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Dattatreya Jayanthi

Dattatreya Jayanthi D atta Jayanti is a celebration of the birth of the Vedic God Datta. Dattatreya Jayanti is celebrated on the full m...

Dattatreya Jayanthi
Dattatreya Jayanthi
Datta Jayanti is a celebration of the birth of the Vedic God Datta. Dattatreya Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of Margashirsh month of the Hindu calendar.

Shri Guru Dattatreya is an incarnation possessing the Divine attributes of the Trimurtis (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva) with Sage Atri and the sage's Wife Anusuyaa Devi as His parents. He is an Aadi Guru of the avadhoota sampradaaya. He is a Divine Form who can be easily pleased by mere remembrance of Him ("smarana maatra santushtaaya!")

Anusuyaa Devi:
The wife of Sage Atri was known for Her Piety and virtues. Sage Naarada was extolling Her virtues to Goddesses Saraswathy, Lakshmi, and Parvathi. The Goddesses requested the Trimurthies to test her virtues. The Trimurti's took the form of mendicants and went as athithis to the hermitage of Sage Atri when He was not there. Sages Anusuya offered them the traditional respects due to athithis, and requested them to partake meals in the hermitage. The mendicants imposed the condition that they will partake meals only on one condition that Anusuyaa should serve them stark naked!

Anusuyaa Devi was in a moral fix...According to customs of those times in hermitages (even normal households for that matter!), an athithi was never to be turned away without feeding him. But, at the same time, as a pious and modest wife of a sage, she cannot even think of being nude in front of grown up strangers. She meditated on her husband and sprinkled Holy Water from his kamandal (a sort of water container kept by sages) on the three mendicants. They got transformed into three infants by the power of her pious devotion to her husband. Obviously, there can be no reservation in being nude in front of infants! She fed them in that condition and thus satisfied the conditions of modesty as well as athithi bhojana (feeding guests). When Sage Atri returned to the hermitage, Anusuyaa Devi showed the three Divine Infants and explained the course of events. Sage Atri, of course, could Divine the events by His clairvoyance powers.

The three Devis visited the hermitage and beseeched the couple to return their husbands in their original Divine Forms. The couple agreed but requested that they should have a Divine Child with the potency of the three murthis. Thus was born Shri DattatrEyaa - "Datta AatrEyaa - One who was given as Gift to Shri Atri maharishi and His wife."

Though Anusuyaa Devi wanted Dattatreya to live the life of a householder, He rejected those pleas and instead chose to live in the ways of a Avadhootaa (a complete renunciate - who transcends all sorts of differences and restrictions, and living in the High State of Spontaneous Living called "SwEchaachaaryaa"; saints who live that do what they feel like doing at that moment naturally...they do not follow any rigid rules or regulations in life - allowing Divinity to guide them each and every moment in the form of random thoughts that arise in their conscious!). Datta Gitaa is a philosophical work of wonderful metaphysical depth and beauty.

Many are the miracles of Shri DattatrEyaa right from His times to the current periods. The most famous devotees of Shri DattarEyaa are Sage Parasuraama (Shri Dattatreya helped Sage Parasuraamaa in performing the last rites of his father and ensured that the deceased sages attained PUnya Lokhaas), and Shri Kaartaveeryaarjunaa (The Mighty King with One thousand shoulders! who was an Incarnation of Sudarshana - the Holy Disc of Lord Vishnu). In fact, Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna was born without limbs as an infant, and it was by the power of Tapasya focussed on Shri DattatrEyaa that he got 1000 pairs of hands and a mighty physique. Additionally, Shri Datta blessed him with a treasury that will never become empty, and also a boon that whosoever remembers the King Kaartaveeryaarjunaa will be able to retrieve lost property and realize rightful properties snatched away from them by force. Kaartaveeryaarjuna also had a boon that he can be defeated and killed only by a disciple/ devotee of Shri Dattatreya. When King Kaartaveeryaarjuna started behaving in arrogant manner, and had a clash with Jamadagni rishi, he met his end in the hands of Sage Parasuraama - the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and a devotee of Shri Dattatreya as per the boon. The Most Highly Venerated Shridi Sai Baba is one example of a modern-day avadhootaa of the Datta sampradaaya. There are other saints also of that tradition who have a wide following today.

THE DIVINE FORM OF LORD DATTATREYA
Lord Dattatreya is often meditated upon with a Cow (KaamadhEnu) at His back, and 4 dogs at His feet. The Cow - KaamadhEnu represents the truth that whatever legitimate wish you have will be bestowed upon you when you pray to Him. The 4 dogs represent the 4 Vedas. Lord Dattatreya - the Trimutrhi swaroopi has the characteristic Divine Weapons of the Trimurthis - in His hands and three heads representing the Trimurthis (also representing Satwaa, Rajas and Tamas gunaas!)

Yet another popular Divine Form that is usually venerated by followers of Siddha/ Naath traditions is His Form with the 9 famous Nath saints.

Shri Dattatreya is easily pleased by mere Remembrance of Him. He may manifest in the form of an uninvited guest at noon, a mad beggar, a young child, or even ghostly forms (that is what His Moola mantra says ......." Baala Unmatta Pisaacha vEshaaya!"). Annadhaan (donation of food) to poor and needy is the charity that is closest to His Heart. Many devotees of Lord Datta have had Him visit their houses in the form of unknown guests at Noon. So, if possible, try to donate to charities specializing in feeding the poor on this day. As Dattatreya helped Sage Parasuraama in performance of rituals to ensure salvation of pitrus, He will help us also to get relieved from pitru doshas of all kinds. Also, yati saapaa (curse of saints/ sages/ mendicants) that might have arisen due to insult meted out to renunciates can be remedied by the worship of Lord Dattatreya. Recital of Dattatreya Vajra Kavacham will help in nullifying even the most terrible planetary afflictions. So, if you have people who are sick and whose conditions elude proper management by health professionals may benefit from the recital of Dattatreya Vajra Kavacham recital.