Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffery D. Long, Rita D. Sherma, Pankaj Jain, Madhu Khanna


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_1-1



Abhinavagupta (c.950–1020) was an influential Indian philosopher in the fields of Philosophy, Theology, Dramaturgy, and Aesthetics. His greatest contribution was to what is known today as Kashmir Śaivism.


The little that is known about Abhinavagupta’s life is culled from autobiographical verses in various works, primarily Parātrīśikā-vivaraṇa and Tantrāloka, and also the research of K.C. Pandey. Abhinavagupta was born in a devout Brahmin Śaiva family in or near the town of Pravarapura, now known as Srinagar. His father Narasiṃha was brought from Kannauj (located in today’s Uttar Pradesh) to Kashmir to work for King Lalitaditya (c.750). Abhinavagupta’s mother Vimaia had died while he was just a boy. He had a brother, Manoratha, and a sister, Ambā. While his first teacher was his father, throughout his works Abhinavagupta lists many teachers with whom he studied a wide range of philosophical topics. Since...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Assistant Academic Reference librarianNational Humanities CenterResearch Triangle ParkUSA