Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (6):615-630 (2013)

Sāyaṇa-Mādhava closed his exposition of the Cārvāka philosophy in his Sarva-darśana-saṃgraha, Chap. 1 by quoting 11 and a half verses, the authorship of all of which was attributed to Bṛhaspati, the eponymous founder of materialism in India. One of these verses is presumably taken from the Viṣṇupurāṇa. However, it is not Bṛhaspati but some demons, deluded by a Jain and a Buddhist monk, who say this. Bṛhaspati does not appear at all in this Purāṇa. Variant versions of the same story are found in other Purāṇas but Bṛhaspti is not invariably present in all of them. The origin of the story may be traced back to the Maitrāyaṇīya Upaniṣad. Although Bṛhaspati plays a leading part in that story, the background is quite different. By comparing all the versions found in the Purāṇas and the subject matter of the epigrams attributed to Bṛhaspati the paper proposes to show that the Viṣṇupurāṇa story has nothing to do with the materialists, whether the Pre-Cārvākas or the Cārvākas; the Jains and the Buddhists are the target of attack. Sāyaṇa-mādhava, by placing these satirical epigrams either in their original or in altered forms, and attributing them to Bṛhaspati, has mixed up the views of all sorts of nāstikas, particularly the Jains and the Buddhists, with the Cārvākas and thereby succeeded in deceiving several generations of readers and misleading even the best of scholars
Keywords Bṛhaspati Buddhist  Cārvāka  Jain  Materialism  Purāṇa  Satirical epigram  Sāyaṇa-Mādhava
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-013-9198-z
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