Somwhere in Dravidanaadu, 800 AD
“Show him, where is he? That holier than thou prick who pretends to have figured out life itself “, the coarse voice mixed with smell of toddy was too inconspicuous.
A band of Charvakas from Southern India, boisterous and belligerent, demanded an audience with the teacher of Vedanta. But they were not lucky for the advaitins did not entertain inebriated debates. Infuriated by this, Charvakas started hurling abuses and loudly criticised the guru who was seated, an inaudible distance from the mob. Looking at the commotion from the distant, the Acharya could guess the unwelcome visitors to be Charvakas or vAma Margis. The usually poise Acharya, was taken aback by this unruly behaviour and asked the advaitins to permit the mob for an interview with the Acharya.
Having granted the permission, the ones who worship the body and lived by ideals of sense-gratification rushed toward the ochre-clad sanyasi. The loudest one, who went by the name of Shkagata spoke to the Acharya thus.
“Oh Brahmin Sanyasi, thank you for allowing us an interview with lesser mortals like us (Laughter from the mob). You, who have never tasted the pleasures of the senses sit on a high pedestal demanding to restrain oneself and turn towards god. Pray tell us where and when is your God going to impart bad karma to us”
The Acharya who usually listened compassionately to arguments and counter-arguments, was in no mood to entertain the mob of Charvakas. He assumed the tone of one who was angered beyond control and spoke to them thus.
” We (Acharya uses a collective term since he was realized) have granted audience not to debate or discuss with you, but to warn you not to cross your limits of debauchery. Too often, it is our experience that drunkards and adulterers who go by the philosophy of senses, are slaves to sense-gratification incapable of debating with impersonality and logic. Neither direct nor indirect knowledge could appeal to the Charvakas or vAma Margis. Know thus, the lord does not differentiate and give you bad karma due to debauchery. It is your own perversion and attachment to the senses which will eventually destroy your bodies and minds in the long-run. Therefore, there is not one good which arises from debating with base philosophers such as yourselves. It is better for the communities to not take notice of your “philosophy” whereby your poison can be prevented from reaching our households and our communities. Go away now, or incur the wrath of the people assembled here”
The unruly mob was stunned by this treatment from the holy seer. They had plans of unleashing their adultery to the common public through acts of love making for all to see. For they knew the power of the senses was hard to be overcome except by seasoned yogis. Shocked and afraid of an impending thrashing they quickly retraced their steps shouting slogans against the philosophy of advaita and against “the fanatic” Sanatana Dharmis.
Somewhere in Parasuramakshetra, 2014 AD
The protesters were all wearing white t-shirts and jeans. The t-shirts painted with a picture of red lips, above which were the words “Kiss of love”. Several men and women, married and unmarried had converged at a place in modern day Kerala to show their solidarity against “moral policing” by a public act of kissing. Several brusque policemen were standing guard as a precaution to prevent “goons and ruffians” from attacking the peaceful and non-violent protests. Ironically enough, these events were happening in Sankara’s birth place.
Charvaka philosophy in a “harmless” form, was showing up its head in Kerala, followed by Delhi, Chennai and many other places. The damage was already done, Charvakas had achieved what they couldn’t a thousand years back – painting themselves as liberators at the risk of being victims of aggression from Vedantis. Of-course that is not to say that Sanatana Dharma now is in the hands of Sankara on the other end of the spectrum. Rather it is much worse, in the hands of unsophisticated brutes who do more harm to modern day Sanatana Dharma than really any benefit. By beating and causing physical harm, these brutes cause “moral” outrage thereby confirming the version of modern day Charvakas. It is now given that Charvakas cannot be ignored, lets see how they can be defeated.