The Ethos of the Charvaka




The Charvaka’s1 ethos2 is to debunk3 a (indeed, any) fictional4 worldview5 that purports to set free from the horrific and painful adaptation means of nature.


In the primitive past the myth of salvation6 in the next life, i.e. the benign supernatural solution,7,8 was invented by a self-selected priesthood9 to comfort, console and protect those ground under by ruthless nature.


Eventually the benign supernatural means of protection and salvation became a malign mental and behavioural straightjacket that prevented an individual’s natural responses and impaired his/her natural adaptation to changing circumstances.


The outcome for the so restrained10 was a ‘dark age’ of slavery and increased misery.11


The Charvaka’s aim was to loosen and then remove the priests’ mental and behavioural straightjacket and release the individual to freely respond to his/her survival needs, thereby increasing his/her survival capacity and so attain personal happiness.







© 2022 by Victor Langheld














1.     He/she who observes and chews over, analyses the experienced facts of everyday life and which are primarily derived from (albeit selected and incomplete) sense perception.

2.     ‘The characteristic spirit’ (or ideology = Weltanschauung) of a culture or community, so the New Oxford Dictionary.

3.     i.e. deconstruct

4.     i.e. unnatural, for instance, derived from personal fantasy or imagination.

5.     i.e. a myth or ideology.

6.     i.e. of freedom from misery, to wit: paradise.

7.     And which included notions, i.e. fantasies, such as those of God (or the gods), of the eternal soul, of Karma, of the efficacy or spells, chants, amulets, of religious rites and rituals and so on.

8.     It serves as a placebo with varying efficacy.

9.     For ‘priest’ read: false saviour.

10.    Indeed, imprisoned

11.    In other word, to the horrors of nature were added ‘man’s inhumanity to man.’






The reborn Charvaka