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    Dattatreya
     
     

    About Dattatreya

    Dattatreya (The Embodiment of Wisdom) is a Hindu deity who has the virtues of all the three Supreme Gods of Hindu, named BrahmaBrahmaBrahma
    According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)...
    (The Creator), VishnuVishnuVishnu
    Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,..
    (The Preserver) and ShivaShivaShiva
    Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ...
    (The Destroyer). He is known as a universal guru or Grand teacher who came in the Kaliyug (last stage of the world, the age of vice and downfall of mankind), to teach the humans the real meaning of humanity and spirituality. He came on earth to establish the concept of one universal truth, God, and Dharma (the perennial principles of living).

     

    The Birth

     

    ‘Datta’ means given or the one that has been donated and Atreya means ‘to Atri’ (a sage). He was fathered by a seer named AtriAtriAtri
    Atri is one of the sons of Brahma (God of creation) who is believed to have born from...
    and his wife, Anusuya who was known for her chastity and devotion to her husband. The three Supreme Gods thought of testing Anusuya and transformed themselves into mendicants. They begged for alms while Atri was away from the hermitage. When Anusuya offered them food, they asked her to shed all her clothes and feed them in her natural state. Anusuya was taken aback, but so pure were her thoughts that she didn’t consider them as old, grown men but thought of them as three young kids asking to be fed. By the power of her thought, the three Gods turned into three kids. When Atri returned home, he was surprised looking at her wife playing with three kids. His heart filled with love for them as this couple was childless.

     

    Gods soon took their original form and impressed by the dedication of Anusuya granted the wish of sage Atri. He wanted the Gods to stay with him as his sons. They merged into one body with three heads and six hands and hence DattatreyaDattatreyaDattatreya
    Dattatreya is a Hindu deity who has the virtues of all the three Supreme Gods of Hindu,...
    came into existence.

     

    Symbolism

     

    Dattatreya has three heads as he is the incarnation of all three Supreme Gods merged in one. He is the personification of wisdom whose aim is to show the path of truth and righteousness. His face is always radiant and keeps away from the illusions of the world. He is blessed and moves from place to place, but his holy abode is under Audambar tree (a type of fig tree). He is always followed by a cow, who is considered an incarnation of Mother Earth and symbolizes abundance. She fulfills all the wishes. Four dogs are also the companion of Dattatreya which stands for the four Vedas Four ancient texts constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism(sacred scriptures) and four yugas (stages of world).

     

    He carries a trident in his hand symbolizing his transcendence from the illusionary world. His Sudarshan Chakra (disc) represents his salvation. He is free from the clutches of time. He is rather a controller of time. The Conch he holds present an eternal soothing sound ‘AUM’ which keeps the life is the universe going and the rosary he holds reminds that the prime duty of humans is to remember God. Meditating and chanting God’s name is the only way to redemption.

     

    His body is smeared with ashes indicating his purity and his dispassion from all the worldly objects. He also carries a begging bowl representing two things. Firstly, humans are meager beings in front of God and should not be full of pride and ego. They should always be asking for help from God. Secondly, humans should learn sharing. Wealth, food and clothes should always be distributed to poor. He wears tiger skin as his garments.

     

    Dattatreya is believed to wander in disguise and visit a house in lunch hours. Therefore, according to Hinduism, no guest should be returned from the door steps without alms. Any random guest should be treated as the embodiment of Dattatreya.

     



     
     

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