little is known about Utpala, the great mystic Saint of Kashmir, except
that he might have lived somewhere in Nauhatta (Navyut) in Srinagar. From
some authors on Kashmir Shaivism and his contemporaries we find that he
was a Brahmin and lived a married life around the middle of 900 A.D. He
was the son of Udayakar.
have been a precocious boy with a sharp intellect and a quest for learning.
This becomes evident from the fact that he was taken as a disciple by the
great philosopher. Siddha Somananda, whose great work Shivadrishti, the
Pratyabhijnya Shastra (Philosophy of Recognition), inspired him to write
the Ishwar Pratyabhijnya Karikas. It is stated in the Shivadrishti that
Utpala was motivated to write the Karikas on the request of his son, Vibhramakara.
Therein he summarized the teachings of his master and this work is spoken
of as "the reflection of wisdom taught by Somananda". Kashmiri's Persian-knowing
scholars have termed it is Khird-e-Kamil (wisdom of the sage).