26 March, 2011

The Story of Lord Dattatreya

According to puranas, Lord Dattatreya was born as the son of Sage Atri and Anasuya. Once Sage Narada was describing the pativratyam (devotion to her husband) of Anasuya to Goddess Saraswati, Laskshmi and Parvati devi. Hearing a lot about Anasuya, the three Goddesses wanted to test her Pativrata Dharma. For this, the Trimurtis appeared as sanyasis (sages) in front of Anusuya and asked her to give food without wearing any clothes. Anasuya falls in dilemma – she cannot come in front of other men in nude, and she cannot refuse to give food to sanyasis. She prayed to her husband and sprinkled some water on the three sanyasis in order to clean their feed. All of a sudden, the three sanyasis were transformed into small babies. Anasuya felt a motherly attachment to them and fed the three babies with breast milk. As soon as Sage Atri came back home he realized that the three babies are none other than the Trimurtis Gods. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva woke up in their original form and gave a boon to Anasuya that they will take rebirth as her child in a single form in the name Dattatreya.

Dattatreya Jayanti is celebrated with much importance at Ganugapur Sri Kshetra Dattatreya Temple in Maharashtra. Dattatreya Temple in Dharwad is another popular temple dedicated to Guru Datta. Dattatreya temple Bhaktapur, Nepal also celebrates Datta Jayanti.

Dattatreya Stotram and Dattatreya mantras are chanted by Lord Dattatreya devotees during the festival.

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