AKRIYAVADA, akriyavadin, (Sanskrit — not proclaiming a doctrine of [the effect of] the deed)—in the traditional classification, this term designates a group of systems of Indian philosophy that do not accept the law of karma (the law of moral responsibility for deeds extending to future lives). At times these systems are described as “areligious”.

These systems include materialists (lokata), agnostics (ajnanika), and fatalists (ajivika). The fatalists do not directly reject the law of karma, but they hold that ultimately karma is subordinate to fate (niyati), namely that human deeds are not free. All the other systems of classical Indian philosophy belong to the group of kriyavadin.

In the classification of the Pali canon and in the popular Hindu classification (especially that of the theistic schools of Vishnuism), the schools of akriyavada are called “nastika” (“nihilists” in the moral sense).

F. Tokarz, Z filozofii indyjskiej kwestie wybrane [Selected questions from Indian philosophy], Lb 1985, 19902, II 25–59; S. Schayer, O filozofowaniu Hindusów[On the philosophical thought of the Hindus], Wwa 1988.

Maciej St. Zięba

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