Abhinavgupta on Aesthetics Essay

1560 Words7 Pages
Abhinavagupta on Aesthetics Abhinavagupta, a distinguished philosopher, aesthete and saint was one of the most outstanding Acharyas of Monistic Shaivism. His exact date of birth is not known but we learn from references about him in his works Tantraloka and Paratrimshika Vivarana that he lived in Kashmir about the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh century A.D. The earliest known ancestor of Abhinavagupta was a famous Brahmin, Attrigupta, a great Shaiva teacher and scholar of Kanauj, who had been invited to settle in Kashmir by King Lalitaditya. Abhinavagupta was thus born into a family which had a long tradition of scholarship and devoutness for Lord Siva. His father Narasimhagupta (Cukhulaka) and mother Vimalakala were great influences in his life and it is believed that they both underwent austerities to be bestowed with an extraordinary son with spiritual powers. Traditionally believed to have been a Yoginibhu (born of aYogini), he mastered subjects like metaphysics, poetry and aesthetics at a very young age He possessed all the eight Yogic powers explained in theShastras. His biographers observed six great spiritual signs as explained in 'Malinivijayotara Shastra', in him. Kashmir Shaivism is classified by Abhinavagupta in four systems viz. Krama system, Spanda system,Kula system and Pratyabijnya system. 'Krama' deals with space and time, 'Spanda', with the movement, 'Kula' with the Science of Totality and 'Pratyabijnya' with the school of Recognition (Ref: G.T.Deshpande's monogram on Abhinavagupta for a detailed explanation). His two major works on Poetics, Dhavnyalokalocana and Abhinava Bharati point towards his quest into the nature of aesthetic experience. In both these works Abhinavagupta suggests that aesthetic experience is something beyond worldly experience and he has used the word 'Alaukika' to distinguish the former feeling from the

More about Abhinavgupta on Aesthetics Essay

Open Document