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Charvaka, originally known as Lokāyata and Bṛhaspatya, is the ancient school of Indian materialism.


  • The Lokayata is not an Agama. viz. not a guide to cultural living, not a system of do's and don’ts; hence it is nothing but irresponsible wrangling.
  • In fact, the Lokayata operated and developed as a tradition of universal criticism or negativism, without caring to evolve a durable or regular life-order, a socio-cultural order, of its own, with the result that it failed to commend itself to society at large. No wonder that a branch of the Lokayata, the Nilapata school, so called because its members dressed in blue, were responsible for inception of what may be called an inculture, a tradition of wanton living, about which it is said:...That is: ‘How can the Nilapata feel happy till rivers begins to overflow with wine, the mountains are made of meat, and the world is full of women?’
    • Harsh Narain, Myths of Composite Culture and Equality of Religions (1990) (quoting Puratanaprabandhasangraha)

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