Guru Parampara

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 of Yoga.

Sri Datta Guru - The Guru Principal
There are three things which are indeed rare and are due to the grace of the God. They are:

  • 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.

Guru Parampara
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 Brahman.

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 mind.

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.

Vasudevanand Saraswati
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..

Devotee's Experiences

Swami Sahaja Datta Pada, Mysore
"Swamiji, you give so many things to your devotees, how come you never give me anything?"
He looked at me and said in the most compassionate voice, "I don't give you anything, for I have kept you in my heart"

Swamy Vishnudatta Padarenu, Russia
Sri Swamiji addressed me by my name, Varada Raja, greeted me, allowed me to do Namaskaram, and then began speaking with me as though He had known me for several years....

Mysore Patrike Venkatramu
"I bless all those who come to me irrespective of their caste or religion. If a Christian comes to me I tell him to believe in Jesus and continue to have faith in his own religion. Likewise, if a Muslim comes to me I stress upon the importance of being a good Muslim and follow his own faith..."

S Dwarkanath, Mysore
"Your friend Satyanarayana has become a Swamiji, I went and paid my respects, you also go and do the same", I did not pay any attention to this talk so she hit me on the head....

C S Venkatesh, Bangalore
"Wherever you work, as a clerk or an engineer, be honest and sincere and pray to God and your Guru. You will come out good in life".....

Krishan Kumar, Mysore
Then He took me to His room and showed me a map of India, showing certain places saying that He wanted to go there. "Will you take me? Will you take me?"....

Sheetal Persad
"Don't worry; Sri Swamiji will take care." I realized at that moment that he was answering my thoughts. He knows everything for He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is my master.....