From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Abhinavagupta was a great Tāntrika adept, philosopher, scholar, guru, writer, a polymath and polyglot of Kashmir in the middle ages. He is recognized as one of the greatest philosophers and noted for his great learning, spiritual attainment, and philosophical sophistication.

His ancestors hailed from the ‘Antarvedī,’ the country between the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā rivers. He lived in Kashmir. His literary activities extended from about A. D. 980 to A. D. 1020. He is considered to be on of the key proponents of ‘Pratyabhijñā-darśana’ (Kashmir Saivism).

Literary works of Abhinavgupta[edit]

  • Tantrasāra is a voluminous treatise on Tantra
  • Īśvara-pratyabhijñā-vimarśini is an authoritative work on the monistic śaivism of the Pratyabhijñā school of Kashmir
  • Tantraloka
  • Paramārthasāra
  • Kathāmukha-tilaka
  • Bhedavāda-vidāraņa
  • A number of poems & dramas including Abhinavabhāratī, Ghaţa-karpara-kulaka-vivṛti, and Dhvanyālokalocana.
  • Two authoritative commentaries, Dhvanyāloka-locana (also called Locana) and Abhinavabhāratl, on Ānanda-vardhana’s Dhvanyāloka and Bharata’s Nātyaśāstra
  • Pratyabhijñā, Krama, Trika and Kaula philosophies
  • Forty other works across a number of subjects


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
  • Abhinavagupta by Jit Majumdar