Abhinavagupta (c. 950 – 1020 AD) was a brilliant thinker, astute philosopher, sensitive poet, mystic, and enlightened master. He is acknowledged by India herself as perhaps India’s greatest mind.
The meaning of Abhinavagupta is ‘approaching’ (Abhi) all things ‘anew’ (Nava) and in this way bringing out insights still hidden or concealed (Gupta) within them.
That person is ‘Abhinavagupta’ who remains aware in the course of
everyday activities, who is present in the objective domain as well as in
the subjective, and dwells there without limitation.
Abhinavagupta was born in the Valley of Kashmir in a family of scholars and mystics and studied all the schools of philosophy and art of his time under the guidance of as many as fifteen teachers and gurus. In his long life he completed over 35 works, the largest and most famous of which is Tantrāloka, an encyclopedic treatise on all the philosophical and practical aspects of Trika and Kaula (known today as Kashmir Shaivism). He is a rare pleasure to read.