PhD Student

PhD program:: XXXIX

supervisor: Bruno Lo Turco (Sapienza Università di Roma)

Abstract of the research project

The project seeks to examine the key arguments presented by the non-dualistic (advaita) Kashmir Śaivism’s masters — from the 9th to the 12th centuries — in their debate with the Yogācāra Buddhist ‘idealists’. Both traditions share several fundamental assumptions. On the ontological level, both schools critique the ‘externalist’ conception that attributes independence and ultimate reality to the object of experience. On the epistemological level, both schools claim that the subject and the object are intimately connected and that the ‘reality’ of the object ‘rest’ on the knowing subject.
Despite the evident numerous points of contact between the two traditions, a comparison between these 2 schools has never been undertaken. The project goal is to fill this gap in the current academic literature by shedding light on the interactions between two of the most representative traditions of ‘Idealism’ in Medieval India.
The analysis will primarily focus on the works of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, reconstructing the Buddhist text library available to Kashmiri masters. The study aims to investigate how the Kashmir Śaivism’s ontological-epistemological ‘building’ was refined through the dialogue with Yogācārins.

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma