Sri Guru Dattatreya is also known as ‘Avadhut’. Avadhut
is one who washes away the temperamental defects i.e. the three qualities or Trigunas – Sattva (Purity and Knowledge), Raja (Activity and Passion),
Tama (Ignorance and Inertia). He destroys Trigunas. He bestows the spiritual
experience of the unmanifest principle. Importance of Lord Datta from the seekers
point of view is - There are many deities (Ishta Devatas or Ishvara) in Hindu religion,
but there is only who is worshipped in the form of a Guru – and he is Lord Datta.
Hence the extolling (Jai-ghosh) of ‘Avadhut Chintana Jai Gurudev
Datta’. Sri Datta Guru is the ideal of the Guru principle and a proponent
Sri Datta Guru - The Guru Principal
There are three things which are indeed rare and are due to the grace of the God.
- Human Birth
- Longing for Liberation
- Protected care of a perfected sage - THE GURU
Sri Datta Guru represents 3rd one – The Guru Principal – The one who liberates us
from the cycle of birth-death-and-rebirth.
Guru is the one who leads the created to the creator. Guru
is the descent of the Divine in human form to create the right conditions for the
seekers to ascend to his Divine essence (Moksha or Enlightenment or Chaitanya).
The Gurus (spiritual masters) in various planes are the manifestation of the one
universal teaching (Guru) principle that is referred to in the ancient Indian wisdom
as Dattatreya. Sri Dattatreya is the “Grand Teacher”
or the "Supreme Guru principle" in the universe (also
called Guru or Sadguru or Spiritual master).
Sri Dattatreya is the supreme form of that Guru principal. Since
Sri Datta Guru performs the task of the Guru principle, His mission will continue
till the last person in the universe attains Final Liberation.
The Sanskrit word “Parampara” means an uninterrupted
row, succession or sequence and refers to the lineage of teachers and disciples
in Indian religions. All traditional Gurus have their proper Guru paramparas. In
Datta Sampradaaya the first avatar is Sri SriPaadaSriVallabha
and the second is Sri Nrisimha Saraswati then Akkalkot
Swami, Swami Samarth, Sri Vasudevanand Saraswati, Sri Shirdi Sai Baba and
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swami (Mysore-Karnataka) are considered
as avatars of Dattatreya.
Sri Sripada Sri Vallabha (1300 A.D)
The child with emblems of Shanka and Chakra in his feet, hence called Sripada, born
to a learned Brahmin Appala Raja and great Sati Sumati in Sri Kshetra Pithapuram
on the east coast of Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. Lord Dattatreya reincarnated as
Sripada as a result of his boon to Sumathi. After Upanayana in his seventh year,
Sripada started learning and became master in Veda Sastras by the age of sixteen.
By learning the intention of his parents to perform his marriage, Sripada told them
that he was an ascetic, already married to renunciation and, to be in Nivrithi Marg
for rest of his life. He left for pilgrimage, went to Kasi, Badrinath and Kedarnath
in Himalayas, guiding and imparting Jnana to the Saints. Then coming down visited
all the pilgrim centers on the west coast, reached Gokarna and finally retired to
Kuruvapur, an island in river Krishna. Sripada enlightened and gave solace to people
wherever he went. He dispensed happiness to one and all, by freeing them from the
shackles of worldly attachment and disappointments. He promised Ambika, mother of
a mentally retarded child, to born as her son in her next Janma. On the twelfth
day of the dark half of month Ashwin, of Margasira Constellation on Thursday, saluted
mother Ganga and sat for Samadhi on river-water and disappeared and got merged into
Sri Nrisimha Saraswati Swami
Sri Nrisimha Saraswathi Swami, named as Saligrama on birth, born to a Brahmin couple
Madhav and Amba of Karanjananagar in the Varad district of Maharastra. Until the
time of his sacred thread ceremony he uttered only “OM” but he recited the sacred
hymns from Vedas at the time of Upanayana. Promising his parents to return after
twenty years, he went away from home on his life mission. He came to Banaras and
was immersed in practice of Yoga and penance. He never stayed for more than a couple
of days in a particular place. He preached that the grace of God is always there
for the good and it does not discriminate between the rich and the poor and explained
the real meaning behind the external practices prescribed in the scriptures in relation
to mundane and spiritual life. He encouraged the performance of Yagnas (sacrifices),
gave life to dead, and glorified the power of Bhasma through a Chandala defeating
two learned but arrogant Brahmins. Sri Nrisimha Saraswati always emphasized that
the pleasures and pains of life are inevitable and are of no value but only the
real value lies in attaining the ultimate goal of life, self-realization, and the
final emancipation. The self alone is real and all actions are meant for purifying
Swami of Akkalkot
Swami of Akkalkot is also known as Swami Samrtha. No definite details of his birth
are known. The life of Swami Samartha was full of miracles. Each utterance of the
Swami was regarded to contain some deep secret meaning or reference to a certain
incident of the future. Swami Samartha emphasized the essentiality of purity of
mind and discriminated between a righteous desire and an unrighteous one. He had
love and compassion for all creatures without any distinction. By his grace he brought
about a fundamental change in the lives of many by influencing their minds and hearts
to get over their weaknesses and blemishes. Many a devotee connected with places
sacred to Lord Dattatreya such as Ganagapur, Narsoba Wadi got mysterious calls from
their deity to go to Swami at Akkalkot for his blessings. Swami took Samadhi on
April 30, 1878 A.D.
Sri Vasudevanand Saraswati, also known as Tembe Swami, is a saint who is regarded
as an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. His parents were devotees of Lord Dattatreya,
his father Sri Ganesh Bhatt Tembe spending years together in the remote Ganagapur
temple of the Lord in Karnataka. His mother Ramabai also spent her time in religious
pursuits like japa (recitation of mantras), pradakshina, path, atithisatkar (hospitality)
etc. After a particularly long stay of 12 years in Ganagapur, Lord Dattatreya appeared
in a dream and instructed Sri Ganesh Bhatt to return to Mangaon and lead the life
of a householder, promising to incarnate as his son. It was after his return from
Ganagapur that his eldest son Vasudev was born on Shravan Vadya 5, Shalivahan Shaka
1776, 26 ghatika after sunrise (4 - 4.30 pm) at Mangaon, near Sawantvadi, Maharashtra
to this Karhade Brahmin family.
He established Sri Datta Mandir in Mangaon in 1883. The construction of the sanctum
was carried out with his own hands. The Datta idol in the temple was given to him
by a sculptor at Kagal, who said that Lord Dattatreya had appeared in his dreams
and ordered him to make the idol for Maharaj as per his specifications.
He has authored around 19 books like Dwisahastri Gurucharitra(1889),
Datta Puran(1892), Datta Mahatmya(1901), Saptashati Gurucharitra Saar(1904)
and many more.
Samartha Sadguru Sai Baba
Sai Baba’s parent-hood, place and time of birth are not known. He said
“The world was his village, Brahma the father and Maya the Mother”. He
was a very mysterious personality whom everybody interpreted in his own way but
no interpretation could give a complete picture of this great saint. He was Rama,
Krishna, Hanuman, Sankara, Ganapathy, Dattatreya all rolled in one according to
the Samskar and desire of different devotees. Sai was easily accessible equally
to the pauper and the prince, the illiterate and the learned, the young and the
old, the atheist and the theist. He practiced and preached Mahavrat comprising of
Ahimsa, Satya, Astheya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. He was full of love, compassion
and solace. Sai laid stress on constant faith (Nista) and patience (Saburi) as he
demanded always these “two coins” from his devotees. Performance of one’s own duty
and worship of one’s own family deity with pure heart had his appreciation. Sai
never prescribed a particular mode or method of worship nor initiated with mantra
to any one, nor asked to perform any creedal religious rituals. He considered every
one as his child without distinction. To correct, protect and enliven his children
was his mission. He finished his work, left his corporeal body on Vijaya Dasami,
and entered into Mahasamadhi in 1918, a day which significantly happened to be Bhagawan
Buddha’s Nirvana, Muharam and Dassarah, important and significant to Hindus, Muslims
and Buddhists alike.
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji
His Holiness Parama Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji is the Pontiff of
Avadhoota Datta Peetham at Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama in Mysore, India.
He was born fully realised in command of the eight Mahasiddhis and is a Guru in
the Dattatreya Avadhoota lineage....more..