The book, which partly derives from the papers offered at the first International Seminar on Utpaladeva (IIAS, Shimla 2013), is the first ever attempt at presenting a comprehensive portrait of one of the most important philosophers of premodern India, so far mainly taken into account as a mere predecessor of the great Abhinavagupta. Recent studies by R. Torella and others have shown the central importance of Utpaladeva in the elaboration of the Pratyabhijna philosophy, and reduced the role of Abhinavagupta to that of his brilliant commentator.
The contributors to the present volume have shown the multifarious aspects of Utpaladeva, not only an outstanding metaphysician and epistemologist, engaged in a strenuous critical dialogue above all with the Buddhist logicians, but also one of the most extraordinary mystical poets of India. For the first time his contribution to poetics and aesthetics has been duly highlighted.
The book contains two appendices with the critical edition and translation by R. Torella of fragments from Utpaladeva’s long commentary (Vivriti) on his Ishvarapratyabhijna-karika and Vritti, one of the most important works of Indian philosophy as a whole, so far deemed to be totally lost.
This book should generate great interest among scholars of Sanskrit and philosophy for its uniqueness and should serve the curiosity of each and every scholarly reader of Kashmir Shaivism.