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Dattatreya

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Dattatreya is a Hindu deity who is considered to be the combined incarnation of the divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. He is also known as the Adi Guru or the first teacher of Yoga. Dattatreya is worshiped throughout India and is regarded as a powerful and compassionate god who can remove the sufferings and ignorance of his devotees.

Story/Legend:

According to Hindu mythology, Dattatreya was born to the sage Atri and his wife Anusuya. He is said to have had three heads, each representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. As a child, Dattatreya was known for his spiritual inclination and his ability to perform miracles. He went on to become a great yogi and traveled across the country, teaching people the path of self-realization and liberation.

In one of the popular legends, Dattatreya is said to have received knowledge from twenty-four gurus, including animals, birds, and even insects. These gurus taught him various spiritual and practical lessons that he later shared with his disciples. Dattatreya is also associated with the Nath Sampradaya, a sect of Hinduism that emphasizes the practice of Hatha Yoga and Tantra.

Religious Aspect:

Dattatreya is worshiped as a god of knowledge, wisdom, and liberation. He is considered to be a form of the divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and is regarded as the Adi Guru or the first teacher of Yoga. Dattatreya is also associated with the Nath Sampradaya and is revered by many yogis and spiritual seekers.

Description:

Dattatreya is often depicted as a young and handsome sage with three heads, representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. He is usually depicted with four dogs or wolves accompanying him, which symbolize the four Vedas or the four goals of human life. Dattatreya is also associated with the cow, which represents Mother Earth and is a symbol of nurturing and abundance.

Cultural Importance:

Dattatreya is worshiped throughout India and is regarded as a powerful and compassionate god who can remove the sufferings and ignorance of his devotees. He is revered by many spiritual seekers, yogis, and scholars for his teachings on self-realization and liberation. Dattatreya is also associated with the Nath Sampradaya, which has had a significant influence on the development of yoga and Tantra in India.

Festivals:

Dattatreya Jayanti is celebrated annually on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Margashirsha (December-January) to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dattatreya. The festival is celebrated with great devotion and includes the recitation of hymns, offering of prayers and offerings, and the singing of bhajans.

Conclusion:

Dattatreya is a revered deity in Hinduism, who is associated with knowledge, wisdom, and liberation. He is regarded as the Adi Guru or the first teacher of Yoga and is worshiped throughout India. His teachings on self-realization and liberation have had a significant influence on the development of yoga and Tantra in India.

References:

  • "Dattatreya: The Adi Guru" by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • "The Book of Dattatreya" by Swami Kripananda
  • "The Yoga of the 18 Siddhas: An Anthology" edited by Marshall Govindan

FAQs:

Q: What is the Nath Sampradaya? A: The Nath Sampradaya is a sect of Hinduism that emphasizes the practice of Hatha Yoga and Tantra. It is believed to have been founded by the legendary yogi Matsyendranath and his disciple Gorakhnath. The Nath Sampradaya has had a significant influence on the development of yoga and Tantra in India and has produced many great yogis and spiritual teachers.

Q: What is Dattatreya Jayanti? A: Dattatreya Jayanti is an annual festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Margashirsha (December-January) to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dattatreya. The festival is celebrated with great devotion and includes the recitation of hymns, offering of prayers and offerings, and the singing of bhajans.

Q: What are some of the teachings of Dattatreya? A: Dattatreya is known for his teachings on self-realization and liberation. He is believed to have received knowledge from twenty-four gurus, including animals, birds, and insects, who taught him various spiritual and practical lessons. Some of his teachings include the importance of self-realization, detachment, compassion, and the practice of yoga and meditation.

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धर्म एव हतो हन्ति धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः ⁠। तस्माद् धर्मं न त्यजामि मा नो धर्मो हतोऽवधीत् ⁠।⁠।⁠

dharm ev hato hanti dharmo rakshati rakshitah । tasmaaddharmo na hantavyo ma no dharmo hatovadheet ।।

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ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते । पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate। Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnamevavashisyate॥ Om Shanti Shamti Shanti॥

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पिता धर्मः पिता स्वर्गः पिता हि परमं तपः। पितरि प्रीतिमापन्ने प्रीयन्ते सर्वदेवताः॥

Pita swarga,Pita dharm ,Pita hi Param Tapo। Pitori pritima pannay, Priyantay sarva devata॥

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प्रथमेनार्जिता विद्या, द्वितीयेनार्जितं धनं । तृतीयेनार्जितः कीर्तिः,चतुर्थे किं करिष्यति ॥

Prathame Narjita Vidya, Dvitiye Narjitam Dhanam । Trtiye Narjitam Punyam, Caturthe Kim Karisyati ॥

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अलसस्य कुतो विद्या ,अविद्यस्य कुतो धनम् । अधनस्य कुतो मित्रम् ,अमित्रस्य कुतः सुखम् ॥

alasasy kuto vidyaa , avidyasy kuto dhanam । adhanasy kuto mitram , amitrasy kutah sukham ॥

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एकवर्णं यथा दुग्धं भिन्नवर्णासु धेनुषु। तथैव धर्मवैचित्र्यं तत्त्वमेकं परं स्मृतम्॥

ekavarnan yathaa dugdham bhinnavarnaasu dhenushu। tathaiv dharmvaichitryan tattvmekan paran smriatam॥

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नीरक्षीरविवेके हंस आलस्यम् त्वम् एव तनुषे चेत्। विश्वस्मिन् अधुना अन्य: कुलव्रतं पालयिष्यति क:।।

nirakshiraviveke hans aalasyam tvam ev tanushe chet। vishvasmin adhunaa any: kulavratan paalayishyati k:।।

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उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् । वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।।

Uttaraṃ yatsamudrasya himādreścaiva dakṣiṇam varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ

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अग्निशेषमृणशेषं शत्रुशेषं तथैव च | पुन: पुन: प्रवर्धेत तस्माच्शेषं न कारयेत् ||

agnisheshamriansheshan shatrusheshan tathaiv ch | punah: punah: pravardhet tasmaachsheshan n kaaryet ||

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अपहाय निजं कर्म कृष्णकृष्णोति वादिनः । ते हरेर्द्वेषिनः पापाः धर्मार्थ जन्म यध्धरेः ॥

aphaay nijan karm kriashnakriashnoti vaadinah । te harerdveshinah paapaaah dharmaarth janm yadhdhreah ॥

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