Dattatreya

What is Datta Jayanthi?.

It is the day on which Datta namaka paramathma made his incarnation.

When is Datta Jayanthi Celebrated?

On Margashira Shudda Hunnime, Wednesday in Mrugashira nakshatra.  This is the sixth incarnation of Srihari.

Who are his parents?

Sage Brahmaputra Atri and Kardramaputri Anusuya are his parents.

It is said that Dattatreya is one God only with Trimurthi sannidhana.  Is it true?

No,  Dattatreya roopa is not one god.   They are three Gods –  Vishnu, Brahma (Chandra) and Maheshwara separately. Anasuya gave birth to three male children.  They are Datta-Vishnu;  Doorvasa–Shiva; and Soma-Chandra (With Brahma’s avesha).  As Brahma is not having any avatara, and as there is avesha of Brahma in Chandra, Chandra was born with Brahma Sannidhana.

But we find that there is only one roopa – i.e., Trimoorthi roopa with three heads, six hands and with four dogs to his side.

Ans :This is entire different from Bhaghavatha Shastra as in the Bhagavatha Grantha it is clearly said that they are three different gods’ incarnations in the form of Datta, Chandra and Doorvasa.    We have the concept that Datta is Bhagavan Vishnu only as per Madhwa Shastra.

What is the definition of “Datta”? What are his teachings?

Ans:  “Datta” means not only “that which is given”, but also as the ideal of “giving” without desire for reward, i.e. selfless giving.  This roopa is Yogapravarthaka roopa.

As he was pleased by the tapassu of Atri Rushi and born  to them – and he gave himself to them, he is called as “Datta”, he is called as “Atreya” as he is the putra of Atri Rushigalu, he is called as “Dattatreya” as he is Datta | Atreya = Dattatreya.

The whole life of Dattatreya shows us that this “giving” selflessly is the true renunciation/sacrifice. The significance of this sacrifice is stated in the Dattatreya Upanishad where the Lord says, “Not by action,  not by self, but by tyaaga alone is immortality attained. The true  sacrifice is the giving up of “I” and “me”, not the mere abandoning of duties. Living a selfless life require giving up one’s ego. That is what Lord Dattatreya describes as true sacrifice.

Que :  How Datta roopi Paramathma’s incarnation was available to us?

Ans :  Once Sage Atri did Tapascharya on the Ruksha Parvatha (Kula Mountain).  He was doing pranayama standing on a single foot,  with Vaywahara (i.e., eating only air as his food).  He did the tapas for 100 years.   His great tapas disturbed the entire world.  The prayanayaabhyasa agni which came out of his shiras (head) was so strong that the entire world was burning.    Pleased with the tapas of Atri Rushigalu, the three lokapalakaas Parabrahma-Brahma and Maheshwara, came before the sage, alongwith the apsaraas, sages, gandharvaas, siddhaas, vidyadharaas, etc.

Que : What is Srimadacharyaru’s opinion on Dattatreya?

Ans : Sri Madhwacharyaru in his Bhagavatha Tatparya Nirnaya Grantha has given an illustration of “DattatrEya Yoga”. Srimadacharyaru has clarified clearly that the Dattatreya roopa is sakshaat Vishnu roopa.

There are some versions about Dattatreya which tells that “Dattatreya is only one son, born with tri-roopa, 6 heads, 6 hands and with 4 dogs next to Datta” is not available anywhere in Bhagavatha.  It is clearly mentioned in Bhagavatha that they are three different roopaas clearly with Chandra(Brahma’s avesha), Doorvasa(Rudradevaru) and Datta (Sakshat Parabrahma Srihari).

He gave us “anvikshikI” named sattarka and preached Alarka Rushi and Prahlaadarajaru.

Que :  Any follower of Datta roopa?

Ans :  There are many followers of Datta roopa paramathma. Chakravarthi Kartaveeryarjuna is one of the famous shishya of Dattreya and he was a Dattopaasaka and because of Dattopasana itself he had got 1000 hands power.  Alarka Rushi and Prahlada Raja (Bhagavatha prathama skandha adhyaaya 3.11), Yaduraaja & Karthaveeryarjuna are his disciples (bhagavatha 2.7.04)

Bhagavatha Shloka which tells about the Avatara of Datta roopa.

अत्रे: पत्न्यनसूय त्रीन् जज्ञे सुयशस: सुतान् ।
दत्तं दूर्वाससं सोममात्मेशब्रह्मसंभवान् ॥
(चतुर्धस्कंध अध्याय १.१५)

atrE: patnyanasUya trIn jaj~JnE suyashasa: sutaan |

dattam dUrvaasasam sOmamaatmEshabrahmasambhavaan|

(Bhagavatha chaturdhaskandha adhyaaya 1.15)

Atri Rushi’s patni Anasuya gave birth to three male children.  They are Datta – Sakshaat Vishnu, Doorvasaru – Shiva’s incarnation and Soma (Chandra) with Brahma’s Avesha.

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When Sage Atri opened his eye he saw Trishooladari Shiva, Hamsarooda Kamandaladhari Brahma, and Shanka Chakra Gadha padmadhari Garuda Vahana Srihari, he was very happy, did the sastanga namaskara, did Arghyapadyaachamana.

विश्वीद्भवस्थितिलयेषु विभज्यमानै:

मायागुणैरनुगुणं प्रगृहीतदेहा: ।

हे ब्रह्मविष्णुगिरिशा: प्रणतोस्म्रुहं व:

तेभ्य: क एव भवतां म इहोपहूत: ।

vishvIdbhavasthitilayEShu vibhajyamaanai:|

maayaaguNairanuguNam pragRuhItadEhaa: |

hE brahmaviShNugirishaa: praNatOsmruham va:|

tEbhya: ka Eva bhavataam ma ihOpahUta: |

(chaturdhaskaMdha adhyaaya 1.27)

Then  Atri Rushigalu told :My sastaanga namaskaaraas to Trimurthees.  You three are doing the Srusti, Stithi, and Samhaara, and are the pravartakaas for Satva, Rajas and Tamo Guna.  Whom among you have been called by my Penance?

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एको मयेह भगवान् विबुधप्रधान: |

चित्तीकृत: प्रजननाय कथं नु यूयम् ।

अत्रागतास्तनुभृतां मनसोपि दूरा:

बॄत प्रसीदत महानतिविस्मयो मे ।

(भागवत चतुर्थ स्कंध १.२८)

EkO mayEha bhagavaan vibudhapradhaanaK|

chittIkRuta: prajananaaya katham nu yUyam |

atraagataastanubhRutaam manasOpi dUraa:|

bRUta prasIdata mahaanativismayO mE |

(bhaagavata chaturtha skandha 1.28)

I did the penance for getting a son, but you three have come here which I am surprised, please solve my suspense as to why you all three have come together when I was expecting only one among to come?

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Then Trimoorthees told smilingly –  You have done the penance with the sankalpa of getting all three of us your sons.  That is why in order no prove your satsankalpa we have come here and that you will have three children who are equal to us in Swaroopa and bhinnaamsha.

As such Chandra was born with the amsha of Brahma (Brahma does not avatara, so Chandra in whom his Brahma’s avesha is there was born), Vishnu born as Yogeshwara DattatrEya &  Shankara was born as Doorvasa.

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ShaShThamatrErapatyatvaM vRuta: praaptOnasUyayaa |
anvIkShIkImalarkaaya prahlaadibhya Uchivaan |
(bhaagavata prathamaskaMdha adhyaaya 3.11)

ಷಷ್ಠಮತ್ರೇರಪತ್ಯತ್ವಂ ವೃತ: ಪ್ರಾಪ್ತೋನಸೂಯಯಾ |
ಅನ್ವೀಕ್ಷೀಕೀಮಲರ್ಕಾಯ ಪ್ರಹ್ಲಾದಿಭ್ಯ ಊಚಿವಾನ್ |
(ಭಾಗವತ ಪ್ರಥಮಸ್ಕಂಧ ಅಧ್ಯಾಯ ೩.೧೧)

षष्ठमत्रेरपत्यत्वं वृत: प्राप्तोनसूयया ।
अन्वीक्षीकीमलर्काय प्रह्लादिभ्य ऊचिवान् ।
(भागवत प्रथमस्कंध अध्याय ३.११)

He is the sixth incarnation of Srihari.  Born to please Atri Rushi and Anasuya.  As he gave himself he is called as  “Datta” and as he was born as the son of Atri Rushi he is Atreya, and Datta + Atreya = Dattatreya, and he plreached AnvikShikI named sattarka to alarka Rushi and prahlaadigalu.

Atri Means –  One he is free from Trividhanaraka viz., Kama-krodha-lobha.

Anasuya Means – one who is without any Asooya.  When pathi is atri and patni is anasuya, we need not be surprised with the avatara of Srihari in them as Datta.  We must also be without the three – kama-krodha-lobha.  Then our wife will be Buddhi.  Then with we will be free from asooya –  Definitely Datta will be pleased on us and he will come to us also. – Quotes from Bhagavatha anuvadha of Chaturvedi Vedavyasachar.

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अत्रेरपत्य मभिकांक्षत आह तुष्टो
दत्तो मयाहमिति यद्भगवान् स दत्त: ।
यत्पादपंकजपरागपवित्रदेहा
योगर्धिमापुरमयों यदु हैहयद्या:।

dattO mayaahamiti yadbhagavaan sa datta: |
yatpaadapaMkajaparaagapavitradEhaa
yOgardhimaapuramayOM yadu haihayadyaa:|

ಅತ್ರೇರಪತ್ಯ ಮಭಿಕಾಂಕ್ಷತ ಆಹ ತುಷ್ಟೋ
ದತ್ತೋ ಮಯಾಹಮಿತಿ ಯದ್ಭಗವಾನ್ ಸ ದತ್ತ: |
ಯತ್ಪಾದಪಂಕಜಪರಾಗಪವಿತ್ರದೇಹಾ
ಯೋಗರ್ಧಿಮಾಪುರಮಯೋಂ ಯದು ಹೈಹಯದ್ಯಾ:|

(Bhagavatha dwiteeya skandha adhyaya 7.04)

Pleased with the tapas of Atri Rushigalu, Sri hari born in AnasUyadevi as Datta.  With the paramathma’s paadadooli, yaduraaja and kaartaveeryurjanadi kings got yoga siddhi from Dattavataara.

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