However, shortindiangirl has been having a discussion with me..and several others..on her readings in philosophy (giving up precious sleep, of course.) Here's an interesting verse she sent, supporting the Charvaka philosophy:
Part of Hindu culture, inasmuch is it was a response to Vedic traditions, it was prevalent in India, and seems to have died out (formally) in the mid 15th century. It was about materialism, naturalism (Atheistic), and hedonism. No castes or dharma, or reincarnation or life after death, it still believed in the independent soul. It also holds that Brahmins have created a bunch of rituals for their own livelihood, particularly that related to the dead. And that religion is entirely man made.
That the pleasure arising to man
from contact with sensible objects,
is to be relinquished because accompanied by pain—
such is the reasoning of fools.
The kernels of the paddy, rich with finest white grains,
What man, seeking his own true interest,
would fling them away
because of a covering of husk and dust?
While life remains, let a man live happily,
let him feed on butter though he runs in debt;
When once the body becomes ashes,
how can it ever return again?
(The shloka in Sanskrit for the last verse:
ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pībet yāvaj-jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet
bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kutaḥ punar-āgamano bhavet)
I give it here, as a beautiful poem. I see value in penance and self-purification, too., in NOT "feeding on butter though he runs in debt" (which I think is non-sustainable). I don't usually propound philosophy, because I feel that each person's philosophy of life is intensely personal, and private. What works for me may not work for the next person.