Abhinavagupta was useless. He was writing at a time when a power hungry woman in 10th century Kashmir was literally devouring her own grandchildren. Did Abhinavagupta help us make any sense of it? Did his esoteric writing have any significance? Did he help make world a better place?
If he were a present day writer, he be on Facebook screaming "Intolerance" or he be joining a Censor board and offering guidelines on 'cut-for-Indian culture' aesthetics. His birth ceremony would have been scandalous stuff IndiaTV is made of. It would have entertained us.
How does one make sense of it? What has happened to our senses?
Abhinavagupta was not useless.
He did answer the basic questions.
What is history?
Past visualized as if it was happening in present.
Why do your write?
The best writing is one that provides equinamity. Santa-Rasa, the rasa of peace.
How do you mix the two: History should be vividly descriptive and offer the reader visions of past and future. It is a piece of literature.
The result: In 12th century, Kalhana wrote Rajatarangi in Santa-Rasa. The theories of Abhinavagupta were to influence writers for ages.
Srivara was to write:
Will there be anybody in whom the present 'River of Kings' would not engender disillusionment by the vicissitudes [of the] rise and fall of the rulers, witnessed [by me] with my own eyes and [so] remembered?
Centuries later it was Santa-Rasa of this work that provided literal succor to weary kings like Budshah and Akbar [and even Nehru]. Offered then visions of past and future. Paving the way for secular discourses.
In the world of ideas, he swam like a fish
In real world, he sank like a stone
Over muddy Jhelum, on the hump of a camel
Poshker Nath stood one more time
at the edge
awaiting the final push
wondering if a story would catch him in time
हम पंड़ित है
थोड़े बेअकल भी
हमने देखी हिजर भी
देखी कई खुदाई
जो जहा जैसे
देखे कई मसीहा
हुऐ एक रोज़ ईसाई भी
बेबुध कहानियो मे हम यहूद
हिन्द का हिन्दू अब बस तू
तू पंड़ित है