Lord Dattatreya - Shri Dattatreya or Datta Guru.
Shri Dattatreya is a very ancient incarnation, highly venerated through the ages. Dattatreya – a Universal Guru manifested in the recess of time of 'Kaliyug', when humanity had gone far from its pristine state and steeped into threshold of a timewhen all kinds of vices had already taken root, and the pious souls made fervent appealed for the salvage of the mankind surging forward in manifold way. He had descended on this earth to establish 'Satya' (the Universal Truth), 'Rta' (the CosmicOrder), Dharma', (the perennial principles), in all its entirety.
Seer Atri was one of such Seers who had ‘seen’ and experienced the Brahman, the eternal Wisdom. To him was born a son, the product of the Grace or the Divine Will, which was the manifestation of all three Primal Energies ofBrahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He was ordained with the three energies; He came to have the concentrated wisdom of the three God-heads or symbolically three heads. The three heads signified as Brahma:‘Tejas’ personified, Vishnu:‘Ojas' personified, Shiva: ‘Tapas’ personified. Under these heads, illumination of knowledge, vigorosity of action and stringency of penance were represented as three aspects or state of being of the same.
had descended into the realm of world as progeny of Atri and
Anusuya, a sage couple of the Vedic age.
They transformed themselves into mendicants, approached the hermitage of sage Atri and begged for alms. At that time sage Atri was away at the river offering his daily oblations. Anusuya came out and offered food to them. They made a strange request; the food be prepared and served to them by Anusuya, in the nude. In the Indian tradition any 'athithi' (guest) cannot be turned away, as they are considered to be an aspect of God. Hence she was placed in a dilemma. She smiled to herself and reflected thus: ‘I am totally purified by the long association with the holy sage Atri. What harm can the god of lust ever do to me? So I do fear nothing. As they have sought food from my hands, I look upon them as my own children and not as strangers and grown up men!’ Her thoughts – the thoughts of a pious and chaste person – instantly became reality; the elderly guests became babies!
Sage Atri on his
return to the hermitage saw his wife Anusuya fondling three babies.
Anusuya said "These children are the gift of God to us who have
been childless so far". Sage Atri was overjoyed and named them
Datta, which means 'given'. At this the three Gods reverted
to their real forms and disclosed the truth. They extolled the
power of chastity and purity of Anusuya which vanquished the combined
and colossal powers of all three of them. Sage Atri and Anusuya
prayed that they should remain as their sons. They consented and
the three Gods merged into one body.
of Datta Guru:
| The Cow, which
is always with Him, represents the Mother Earth and Dharma. She
is the wish fulfilling cow 'Kamadhenu'.
The four dogs symbolise the four Vedas – the external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom.
The trident indicates that He has transcended the three gunas, which constitute the illusory world:
Sattva-illumination, Rajas-activity and Tamas-inertia.
The 'Sudharshana chakra' , disc indicates that He is beyond the cycles of time i.e. the past, present and future and
His holding of 'chakra' means He is the controller of time.
The conch represents the eternal sound ‘AUM’ – which is the manifestation of the Spirit.
It is also the life principle in us and the cosmos.
The 'bhasma' ashes indicated His 'Vairaagya' dispassion as well as His purity.
Ashes indicate the evanescent nature of all created nature of all created objects and the ultimate state of all matter.
He always carries a begging bowl so as to teach us the lesson that we will have to share our wealth and food with others.
The japa-mala, rosary He wears reminds us that our primary duty is chanting the sacred name of the Lord and meditating on the feet of the Lord, and our redemption depends on this discipline alone.
Shri Dattatreya, in order to bless His devotees and the righteous ones, wanders about in the guise of a random guest at the lunch hour. That's why it is said that a random guest has to be treated as the very embodiment of Lord Dattaterya.
God's creation was
His Guru: He had twenty four Gurus.
Guru Dattatreya gave Ashtanga Yoga (eight fold path of Yoga) to the world thousands of years ago.
Patanjali codified this knowledge in sootra forms. It comprises:
1. Yama – non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-receiving of any gifts. Moral discipline
2. Niyama – cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and self-surrender to God. Moral discipline Yama and Niyama are moral training and form the basis of Yoga. As these two become established, the Yogi will begin to realize the fruits of his practice.
3. Asana – posture
4. Pranayama – ‘Prana’ is the life-force, ‘yama’ is control. 'Pranayama' consists of breath control exercises.
5. Pratyahara – withdrawal of senses from sense objects.
6. Dharana – concentration.
7. Dhyana – meditation.
8. Samadhi – the transcendental or super conscious state of being one with God:
Principle tenets of the Dattatreya tradition
The principle tenets of the Dattatreya tradition are:
1. Everyone should know oneself first and should know one's own reality, which is but God.
2. One should realize the relationship between God, man and creation – the underlying kinship, unity and oneness of these three entities. Brahman is the immanent and all pervading reality in all matter – it is the origin, the support and sustenance of all.
3. To obtain this vision and discern this truth, one should conquer one's ego through Yoga and renunciation.
4. Guru's grace is indispensable. One has to surrender oneself totally and unreservedly at the feet of the Guru.
His grace awakens 'Jnana' (illumination) by which we can recognize the Reality of Brahman, which is the real self of all.
Apart from this the disciples should:
of thought, word and deed.