Caravaka

Caravaka a.k.a Carvaka

I thought I would start this blog with something about myself and regarding the title Caravaka which is also know as Carvaka.I am a Secular Humanist: Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. I came to Humanism when I figured that I was an Atheist (so is everybody in this world, they just don’t know it yet). I am a member of American Humanist Association.Here is a bit of my back story. My heritage is Hindu – specifically Gowda Saraswath Brahmin (GSB). While religion has been important part of my life, I had been brought up to think critically and always had questions regarding why we are doing certain rituals, why do we have to have a god etc. The turning point for me was when I read the book The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I was browsing in the local library (around 2009-2010 don’t remember exactly) when I came across this book and was stunned to have a book with that title. I just had to read it. My life, my world view, has improved quite a bit since then, it’s a feeling of having shackles removed. I believe that I am a moral, ethical person and religion / god is not necessary to be moral. I see that religion quite often gets in the way of being moral and ethical.

Today (when I first posted, it was May 11) I read about Carvaka. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that the philosophy existed that long back in India. Since I had been searching for a title for my blog, and considering my heritage, I thought that the name Caravaka would be appropriate.

I have to admit that I have not actually steeped myself in Carvaka philosophy, other than knowing the tag line “a system of Indian philosophy that assumes various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference”. It is quite feasible that the chosen blog title would bite me in the behind at some point. I would always like to be considered a Humanist and not a defender of Carvaka philosophy.

These are again the main items I saw in the philosophy – Again, while I am not supporting them, I do not have any quarrel with them either. They seem to have parallels to current Humanism.

No life after death – The Carvaka believed there was no afterlife, no life after death
Naturalism – The Carvaka believed in a form of naturalism, that is that all things happen by nature, and come from nature (not from any deity or Supreme Being).
Sensual indulgence – Unlike many of the Indian philosophies of the time, the Carvaka believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was the only enjoyment to be pursued. (This is the one I have some what of ambivalence on since it can easily be spun negatively)
Religion is invented by man – The Carvaka believed that religion was invented and made up by men, having no divine authority.

I was inspired to start this blog by the Friendly Atheist: Hemant Mehta especially after reading his reddit Q&A and also reading Justin Griffith. I believe they are amazing and brave human beings and support them in what they are doing.

FYI – I started out on Blogger, but moved to WordPress after the site crashed and wouldn’t let me back in.