SRI DATTATREYA

SRI DATTATREYA 

dattaatreyam mahaatmaanam varadam bhaktavatsalam |
prapannArti haram vande smartRugAmi sano&vatu ||
 

I pray to and take refuge in Lord Dattatreya. He is the most learned teacher.
He is the greatest mahatma and eternal soul. Lord Dattatreya protects the poor and distressed and always blesses his devotees.

 

Sri Dattatreya, considered an incarnation of the Divine Trinity, was born on the full moon night of the month of Margashirsha. Because the divine trinity offered the gift of themselves in the form of a son to the sage Atri and his pativrata wife Anasuya he is called DATTA-ATREYA. He is depicted with three heads, symbolizing Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha; past present and future; and the three states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and dreamless deep sleep.

In our temple here, Lord Dattatreya is depicted as a wandering sage representing the Divine Trinity with his Kamdhenu (Wish fulfilling cow) and four dogs helping his devotees achieve MOKSHA. Lord Dattatreya is the master of these dogs. They typically symbolize four Vedas; however in Tantric tradition they represent the four human shortcomings, namely ignorance, attachment, aversion and clinging to life.

Sri Dattatreya is one of the oldest of the Hindu deities. His references are found both in Ramayana & Mahabharat. He is considered as the Adisiddha in Nath Sampradaya. Some of his famous disciples include Bhargava Parasuram 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Pralhad the famous devotee for whom Lord Vishnu incarnated as
Nru-Simha (4th incarnation).

Dattatreya Upanishad (Atharva Veda) opens proclaiming Dattatreya's identity with Vishnu and ends with the mantra "OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” and calling him Avatara of Lord Shiva. Sri Dattatreya worship is most prevalent in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.