New Delhi: Year-long millennium year celebrations of Acharya Abhinavagupta concluded in New Delhi on September 29 with a joint call by the RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat and Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar to emulate the knowledge created by the renowned scholar 1,000 year ago. The function began with the chanting of ‘Bhairav Stotra’, composed by Acharya Abhinavagupta himself, which basically indicates to the date when it was composed by the great scholar 1,000 years ago. RSS Sah Sar Karyavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale and Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sampark Pramukh Shri Arun Kumar were also present.
“Acharya Abhinavagupta was a proponent of oneness. He did not believe in differences within society. Even today his teachings are relevant. The differences of caste and status need to be erased from the society. Our status first and foremost is that we are ‘Bharatwasi’. Any other identity is secondary,” said Shri Mohan Bhagwat. He further said Abhinavagupta was not just a teacher, but an amazing expert on art and aesthetics. We talk so much about ‘Kashmiriyat’. But if those who know about and believe in Abhinavagupta are not there in Kashmir, then how can ‘Kashmiriyat’ exist there, he added.
Sri Sri Ravishankar began his speech by congratulating the armed forces and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in an obvious reference to the Army’s action against Pakistan-sponsored terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir. Just like Sri Ram had to provide security for the yajna performed by Vishwamitra, security is essential for executing positive tasks in the society. The latest action is bound to thwart the spectre of terrorism, he said. Shastr aur shaastra se shanti ke yagya purey hotey hain (Arms and literature are both necessary for maintaining peace in the society). He expressed happiness that both hosh aur josh are evident in the nation today. “The celebrations of Acharya Abhinavagupta are very relevant in today’s context. The Indian culture and tradition have always been knowledge based. Each region has its own uniqueness,” he added.
General Secretary of the Millennium Celebration Committee and former Pro Vice Chancellor of JNU Prof. Kapil Kapoor recalled that scholars in Italy and other European countries have translated Acharya Abhinavagupta’s works. “We Indians have to rediscover our greatness rather than dwell on negativities. The strength of Indian culture is neither religion, caste or politics but its unified consciousness and knowledge tradition. Acharya Abhinavagupta was one of the protectors of our dharma, which does not mean religion. He authored 41 books and connected the common man with his philosophy,” he said.
Senior journalist and president of Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) Shri Jawaharlal Kaul reminded the gathering of the ‘spandan’, the ethereal vibration, that is a part of each living being. Five books were also released on the occasion. They included Sancharvid Abhinavagupta by Dr Jayprakash Singh, Abhinavagupta aur Shaivdarshan kya punaruday’by Jawaharlal Kaul, Abhinavsukti Shatkam and Bhairav Strotra by Dr Jeetram Bhat and Pratyabhigyan, a compendium of research on Abhinavagupta by Dr Rajneesh.
Acharya Abhinavagupta, the great devotee of Lord Shiva, is today recognised as one of the world’s greatest philosophers and literary critics–in the league of the West’s Plato and Aristotle. Best known as the proponent of Kashmir Shaivism, Acharya Abhinavagupta also authored many books on ‘tantra’ and theatre. Eminent Indian scholars and artists have been celebrating 1,000 years of the great scholar since January this year. The millennium celebrations committee is headed by Sri Sri Ravishankar. n