King Lalitaditya of Kashmir traveled to Madhya Pradesh in India where he discovered the great Shaiva teacher, Atrigupta. After some centuries, Varahagupta was born in the house of Atrigupta. Varahagupta had a son named Narasimhagupta, who later married and had a son who was the great Shaiva master, Abhinavagupta
Life and works of Abhinavagupta:
Abhinavagupta (950-1025 AD) was a great scholar who practiced the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. He was a shining jewel in the illustrious chain of masters starting from Sage Durvasa to Swami Lakshmanjoo. Abhinavagupta was a brilliant student and was blessed with supernatural talent from his childhood. He is famous for his voracious thirst for knowledge. He studied with many teachers (as many as 15, or even more!), both mystical philosophers and scholars, and acquired the eight great yogic powers. Abhinavagutpa wrote books not only on Kashmir Shaivism, but also on music, art, drama, and poetry. As an example of his work-ethic and dedication, he composed the thirty-seven chapters of Tantraloka which is the master text of Kashmir Shaivism, in just thirty-seven days. The culminations of Abhinavagupta's scholarship and spiritual acumen included the Tantraloka, Tantrasara, Paramarthasara, Paratrishika Vivarana. He attained final liberation at the age of 96 years. Acharya Abhinavagupta's teachings and thoughts will continue to pervade as long as the Sun Shines-and Beyond
Summary teachings of Abhinavagupta:
Abhinavagupta held the view that the Lord's message is universal and eternal without any earthly restrictions.
Organisations working to propagate Kashmir Shaivism philosophy:
The Ishwar Ashram Trust and the Universal Shaiva Fellowship were established by Swami Lakshmanjoo (the last master in the oral tradition of Kashmir Shaivism) to carry forward the mission of propagating Kashmir Shaivism. Both IAT and USF continue to organise seminars and workshops to spread this philosophy
Key messages of Kashmir Shaivism and Abhinavagupta
Useful web sites for more information on Acharya Abhinavagupta and Kashmir Shaivism
- Kashmir Shaivism is not a religion. It is a philosophy for the upliftment of all mankind, irrespective of caste, creed, and colour or gender
- God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Kashmir Shaivism.
- Be aware of your own self always; in walking, talking, going to office and all activities. This is the supreme practice.