live their lives in all the luxuries and happiness.

       On the other hand, some of the scholars claim Charvak to be a highly negative word because they are ‘Nastik.’ Nastik was the word initially used as a person who doesn’t believe in himself or doesn’t believe in anything but later, Nastik became the one who doesn’t belives in God. So Charvak became a synonym for Atheist. 

Char-van Charu-waak

          Some say that Charwak is derived from the Sanskrit word Charvan, which means to masticate or to chew. In simple words, Charvak is the one who loves eating or who is a foodie in today's modern language. As we all know that humans don’t accept the meaning of anything as it is, they always have a different version of the same story.

Charvan too couldn’t defend itself against this ultimate attack of perception.

The other side of this coin suggests that, because Charvan refers to masticate and chewing, Charvak, Chavaraka masticates or literally swallows the importance of God, heaven and hell.

          If we cut the word Charvak into two parts, we get two Sanskrit words. Charu- Beautiful and Vak or wak- language.

This means Charvak is the one who speaks beautifully but as we discussed before that Charvak, Charvaka or Charwak is one of the most controversial words in the history of Indian philosophy, this simple beautiful meaning too has few other versions.

         The advocates of Charvak claim that only the truth is beautiful so Charvak is the one who only says the truth and as soon as we start believing it, there comes the other part of the story that claims charvak to be a glib talker. The one who is polite and sweet only to fulfill his purpose, just like a glib politician.

The conclusion

        Language changes after every decade. Some new words slide themselves to fit in. Some words grow too old to use and some words adjust to the new modern habits. It seems that Charvak, Charvaka or Charwak too became the victim of perception and interpretation.

         So, the question arises again, ‘What does Charvak really mean?’ I leave it up to your reasoning and logic. You are right either way.  

 You are important

       Whatever you feel about this article or if you have any questions for me or to suggest anything, feel free to mention it in the comment box and if you like similar information and want to explore more,  you can also read an article on the facts and myths of success as well. I use to improve my English language skills.

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