Indian Festivals

Shri Dattatreya Jayanti

Shri Dattatreya Jayanti

Since Historic times, Lord Datta occupies a special place in the Hindu pantheon and tradition. In the eons Krita, Treta, Dwarpara and Kali (these are ages, and units of time), either in direct vision of devotees or indirectly, Lord Dattatreya appeared to propagate the Sadguru Principle. He is the Eternal Master and an immortal being of total divine grace.

Dattathreya and Rama/Dasharatha: Dasharatha (charioteer of ten sensory functions or one who controls ten principles) was the greatest King in Surya Dynasty. We revere him, not only as the father of glorious Sri Rama, but as a devotee of Lord Dattathreya too. Vasista, Vamadeva and other great sages respected Dasharatha. Higher levels of dieties came to Dasharatha and blessed him often. Nahusha (another ancient emperor known for devotion) also worshipped Lord Dattathreya.

Incarnations like Matsya (Great Fish), Kurma (Turtle), Varaha(Great Boar), Narasimha (half lion and half man) were incarnations assumed by Vishnu with an intention (Svayanbhu).

Dasharatha had attachment to Seetha and Rama. Attachment can bring about downfall easily. I call it Vyamoham. By listening to the word of his wife Kaikeyi, the great and worshippable Dasharatha sent Rama to the forest and became helpless in judging the situation. Lord Datta did not bless Dasharatha at this moment. The reason was that there was no Guru Upadesha (blessings of Sadguru) to Dasharatha. The incarnation of Datta tells us that, those who are in the path of Dharma are duly supported by Lord Dattathreya. He gives Tatva Bodha. He protects those who choose the right path. He appears in the form of Guru. He then tells the need for non-attachment and the need for Wisdom. Datta is therefore a manifestation of true perception and Wisdom. Dasaratha was a worshipper of the Sun. Datta came in the form of Vasishta and brought Dasharatha to Guru Kripa. Lord Kumaraswamy (Kartikeya) was the cause of the Avadhoota Geetha.

Dattathreya makes sure that a devoted, resolved, truly determined devotee of the Lord God is always helped by Dattathreya in some form or the other. He stands behind a devotee like a shadow to protect him from evil and untruth. He has no bias or particular outlook. He does not discriminate. Datta's Grace is the sign of God's Grace on man. Lord Dattathreya has therefore acquired the title. "Bhakta Uddaharan" (prop for devotees). He has innumerable forms and no one can really understand. All Gurus finally have a road to His Mandala (structure).

We take part in all kinds of rituals and worship of the Lord to get rid of the effect of karma. But Lord Datta must help us. He is the only road to salvation (Mukti Patha). Dasharatha had not aspired to one day become the parent of Rama. He did perform acts of merit which permitted him to enjoy heavenly bliss. But in order to fully achieve merit you must have the grace of Sadguru Dattathreya.

Man has two ways, by worshipping himself or by worshipping a higher being, to enter the path of spiritual truth. The truth is absolute and unconditional. That is what Lord Dattathreya tells us in history. We need to walk the path of service and truth in various ways according to our tendencies and aspirations. Datta helps this process without fail. All the compositions that Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji sang today centered around this principal idea, that THE SADGURU'S GRACE IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Dattathreya Jayanti tells us that we revere Sadguru Datta to seek His blessings in all love and joy.

Sri Swamiji conducted Sreechakra Archana, Sahasra Modaka Homam, Rudra Yagam and then released three important publications of Avadhoota Datta Peetham. The Telugu language version of Niti Mala was relealsed by Sri. Shivanarayana of Vijayawada. The Tamil bhajan book titled Bhajana Yoga was released by Sri. Ramaswamy Iyer. It was transcribed by Jayashri Raju. The Avadhoota Datta Peetham Calendar (almanac) for the year 1997 was released by Dendakuri Yjnanarayana Shastry, a very great four veda scholar. Sri Swamiji rendered appealing bhajans on Dattatreya. Devotees danced in ecstacy at the end of the programme.