Abhinavagupta was a profound scholar of Kashmir during the second half of the 10th century CE.
He was a philosopher, mystic, and commentator of religious scriptures.
Birth: 950 CE
Demise: 1016 CE
He was considered as a Yoginibhu, a superhuman born out of the union of a Siddha and a Yogini.
He was Jeevanmukta (freed from the shackles of worldly life).
Gurus of Abhinavagupta
- Vyakarana - Narasimhagupta
- Tantra - Vamananatha
- Brahmavidya - Bhutiraja
- Shaivism - Bhutirajatanaya
- Krama and Trika - Lakshmanagupta
- Dhwani (suggestive poetry) - Induraja
- Drama - Bhattatota
Abhinavagupta during his time was considered as the highest scholar by the followers of the disciplines - Siddhanta, Vama, Bhairava, Yamala, Kaula, Trika, and Ekavira.
Abhinavagupta has written his own books as well as commentaries.
- Tantraloka - It covers the tantric principles given in the 64 Shaiva Agamas.
Kula, Tantra, and Krama systems are dealt with in detail.
It is a complete guide to Shaivism covering both theoretical and practical aspects.
Tantraloka is spread over 37 chapters.
Study of Tantraloka and its practice can make the sadhaka a Bhairava himself.
- Tantrasara - This is a summary of Tantraloka.
- Tantravatadhanika - A very brief summary of Tantraloka.
- Paramarthasara - Essentials of Trika system.
- Malinivijayavartika - Kashmir Shaivism.
- Bodhapanchadashika - Monistic Shaivism.
- Ishvarapratyabhijna Vimarshini - Commentary on Ishvarapratyabhijna Karika of Utpaladeva.
- Ishvarapratyabhijna Vivriti Vimarshini - A more detailed commentary.
- Paratrisika Vivarana - Commentary of Paratrisika
- Bhagavad Gitartha Samgraha - Commentary on Bhagavad Gita.
- Abhinava Bharati - Commentary on Natyashastra of Bharatamuni.
- Dhvanyavaloka Lochana - Commentary on Dhvanyavaloka of Anandavardhana.
- Bimba Pratibimba Vada.
- Dehastha Devata Stotra.
- Prakarana Vivarana.
- Prakeernaka Vivarana.
- Shiva is the one and only universal reality.
- Shakti is the nature of Shiva.
- I-consciousness is his static aspect.
- His dynamic aspect is fivefold - srishti, stithi, samhara, tirobhava, and anugraha.
- His dynamic aspect itself is called Shakti.
- The difference between Shiva and Shakti is only in the name.
- Shiva through Shakti manifests the world.
- He brings about all the changes.
- He doesn’t change himself.
- The world is a reflection on the cosmic consciousness.
- The world is a real manifestation of the supreme reality, Shiva.
- Jiva is Shiva himself.
- The body is a place of worship.
- All Devatas are present in the body.
- The body is the perfect temple for worship.
- Diksha from an able Guru is necessary for moksha.
- Mantra japa and deep contemplation are needed for this.
- Methods of sadhana vary according to the level of the sadhaka.
- Meditating upon Brahman is the fastest way to attain Shiva-hood.
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