was a distinguished poet, critic & saint and one
of the most outstanding Acharyas of the Shaiva
philosophy. His exact date of birth is not known but
we learn from references about him in 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 ancestor of
Abhinavagupta was a famous Brahmin Attrigupta a
great Shaiva teacher and scholar of Kanauj, who had
p.mp3anently settled in Kashmir on the invitation of
Lalitaditya. One of Attrigupta’s descendants,
named Varahagupta, became a great scholar of Shaiva
philosophy. His son, Narasimhagupta, alias Chukhala,
father of Abhinavagupta, was also a great Shaiva
teacher. Abhinavgupta lost his mother Vimalaka, a
spiritualist of high order, in his childhood. Soon
thereafter, his father renounced the world. The
young Abhinav, pursued his studies under versatile
teachers. Some of them were well versed in Buddhist
thought and scriptures, some were Jain scholars and
some others were saints. He studied metaphysics,
poetry and aesthetics with almost superhuman
toil and mastered all knowledge.
possessed knowledge in all matters relating to
Kashmir Shaivism. The versatility of this genius was
recognised in his own time. He was one of the best
authorities on Shaiva philosophy and various
branches of Sanskrit literature.
Abhinavagupta possessed all the eight Yogic powers
explained in Shastras. People also observed six
great spiritual signs as explained in
‘Malinivijayotara Shastra’, in him and in his
time, everybody looked upon him as Shiva incarnate.
Kashmir Shaivism, called Trika Philosophy is
classified by Abhinavagupta in four systems viz.
Krama system, Soanda 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.
Abhinavgupta enunciated ‘Shanta Rasa’, the mood
of Serenity and Peace, as the ultimate end of art.
He was a celibate all his life and became ascetic in
his last years. It is belived that he entered
Samadhi along with 1200 of his desciple near the
village of Magam on the Srinagar-Gulmarg road.
works have been attributed to Abhinavagupta, though
only a few are extant Some of the works of his
authorship are Tantraloka, Abhinavbharati,
Bhairavastotra, Malinivijaya Vartika, Bharata Natya
Shastra-Tika, Natyalochana, P.mp3artha Charcha,
Kramastotra, Ishwar Pratyabijnya Vivriti Vimarshini,
P.mp3arth Sara, Tantraloka, Tantra Sara etc.
a devotee of Abhinavagupta, writes that Lord
Shree-Kantha-Nath Shiva Himself appeared in Kashmir
in the f.mp3 of Abhinavagupta to enlighten the
people. He also asserts that Abhinavagupta was, in
fact, the incarnation of Bhairva-Nath Shiva.
was an authority on Ayurveda, the Veda for
(lengthening of) the span of life. He was a Muni and
a physician. It is believed that he was the
incarnation of the Serpent-king Shesha, who was the
receipient of the Ayur-veda. Once, on visiting the
earth, he found it full of sickness and was moved
with pity. He det.mp3ined to become incarnate as the
son of a Muni for alleviating disease.
was much controversy about the birth place of
Charaka. But the Buddhist literature discovered by
Professor Sylavan Levi in China showed that Charaka
was the court poet of Kanishka (Ist century A.D.)
and his birth place was Kashmir. Chinese Tripitaka
(translated in 472 A.D.) describes Charaka as the
personal physician of Kanishka.
composed a new book on medicine called Charakasamhita.
Though the origin of Indian medicine can be traced
back to Atharveda, Charaka’s work is a definite
and masterly contribution to this science. In fact,
history of the development of Indian medicine begins
from this physician. With him, begins the dawn of
Indian medicine and surgery, as all the later works
are either based on his work or are mere extension
of the same work.
text of Charakasamhita, which is
preserved in a dilapidated condition, was revised
wholly by Drdhbala, a Kashmirian, who also prepared
its appendix. The basic part of the work however, is
probably the oldest of the extant medical manuals.
The oldest extant commentary on the Charakasamhita,
is one by Chakrapanidatta in the 11th century A.D.
But before this, the work had already been
translated into Persian and from it into Arabic.
consists of 8 chapters:
Sutrasthana - on Healing, Diet & Duties of a
was not only a physician. He was also a moralist and
philosopher. He prescribed even a number of moral
instructions with reference to hygienic rules as
well as in connection with the theory of sin being
the primary cause of a malady.
Nidanasthana - on 8 principal ailments
Vimanasthana - on Tastes, Food, General pathology
& Medical stadium
Sarirasthana - on Anatomy and Embryology
Indriyasthana - on Diagnosis and Prognosis
Chikitsasthana - on Special therapy
8) Kalpa & Siddhanta-sthana - on General