Article

Abhinavagupta

David Lawrence

in Hinduism

ISBN: 9780195399318
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0098
Abhinavagupta

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The polymathic Abhinavagupta (c. 950–1020 ce) was a pivotal figure in the histories of Hindu scholastic philosophy, tantra, and aesthetic theory. In long commentaries, he elaborated and augmented the writings on the Pratyabhijñā philosophical theology for the Trika tradition of monistic Kashmiri Shaivism created by Utpaladeva (c. 900–950 ce). While those commentaries are of paramount importance, this thinker’s greatest significance in the history of tantra is probably his effort, in his monumental Tantrāloka and numerous other exegetical works, to systematize and provide a critical philosophical structure to nonphilosophical tantric theology. Abhinavagupta is also well known for his works on Sanskrit poetics, in which he interpreted aesthetic experience as homologous to, and practically approaching, the monistic Shaiva soteriological realization. All these areas of Abhinavagupta’s thought actually have complex interrelations, which makes the organization of studies of them into distinct categories somewhat artificial. Some publications listed in this article have been included under more than one heading, but several more could have been.

Article.  10051 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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