Tuesday, November 5, 2013




A  Photographs of   **(2)Quarrying  work   near the Ancient Abhinavagupta Caves in  Beerwah area of  Budgam District  of kashmir .

To these  photographs I am adding a brief post on my query


"Kashmir Shaivism has penetrated to that depth of living thought where diverse currents of human wisdom unite in a luminous synthesis."

 (Rabindranath Tagore )

That is what Gurudev  Tagore said about  Kashmir’s Shaivism . And the credit for  developing  this wonderful school of thought goes to none other than Abhinavagupta ( 950-1020 AD ), Shaivite Scholar , Musician, Poet, Dramatist, Theologian, and Logician  from Kashmir .

One  question  about this grand sage and scholar that  often comes to my mind   remains unanswered  . Inspite of my broaching this subject with some persons who  were expected to provide clarity , I  continue to remain in dark.


Kalhana has mentioned everything that  one needs to know about Kashmir right from ancient period upto the period  he completed his  Book “ River of kings”  or  RAJATARANGINI.

 Rajatarangini was written  by Kalhana somewhere in the middle of 12th century ( Likey around  1148 A D).      How could Kalhana not mention  Abhinavagupta a  great scholar and  original thinker  of Kashmir who  died  in early 11th century .

Kalhana has mentioned everything about rivers , villages , people , climates , Budhist and Hindu  sages , Kings , Queens , wars  and court intrigues  right from ancient period to  middle of 12th century .While he  makes mention of some Shaiva scholars  like Muktakana , Shivaswamin, Ratnakara and *(1)Anandhvardhana ,  he is silent about  Abhinavagupta . I could  also not find  suffix Gupta with any scholar mentioned by him  in Rajatarangini. Again while mentioning Anand Vardhana ( 820-890 AD ) ,  Abhinavgupta’s name would have come naturally as  principal commentator of his Book   “Dhvanyaloka ” wherein  Ananadvardhana  expounded DHVANI ( Sound ) theory  . Abinavgupta has written  detailed commentary on this Book .

 Again , the  concluding  verse of "Bhairavastava" composed by  Abhinavagupta goes as under ,
"Abhinavagupta composed this Stava (eulogy) on the 10th of dark fortnight in the month of Pausha in the year Vasu (8) Rasa (6). In the 66th year, on the ninth day of dark fortnight, I, Abhinavagugta, in the month of Maghar, praised Lord Siva"

 From this Sloka and from other verses , Historians and scholars have worked out  Abhinavagupta's literary period extended from 4066 to 4090 laukika or Saptarsi era corresponding to 990-1O15 A. D. Kalhana has mentioned everything about this  period of Kashmir History  except Abhnavgupta . Hence his  omission of  not mentioning  Abhinavgupta’s name  in his Work  is intriguing  . Any other opinion !!!

I end this post with two lines from Abhinavagupta’s commentary on poetry …

"Asyaa Vigeesho Rasaaveega Vaidadya
Soundarya  kaavya Nirmaapa kgrnat~arn".~~

( Abhinavagupta )

(The ability to compose graceful poetry comes out of the excellence of the excitement caused by emotions.)

( Avtar Mota   )



As per  Prof I A Richards ( 1893-1979 ), scholar extraordinary  from Cambridge  informs as under ,

“ Ananadvardhana has given a brilliant theory with regard to  poetry in his Book   Dhvanyaloka  ( The book covers Rasa Theory and Dhvani Theory , the most important poetic theories of ancient India   .) ”

 And  as per  Daniel Henry Holmes Ingalls, Sr. ( 1916 –  1999)   Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University.

 “ Anandavardana   informs us that When a  poet writes, he creates a resonant field of emotions and  to  understand this , the reader or hearer must be on the same wavelength as the poet . Only a person endowed with poetic gift or Pratibha  is a poet. No one can create poetry solely on the strength of his command over the language . Genius is never acquired, it is birth-gift. Once genius is there, it may be replenished by constant practice and knowledge acquired through a close study of life .
And  according to Abhinavgupta,  genius is a   consciousness or sensibility that can create unprecedented and absolutely new poetic experience. Adds Abhinavgupta  that Genius  is a power whereby the poet not only calls up in his reader's heart the impression of faded experiences, but whereby he presents even new wonderful and new combinations and relation of things even before experienced or thought by the ordinary man. But Ksemendra speaks of two factors that are helpful to the attainment of poetic genius and  these are divine favour and human effort ” .

  And Anandavardhana (820-890 AD ) , Abhinavagupta (950-1020 AD ) and Ksemendra   (990AD )  were great Poets , Logicians , sages , Philosophers and Aestheticians  from Kashmir only  …….

Consequent to a  PIL  filed by two social activists ( seeking directions from the  Hon’ble court to restrain persons responsible for carrying illegal quarrying in the area and also to declare the caves as sites of “cultural and religious importance” and to direct the authorities to develop the place as a tourist site), The  J& High Court has stayed the “illegal” mining activity around the Ancient Abhinavgupta caves in Kashmir’s Budgam district  .
 A legend about  Abhinavgupta’s  death  says that he took with him 1200 disciples and marched off to a cave (the Bhairava Cave present day Beerwa  in kashmir ), reciting his poem Bhairava-stava  and never to returned to this world.

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

1 comment:

  1. Nice information......I'm a great admirer of Abhinavagupta myself and am celebrating his 'thousand year' appearance by making a close study of some of his works, among other -via Lakshmanjoo- his commentary on the Bgagavadgita....interesting reading...not VEDANTIC per se but purely Kashmiri...how refreshing, especially via the doyen mentioned above!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.