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Abhinavagupta (Devanāgarī अभिनवगुप्तः; c. 950 – 1016 CE: 27 ) was a philosopher, mystic and aesthetician from Kashmir. He was also considered an influential musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician – a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture.Abhinavagupta was born in a Brahmin family of scholars and mystics who whose ancestors immigrated from Kannauj by the great king of Kashmira, Lalitaditya Muktapida. He studied all the schools of philosophy and art of his time under the guidance of as many as fifteen (or more) teachers and gurus.: 35  In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Kaula and Trika (known today as Kashmir Shaivism). Another one of his very important contributions was in the field of philosophy of aesthetics with his famous Abhinavabhāratī commentary of Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata Muni. Life "Abhinavagupta" was not his real name, rather a title he earned from his master, carrying a meaning of "competence and authoritativeness".: 20  In his analysis, Jayaratha (1150–1200 AD): 92  – who was Abhinavagupta's most important commentator – also reveals three more meanings: "being ever vigilant", "being present everywhere" and "protected by praises".: 4  Raniero Gnoli, the only Sanskrit scholar who completed a translation of Tantrāloka in a European language, mentions that "Abhinava" also means "new", as a reference to the ever-new creative force of his mystical experience. From Jayaratha, we learn that Abhinavagupta was in possession of all the six qualities required for the recipients of the tremendous level of śaktipāta, as described in the sacred texts (Śrīpūrvaśāstra): an unflinching faith in God, realisation of mantras, control over objective principles (referring to the 36 tattvas), successful conclusion of all the activities undertaken, poetic creativity and spontaneous knowledge of all disciplines.: 21 Abhinavagupta's creation is well equilibrated between the branches of the triad (Trika): will (icchā), knowledge (jñāna), action (kriyā); his works also include devotional songs, academical/philosophical works: 20  and works describing ritual/yogic practices.As an author, he is considered a systematiser of the philosophical thought. He reconstructed, rationalised and orchestrated the philosophical knowledge into a more coherent form, assessing all the available sources of his time, not unlike a modern scientific researcher. Various contemporary scholars have characterised Abhinavagupta as a "brilliant scholar and saint", "the pinnacle of the development of Kaśmir Śaivism" and "in possession of yogic realization".: 20  Social background, family and disciples "Magical" birth The term by which Abhinavagupta himself defines his origin is "yoginībhū", 'born of a yoginī'.: 20  In Kashmir Shaivism and especially in Kaula it is considered that a progeny of parents "established in the divine essence of Bhairava", is endowed with exceptional spiritual and intellectual prowess. Such a child is supposed to be "the depository of knowledge", who "even as a child in the womb, has the form of Shiva", to enumerate but a few of the classical attributes of his kind. Parents Abhinavagupta was born in a Brahmin family in Kashmir. His mother, Vimalā (Vimalakalā) died when Abhinavagupta was just two years old;: 31  as a consequence of losing his mother, of whom he was reportedly very attached, he grew more distant from worldly life and focused all the more on spiritual endeavour. The father, Narasiṃhgupt, after his wife's death favoured an ascetic lifestyle, while raising his three children. He had a cultivated mind and a heart "outstandingly adorned with devotion to Mahesvara (Shiva)" (in Abhinavagupta's own words). He was Abhinavagupta's first teacher, instructing him in grammar, logic and literature.: 30  Family Abhinavagupta had a brother and a sister. The brother, Manoratha, was a well-versed devotee of Shiva.: 22  His sister, Ambā (probable name, according to Navjivan Rastogi), devoted herself to worship after the death of her husband in late life. His cousin Karṇa demonstrated even from his youth that he grasped the essence of Śaivism and was detached of the world. His wife was presumably Abhinavagupta's older sister Ambā,: 24  who looked with reverence upon her illustrious brother. Ambā and Karṇa had a son, Yogeśvaridatta, who was precociously talented in yoga: 23 Abhinavagupta also mentions his disciple Rāmadeva as faithfully devoted to scriptural study and serving his master.: 24  Another cousin was Kṣema, possibly the same as Abhinavagupta's illustrious disciple Kṣemarāja. Mandra, a childhood friend of Karṇa, was their host in a suburban residence; he was not only rich and in possession of a pleasing personality, but also equally learned.: 25  And last but not least, Vatasikā, Mandra's aunt, who got a special mention from Abhinavagupta for caring for him with exceptional dedication and concern; to express his gratitude, Abhinavagupta declared that Vatasikā deserved the credit for the successful completion of his work.: 26 The emerging picture here is that Abhinavagupta lived in a nurturing and protected environment, where his creative energies got all the support they required. Everyone around him was filled with spiritual fervor and had taken Abhinavagupta as their spiritual master. Such a supporting group of family and friends was equally necessary as his personal qualities of genius, to complete a work of the magnitude of Tantrāloka. Ancestors By Abhinavagupta's own account, his most remote known ancestor was called Atrigupta, born in Madhyadeśa, i.e. the Middle Country. Born in Madhyadeśa he travelled to Kashmir at the request of the Kayastha king Lalitāditya,: 28 : 3  around year 740 CE. Masters Abhinavagupta is famous for his voracious thirst for knowledge. To study he took many teachers (as many as fifteen),: 33  both mystical philosophers and scholars. He approached Vaiṣṇavas, Buddhists, Śiddhānta Śaivists, and the Trika scholars. Among the most prominent of his teachers, he enumerates four, two of whom were Vāmanātha, who instructed him in dualistic Śaivism,: 54  and Bhūtirāja in the dualist/nondualist school. Besides being the teacher of the famous Abhinavagupta, Bhūtirāja was also the father of two eminent scholars.: 34 Lakṣmaṇagupta, a direct disciple of Utpaladeva, in the lineage of Trayambaka, was highly respected by Abhinavagupta and taught him all the schools of monistic thought: Krama, Trika, and Pratyabhijña (except Kula).: 54  Śambhunātha taught him the fourth school (Ardha-trayambaka). This school is in fact Kaula, and it was emanated from Trayambaka's daughter. For Abhinavagupta, Śambhunātha was the most admired guru. Describing the greatness of his master, he compared Śambhunātha to the Sun, in his power to dispel ignorance from the heart, and, in another place, wi.... Discover the Boris Marjanovic popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Boris Marjanovic books.

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