--> Skip to main content

Disciples Of Vasugupta Of Advaita Shaiva school of Kashmir

The Advaita school of spiritual philosophy was founded in Kashmir by sage Vasugupta in the last quarter of the eight century CE. Vasugupta taught Kallata ( 855 CE), his disciple, the spiritual philosophy contained in the Shiva Sutra. Kallata grasped the purport of the spiritual thought conveyed in the Shiva Sutra, which were reproduced by him in his own way in the work Spanda Karika. In this way, he gave rise to a distinct phase in the development of the Advaita Shaiva thought, called Spanda. Kallata wrote a vritti, gloss, on these karikas, which together with the commentary is known as Spanda Sarvasva.

Three commentaries on the karakas are available: Vivriti by Ramakantha (925 CE), Pradipa by Utpala Bhatta (10th Century CE), and Nirnaya by Kshemaraja.

Kshemaraja also wrote a bigger work, Spanda Nirnaya, which he summarised in Spanda Sandoha.

Vasugupta’s disciple Siddha Somananda (850 CE) gave a new turn to the development of the Advaita Shaiva spiritual philosophy by writing Shivadrishti, in which he made an attempt to rationalize the philosophical thought projections by introducing dialectics for the first time. He is therefore spoken of as ‘Tarkasya karta; the creator of logic’. His pupil, Utpaladeva (970 CE) wrote Ishvarapratyabhijna or Pratyabhijna Karika, in which he tried to present the summary of the thought projections of his teacher. But this work assumed so much importance that the Advaita Shaiva philosophy came to be known as the Pratyabhijna Shastra, even outside Kashmir.

Abhinavagupta wrote two commentaries on this work: Vimarshini, a shorter commentary and Vivriti Vimarshini, a detailed commentary.

Source - article titled 'Light on Abhinavagupta’s Contribution to the Advaita Shaiva Spiritual Philosophy of Kashmir' by Dr Debabrata Sen Sharma published in Prabuddha Bharata Magazine January 2016 Issue.