Stephen Phillips, "The Metaphysics of Meditation: Sri Aurobindo and Adi-Sakara on the Isa Upanisad" (Bloombury, 2024)


In The Metaphysics of Meditation: Sri Aurobindo and Ādi Śaṅkara on the Īśā Upaniṣad (Bloomsbury 2024), Stephen Phillips argues that the two titular Vedānta philosophers are not as opposed as commonly thought. His book is structured as a series of essays on Aurobindo and Śaṅkara’s analysis of the early, important, and brief Īśā Upaniṣad, also including a new English translation of the text along with a translation of Śaṅkara’s commentary thereupon. Philosophically, the book investigates questions about what is metaphysically fundamental, the epistemology of mystical, meditative practices such as yoga, the limitations of human language in expressing the ineffable—and the role of poetry in these efforts, and the problem of evil facing even panentheistic monists such as Advaita Vedāntins. In many ways an introduction to Advaita Vedānta, The Metaphysics of Meditation also includes new translations of Śaṅkara’s theodicy from his Brahmasūtra commentary and his discussion of the disciplines (yogas) of meditation and action in his Bhagavad Gītā commentary.

Your Host

Malcolm Keating

Malcolm Keating is Visiting Associate Professor of Philosophy at Smith College. His research focuses on Sanskrit works of philosophy in Indian traditions, in the areas of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras & Stuff.

View Profile