Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Sage Narad praised Anusuya very much making the wives of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva jealous of Anusuya. They requested their husbands to reduce her "pativratyam" (Devotion to her husband). They went to Anusuya as guests when Atri was not there at home and asked her to serve them food (lunch) without wearing clothes. If she comes without clothes infront of other men her pativratyam will be reduced. If she refuses then that is dishonor to the guests and they can take away all the power of Atri. Anasuya felt that the three guests who asked for it are not normal people since they are trying to place her in a tricky situation. Anasuya prayed to her husband in her mind and said that she doesn't have any fear serving them without clothes since they are hungry and they are like her children. Because of her greatness and as per her thinking by the time she came to serve food the three gods became small children. She then breastfed them and made them to sleep. Atri came back afterwards and hearing the story from Anasusuya praised the three gods sleeping in the cradle. They woke up in their original appearance and praised Anasuya's pativratyam and gave her a boon. Anasuya requested that these three should be born as her children.
According to Brahma Purana, after order from his father sage Atri, Dattatreya sat on the banks of river Gautami and prayed to Shiva and finally earned the Brahmagnyaan (Eternal Knowledge). This is possibly the reason why Dattatreya is considered as Adisiddha in Nath Sampradaya.
In the Bhagavata Purana, Dattatreya enumerates a list of his twenty-four gurus: earth, air, sky or ether, water, fire, sun, moon, python, pigeons, sea, moth, bee, bull elephant, bear, deer, fish, osprey, a child, a maiden, a courtesan, a blacksmith, serpent, spider, and wasp. The 24 Gurus of Dattateya come from the 24 gurus of Avadhut described in the Purana.

The disciples of Dattatreya are: Sahasrarjun Kartavirya, Bhargava Parasuram, Yadu, Alarka, Ayu and Prahlad. These are known from Puranas. There is one more by name Sankruti described in Avadhutopanishad and Jaabaaldarshanopanishad
வேதம்ஹணதி ஜ்யா நிர்குணதோ ப்ரபு
ஸகுண ரூபி ஹா ஜகிம் பரலா
பக்தா ஸாடீம் அத்ரி உதரீம் தத்தாத்ரேய தோ அவதரலா
பாயிம் பாதுகா வ்யாக்ராம்பரதர த்ரிபுண்ட்ரலாவீ பாளாலா
தண்ட கமண்டலு சங்க சக்ர கரீம் பஸ்மலாவி நிஜ தேஹாலா
பக்தகாஜ கைவார தருனியா ருத்ராக்ஷாஞ்ச்யா வலயாலா
கடீம் கௌபீன விராஜித ஸுந்தர ஜடாசோபே சிரீம் ஜ்யாலா
கேவுனி குஸுமாஞ்சலிதோ துமச்யா வாரீ பலவந்த துரிதாலா
பக்தாஸாடீம் அத்ரி உதரீம் தத்தாத்ரேயா தோ அவதரலா

·         The Cow, which is always with Him, represents the Mother Earth and Dharma. She is the wish fulfilling cow 'Kamadhenu'.
·         The four dogs symbolize 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.