Innumerable reasons to celebrate Dattatreya Jayanti

Innumerable reasons to celebrate Dattatreya Jayanti

Lord Dattatreya Jayanti is observed on the Purnima Tithi (Full Moon Day) in the ninth month of the Hindu calendar, Margashirsha (Agrahayana). He is believed to be an incarnation of the Hindu trinity - Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh (Shiva). Endowed with three heads and six arms, Lord Dattatreya was born to Sage Atri and his virtuous consort, Devi Anasuya. Today, on Dattatreya Jayanti, know more about the revered deity.

Though Lord Dattatreya is blessed with the combined powers of the trinity, he is essentially believed to be one of the twenty-four avatars of Lord Vishnu. He is even hailed as a sage, who attained enlightenment without a guru. As per another legend, Lord Dattatreya attained infinite wisdom purely by observing Mother Nature. 

Lord Dattatreya is worshipped in Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and several parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. There are temples dedicated to him, and special pujas are performed on the day he was believed to have been born. 

On Datta Jayanti, devotees keep a day-long fast, meditate and offer their prayers to him. The day usually begins with a dip in the holy waters of a river/stream. After a bath, devotees wear clean clothes and perform puja. An oil lamp is lit, flowers, fruits/other offerings are made, and mantras are chanted. Thus, devotees pay obeisance to the deity, regarded as a sage with divine wisdom.

Lord Dattatreya's pictorial depiction shows him holding the Trishul (Trident) and a Damaru (Drum) of Shiva, the Sudarshana Chakra (discus) and the Shankha (conch) of Lord Vishnu and the Kamal (lotus) or a Kamandala (water pot)and a Japmala (chanting beads) of Lord Brahma in his hands. 

From the spiritual perspective, Dattatreya's three heads represent the three Gunas - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and his six hands symbolise Yamas (control), Niyama (rules), Sama (equality), Dama (strength), Daya (compassion) and Shanti (peace). 

Moreover, the Kamadhenu cow and four dogs accompany him, and one can even find the Kalpavriksha in the background. The Kamadhenu epitomises the one who grants wishes. Interestingly, the four dogs symbolise human traits such as Icchha (desire), Vasana (lust), Asha (hope) and Trishna (thirst), while the Kalpavrisksha represents the tree of life.

Dattatreya found twenty-four gurus in Nature and Society and they became an integral part of several scriptures.


Who Is Lord Dattatreya
As we know that the Holy Trinity also known as Trimurti comprises Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, people have great faith in the same. It is believed that the Holy Trinity incarnated as Lord Dattatreya. He was a learned sage who attained enlightenment on His own. That means He had no Guru who helped Him in gaining the enlightenment. However, in some Hindu scriptures Lord Dattatreya is described as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. 

Legend has it that Lord Dattatreya was born to sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. She performed tapas to get a son with the qualities of the holy trinity. Seeing Anasuya perform such severe austerities, goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati became jealous and asked their respective husbands, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, to test her virtue.

The three appeared in front of her in the garb of ascetics and asked her to given them alms while naked. Anasuya uttered a mantra and sprinkled water on them, turning them into babies, whom she then breastfed while naked. When sage Atri returned, he transformed them into a single child with three heads and six arms.

When the goddesses learnt of the predicament of their husbands, they begged Anasuya for forgiveness and to return their husbands. Anasuya heard their pleas and the Trimurti appeared in their true form, blessing the sage and his virtuous wife with a son Dattatreya.

 

The six hands of Lord Dattatreya are holding Snankha, Chakra, Gada, Trishul, Kamandal and begging bowl. The significance of these is as follows:

* The Shankh represents the divine sound and is believed to provide knowledge and spiritual expansion.
* The Chakra stands for time and represents the fact that life is a combination of both good and bad times.
* The Gada is considered as the symbol of pride and it signifies to live life with the feeling of love and compassion.
* The Trishul represent triple energies of materialization, spirituality and the third energy that maintains a balance between these two.
* The Kamandal represents a little port containing water and it signifies that Lord Dattatreya is actually the carrier of life on earth.
* The Begging bowl signifies that the individual should donate his pride, negativity, ego and evil thoughts and should remain free from these evil energies.

Thus, all these six things signify the important facts of life that should be followed by the individuals to live a happy and problem free life.


Timings
Purnima Tithi Begins - 07:54 AM on Dec 29
Purnima Tithi Ends - 08:57 AM on Dec 30


Datta Jayanti Puja Benefits
As per the Dattatreya Upanishad, the devotees who observe and perform the fast and puja of Deity Datta on the eve of Datta Jayanti are bestowed with several blessings and benefits:

* The devotees get the fulfillment of all their material and wealth desires
* Attain supreme knowledge as well as the accomplishment of life’s aims and goals
* The observers get rid of their anxiety levels as well as unknown fears
* Eradication of the malefic planetary afflictions
* Elimination of all the mental sufferings and also ancestral issues
* Helps in achieving righteous paths in life
* To get the soul free from all the karmic bonds
* Develops inclination towards spirituality


Dattatreya Beej Mantra

Dakshinamurthy Beejam cha Raama Beeken samyuktam.
Draam Ityekaaksharam Gneyam Bindunaathakalaatmakam
Dattasyaadi Mantrasyaa Datreya syaadimaswaraha
Tatrastharepha samyuktam Bindunada Kalatmika
Yetat beejam Mayapa Roktham Brahma-vishnu- shiva namakam
 

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