Abhinavagupta was one of the most outstanding Acharyas of the Shaiva philosophy. We learn from references about him in Tantraloka and Paratrimshika Vivarana that he lived in Kashmir about the end of the tenth and the beginning of eleventh centuries A.D. The earliest ancestor of Abhinavagupta was a famous Brahmin, Attrigupta, who lived in Autarvedi, the ancient name of tract of land lying between the Ganga and the Yamuna. Attrigupta, a great Shaiva teacher, was invited by King Lalitaditya, who ruled over Kashmir from 700-736 A.D. A spacious house was soon built by the orders of the king on the banks of the Jhelum (Vitasta) for Attrigupta and a big Jagir was granted to him for his maintenance. Many generations after him, one of his descendants, named Varahagupta, became a great scholar of Shaiva philosophy. His son, Narasimhagupta, alias Chukhala, father of Abhinavagupta, was also a great Shaiva teacher.
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