Introduction to Lord Dattatreya
Shri Dattatreya is very old incarnation who has been revered throughout history. Dattatreya, a Universal Guru manifested in the recesses of time during the ‘Kaliyug’, when humanity had strayed far from its pristine state and was on the verge of succumbing to a time when all kinds of vices had already taken root, and pious souls made fervent appeals for the salvation of humanity surging forward in manifold ways. He had come to create Satya (Universal Truth), Rta (Cosmic Order), and Dharma (perennial principles) in their fullness on this planet.
Seer Atri was one of these Seers who had ‘seen’ and experienced the everlasting Wisdom of Brahman. He had a son, who was the manifestation of all three Primal Energies of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and was the result of Grace or Divine Will. He was endowed with the three powers, and he grew to possess the concentrated wisdom of the three God-heads, or three heads metaphorically. Brahma is personified as ‘Tejas’, Vishnu is personified as ‘Ojas’, while Shiva is personified as ‘Tapas.’ The three facets or states of being of the same were portrayed as illumination of knowledge, vigour of action, and stringency of penance under these headings.
As the offspring of Atri and Anusuya, a Vedic sage couple, Dattatreya had fallen into the domain of the earth. Anusuya rose to prominence as a result of her unwavering loyalty to her spouse. She was the epitome of virginity. Her spiritual strength was so strong that even the rough soil softened and smoothed for her as she went about. The three Gods resolved to convince these questioning elements how wrong they were by using this devout woman to instill jealously and envy in others.
Dattatreya is the reservoir of the united divinity of the ultimate Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. He was the son of Atri, the renowned Sage, and Anusuya, his faithful consort. Datta means “to give” or “to be given,” while “Atreya” means “Atri’s son.” Dattatreya is the name given to Atri’s son when the three ultimate Gods united and offered themselves to him in the form of a son. He is a modest monk with three heads and six arms who stands out. In his hands, he holds a rosary and a water pitcher, a conch and a discus, and a trident and a drum, signifying the three Gods.
Depiction of Lord Dattatreya
Standing in front of holy cow and wish-fulfilling tree, Dattatreya is shown with three heads, six hands, and four dogs. He wields trident to slay the ego, a drum to rouse those who are asleep, and a conch shell that reverberates the sound OM. He is holding a discus-chakra, a revolving circle that represents the cosmos and the breaking of karmic ties. Dattatreya wears a japa mala, which he uses to count and free his worshippers just by thinking about them. He carries a pot brimming with the nectar of pure wisdom, which he uses to rejuvenate the souls of people who yearn for knowledge, freeing them from the unending cycle of life and death.
Significance of Lord Dattatreya
Dattatreya is the personification of knowledge. The sacred Audumbar (fig) tree is regarded his unique home, despite the fact that he is primarily a travelling monk. His physical shape has a lot of importance. Ashes are strewn throughout his body, implying purity, detachment, and dispassion. The trident he wields represents his transcendence of the illusory world; the discus, Chakra, represents salvation; the conch, the eternal sound AUM; and the rosary he wields, meditation. The four Vedas and the four Yugas, or epochs, are also represented by the accompanying dogs, while the sacred cow represents mother Earth and plenty.
Dattatreya, commonly known as Datta, is a divine incarnation who is said to have arrived on Earth on Purnima day, or the Full Moon Day, in the Hindu month of Margashirsha (December–January).
Mythology behind Lord Dattatreya
Dattatreya is the subject of several tales. According to one of them, the Goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati once wished to test the virginity of the extremely virtuous Anusuya, so their consorts, the three greatest Gods, came before Sage Anusuya disguised as ascetics. They begged her to give them charity as she remained nude. At first, the noblewoman was taken aback. She utilised her vast spiritual skills to simply convert the supreme Gods into innocent newborns after learning their true identities and comprehending their intents. Then, without any sense of shame or remorse, she fed the infants nude, as they demanded. The three Goddesses appeared before her and eulogised her, realising the power of her perfect virginity. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, too, returned to their natural forms and bestowed a divine child upon her and Sage Atri.
Blessings of Worshipping Lord Dattatreya
People pray to Dattatreya in huge numbers and chant sacred songs from the Avadhuta Gita, Jivanmuktha Gita, Datta Prabodh, and Datta Mahatmya, which feature accounts about his life and teachings. Dattatreya temples may be found all across the nation, particularly in Maharashtra, where people go to worship. In addition, they sing Bhajans (hymns) in his honor. Saints such as Narasimha Saraswati and Shirdi Saibaba are also regarded to be his incarnations, and prayers are offered to them as well. The faithful around the country commemorate Dattatreya Jayanti, his day of advent, with tremendous piety. On this day, guests are considered as manifestations of Dattatreya and are appropriately honored. Datta is known as Adi Guru, a very old teacher, and it is said that worshipping him may grant you superior knowledge, sound intelligence, and heavenly understanding. It will also aid in the dispersal of Karma.
Events Related to Lord Dattatreya
On the Purnima, or Full Moon Day, in the Hindu calendar month of Margashirsha (December–January), Dattatreya is said to have descended on Earth. The hallowed day of his birth is known as Dattatreya Jayanti or Datta Jayanti, and it is commemorated by the devout all across the nation with great fervor and passion.