John Nemec

Oct 1, 2021

The Ubiquitous Siva

Somananda's Sivadrsti and His Philosophical Interlocutors

Oxford University Press 2021

The Ubiquitous Siva: Somananda's Sivadrsti and His Philosophical Interlocutors (Oxford UP, 2021) is a sequel to a volume published in 2011 by OUP under the title The Ubiquitous Siva: Somananda's Sivadrsti and his Tantric Interlocutors. The first volume offered an introduction, critical edition, and annotated translation of the first three chapters of the Sivadrsti of Somananda, along with its principal commentary, the Sivadrstivrtti, written by Utpaladeva. It dealt primarily with Saiva theology and the religious views of competing esoteric traditions. The present volume presents the fourth chapter of the Sivadrsti and Sivadrstivrtti and addresses a fresh set of issues that engage a distinct family of opposing schools and authors of mainstream Indian philosophical traditions. In this fourth and final chapter, Somananda and Utpaladeva engage logical and philosophical works that exerted tremendous influence in the Indian subcontinent in its premodernity. Throughout this chapter, Somananda endeavors to explain his brand of Saivism philosophically. Somananda challenges his philosophical interlocutors with a single over-arching argument: he suggests that their views cannot cohere--they cannot be explained logically--unless their authors accept the Saiva non-duality for which he advocates. The argument he offers, despite its historical influence, remains virtually unstudied. The Ubiquitous Siva Volume II offers the first English translation of Chapter Four of the Sivadrsti and Sivadrstivrtti along with an introduction and critical edition.

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