Utpaladeva on the Power of Action

Aug 30, 2021 | All, Publication

Utpaladeva on the Power of Action, by Isabelle Ratié

The Recognition of the Lord (Īśvarapratyabhijñā) by the Kashmirian Utpaladeva (c. 925–975) is a landmark in the history of nondual Śaivism, and one of the masterpieces of Indian philosophy. The detailed commentary (Vivṛti) on it by the author himself was so far considered almost entirely lost, but three chapters of this major work were recently recovered from marginal annotations in manuscripts of other commentaries on Utpaladeva’s treatise. The book provides the first critical edition, annotated translation and study of the chapter devoted to the examination of the “power of action”, which endeavours to justify a fundamental paradox of the system – namely, the idea that Śiva (understood as an infinite, omniscient and omnipotent consciousness) has a dynamic essence since the core of consciousness is a subtle form of action, and yet is by no means limited by the temporal and spatial sequence that affects all ordinary acts and agents.

Isabelle Ratié, Utpaladeva on the Power of Action. A First Edition, Annotated Translation and Study of Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛti, Chapter 2.1, Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, Harvard Oriental Series 96, 2021, xv+395 pages.

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