(Last Updated on : 20/11/2010)
Utpaladeva (925-75 CE) was an influential philosopher, theologian who composed the Ishvara-pratyabhijna-karika, or 'Verses on the Recognition of the Lord' and the 'Shivastotravali'. He was the son of Udayakar. His principal protagonists in his books are Buddhists who belong to the Dignaga
tradition, whose theory of perceptual process was highly translated into absolute idealism. Utpaladeva rejected the notion of a mind-independent realm of particulars.
Utpaladeva thinks that experience of a structured reality requires that both subjects and objects belong to a single field of experience. Since experience requires a stable subject, there has been a single transcendental conscious substrate of the field of experience. He integrates their categories within a theory of absolute idealism. According to this theory the cosmos is manifested by a single, transcendental conscious dynamism. Categories such as individual substance, action, relation, natural kinds, quality, space, time and the cause-effect relation are objective realities, because they are manifestations projected by the transcendental consciousness.
Through its innate powers of unregulated will, vast knowledge and action, the supreme creates all subjects, objects and occasions of experience in a structured framework of time and space. The dynamic and utterly independent Lord Shiva's consciousness is modelled on one's experience of consciousness which oscillates between the illumination of objectivity and reflective awareness. This is influenced by the grammarian Bhartrihari's principle that without linguistic expression there can be no awareness. Utpaladeva emphasises the liberty of individual subjective awareness which is inspired by the compelling visions produced in meditation. For him it is a narrow-minded type of awareness.
His poems give expression to the philosophical doctrines of Kashmir Shaivism
known as Trika
philosophy in a devotional form. His philosophy is deep as that of Adi Sankaracharya
. He uses a symbolic language which appeals to all sections of people.
The available works of Utpaladevacharya are Pratyabhijnya Karikas and Ajadapromatri-Siddhi.
Utpaladeva's philosophy is characterised by unique blend of metaphysics, epistemology, linguistic philosophy and religious experience. Utpaladeva through his arguments lead students to the recognition of identity with Lord Shiva