A brief history of Abhinavagupta

Abhinavagupta, born and lived between c. 950 and 1020 AD in India was the great philosopher and literacy critic. He was considered as the pivotal person in the Hindu histories of Scholastic philosophy, aesthetic theory and tantra.

Abhinavagupta elaborated and gave many notable writings particularly on Pratyabhijna Philosophical theology. This was augmented by him for Trika tradition of the Kashmiri Shaivism that was created by Utpaladeva during c. 900 to 950ce.

His Tantra theory is completely of his effort and it has created significant importance in the history among his monumental Tantraloka and many other exegetical creations. These were created by him to provide and systematize the critical philosophical structures to the non-philosophical theology of tantra. As a well know poetic, Abhinavagupta has written many poets in Sanskrit. Most of his poets interpreted his aesthetic and homologous experience in a particular approach of monistic Shaiva Soteriological insight. All his thoughts had some complex interrelations.

Besides his philosophical works, he also gave a great contribution to the rhetoric along with his annotation on Abhinavabharati known as Bharata’s Natya Shastra. He has also given many commentaries on the Anandavardhan’s Dhvanayloka which featured drama, linguistics, dance and aesthetics. Among his contributions to the aesthetics, he analysed eight types of rasa which included the emotional aspects of drama and poetry.

Abhinavagupta was recognized to be the spiritual head by Spiritual personages and Panditas of all the schools preaching Shaiva. Apparently, he showed his master signs in every spiritual aspect and proved unswerving devotion to Lord Shiva and thus possessed Mantra Siddhi which is known as the power of Mantras that had the power to control over the elements, capable of fulfilling desires and gain spontaneous knowledge of the scriptures.

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