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PP110 Lecture Notes - Charvaka, Existential Crisis, Middle Kingdoms Of India

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Ashwani Peetush

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Indian Philosophy
Classical India (600 years ago) essential relationship to daily lives (not just a theoretical
enterprise) no difference between theory and practice
o To know the good is to do the good
o Intellectual pleasure is absent
Seen as a metaphysical medicine
Dukkham sense of dissatisfaction (existential crisis)
o Never ending cycle of satisfaction
In the happy moments, we think it is impermanent (transitory)
Anity it will end at some point impermanence
2 stance
o Do you desire to have these desires (take a critical look at 2nd order desires)
Do I want to be the person who has no control?
o Hedonistic approach satisfy desires (feed the hunger)
Carvaka materialist school (free to act)
To be a master of yourself is to have control over your actions
o Not sufficient to only have physical control
Also need internal control
Although we want something to be permanent, nothing was truly permanent
o Upanishads series of ancient texts in Indian philosophy
Underlying change was a permanent self
Ex. compare yourself from now to 10 years ago
o Clear difference in all aspects
Transcendental Argument
Work by going backwards
Dharma natural law tradition
a) Overall rhythm and structure of the universe
Description of reality as it is
b) The idea of obligation and duty to live according to the natural law
o Work with principals such as: non-violence, compassion, truth, fairness/justice
o One’s duty is to follow the natural law
Karma universal justice (what comes around goes around)
o The nature of things itself is just
o If you do something unjust, it will lead to negative consequences
o Brahman = being
o Atman = self
Phenomenal self what you wish to be
Real self what you really are (Atman: pure consciousness nature of source to
the universe)
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