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Thread: Dattatreya Sampradaya

  1. #1
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    Dattatreya Sampradaya


    I have had an ambiguous familiarity with the Dattatreya Sampradaya (e.g. coming from Dattatreya), probably due to the generalization that while it is of origination to the very beginning of humans or human intelligence if you will, and is often contributing to Sampradayas associated with Shiva and Vishnu to name only two with large adherence, as the human population grew it seems that those lineages back to Dattatreya seemed to be forgotten or simply “out numbered” if you will.

    Yet, today, I discovered a movement that is very alive indeed (see post in the “Dharma related” section of HDF) and seems to be of this tradition. My conceptions seems to be misconceptions.

    It appears Lord Dattatreya is the “Supreme Philosopher” or Avadhoota. He is often associated with all Three of the Trimurti or Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Krishna spoke of this Sampradaya to Uddhava, I have read the Uddhava Gita months back (the Hamsa Gita) viz Krishna, “what Dattatreya told my ancestor Yadu…”. Some say He is Vishnu, and in Nath tradition, Dattatreya is seen as a manifestation of Lord Shiva. He is called Adi Guru or First Guru. Investigating further, I find the Dattatreya Sampradaya has major temples in North India. I am a huge admirer of Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (founder of the RSS) and I knew he was a Deshastha (who believed all no matter what background can wear the “Black Topi” or black cap if given commitment to the principles of the RSS and Hindu revival). It seems Deshastha’s have many roots back to this Dattatreya Sampradaya, and there is the noted Swami Samarth Maharaj.

    My illiteracy of this ancient Sampradaya and tradition has exposed my consciousness to a need to further my inclusiveness of understanding the Family we call Hinduism, to understand what is an obvious ancient and extremely vital and living safeguard of Hinduism called “Dattatreya Sampradaya”.

    Are there any members of the HDF of this tradition? It would be so rewarding to give us some understanding of Dattatreya and this stronghold of Hinduism for those who even after decades of listening to Hindu teachings should be more aware of this tradition.

    Thank you!

    Om Namah Sivaya

    Last edited by ShivaFan; 31 March 2013 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Changed "Temples" to "Dharma related" section ref

  2. #2
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    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya


    Sharing your knowledge which is given to you from the lineage of truth is a path to achieve immortality.

    Is there not even ONE adherent on HDF to Dattatreya given down from this great lineage?

    Om Namah Sivaya

  3. #3
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    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    There definitely is, however, he is inactive on HDF for now. Sarabhanga is adherent of dattatreya tradition.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post

    Is there not even ONE adherent on HDF to Dattatreya given down from this great lineage?

    Om Namah Sivaya
    Last edited by satay; 02 April 2013 at 11:40 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    praNAm ShivaFan

    I think i can add something here, although i belong to NO SAMPRADAY --
    i only belong to the One and Only Shri KRshNa Govind Hari MurAri NArAyaN vAsudeva.

    * I have an interesting affinity, relation and affiliation to Dattatreya (not necessarily the sampraday), the avadhUt avatAr of the Lord (VishNu), particularly the 'ek-mukhi Datta' - one-face Datta, rather than the Trimurti Datta (BramhA VishNu Shiva combined)

    It is just that i see the avadhUt side/facet of my Lord and it is mesmerizing indeed.

    * Dattatreya pure is one of Atri and AnsUya's three sons:

    Chandra (Rshi) = BramhA
    DattAtreya = VishNu (who made 24 Gurus, and KRshNa tells Uddhav about this avatar of His)
    DurvAs Muni = Shiva/Rudra

    Acc. to Shri Gurucharitra (the primary scripture for Dattatreya sampraday), these three babies (who were the TrimUrti owing to the boon given), Chandra Datta and DurvAs were later on "seen around by people as one mUrti" As a result, many take the trimurti Datta to a a 'mythological tale' but Datta really is ek-mukhi and He is the source of the TrimUrti, which means He is the supreme Lord. The three shaktis are combined as Dattatreya's potency, consort AnaghA Devi acc. to ShripAd Shrivallabh (Datta avatar in Kali Yug).

    * Datta is a very kind, compassionate and easily pleased form of the Lord, and just as He was donated (datta) by Himself to Atri Rshi, He donates / showers / gives liberally to those who seek His shelter.

    In one Datta temple/maTh (NRsinghpUr), there is a quote:
    "Give with two hands , and I shall give with six.
    Give with six hands and I shall give with a thousand (sahastra) - symbolic for infinite, abundant [hands]"

    * No doubt Datta comes to teach the impersonal philosophy of oneness as the ultimate, however, the VishNu tattva in Him makes oceans of Datta-bhaktas - His followers and devotees. Even so, the sampraday which flows from the NavanAths (rather than Navayogendras) sometimes focuses on the Shiva in Datta and on mystical elements hence this sampraday skirts yogic mysticism a lot, albeit through the medium of Bhakti. Obviously this is not like the pure devotion, shuddha bhakti yog of the pure VaishNavs.

    * Also, there is a big difference between the oneness of Datta and oneness of Adi Shankara. Datta says you go from "you and Me" to salokya, samipya, sarupya and ultimately sayujja with Me. This is their process of attaining oneness through Datta-bhakti which is not very VaishNav as VaishNavs reject sayujja and also do not consciously seek or expect the other mukti types, leave aside sRshti and mystic siddhis.

    * Dattatreya appears in Kali Yug as an avadhUt avatAr for the benefit of mankind - first Kali Yug avatar was
    1. ShripAd Shrivallabh (Andhra, piTHApUram)
    2. NRsinha Saraswati (GANgApUr, Maharashtra)
    3. Swami Samartha ,
    Akkalkot swami, many other swami siddhas around Maharshtra,
    and acc. to some, the Sai Baba of Shirdi who was predicted by ShripAd ShriVallabh as a future mahApurush in the tradition.

    The first three on the list were explicitly predicted by ShripAd Shrivallabh as His future forms.

    * The state of Maharashtra (and Andhra) is blessed by the presence of Datta all over, and you will find numerous Datta bhaktas here. As VaishNavs perform pArAyaN saptAh (7-day ritual recital-study-hearing) of BhAgvat purAN, the Datta devotees do the same with Gurucharitra.

    * Tomorrow i shall post a few transcendental quotes - direct words from ShripAd Shrivallabh, from "ShripAd Shrivallabh CharitrAmRt" a mostly unknown book by His associate and devotee, Shankar Bhatta. Shankar Bhatta originally wrote the biography in Telugu while ShripAd was walking on earth as a 15 yr old, and was translated later in Marathi by another follower. This charitramRt is more detailed about this particular avatar than the Gurucharitra itself.

    * There is some uncanny connection between the Lord as murlidhar veNu mAdhav as DwArkAdheesh and as Dattatreya.
    As the former He would just come to your doorstep courteously at noon smiling natkhat wearing yellow pitambar vaijayanti haar and peacock feather with a "Here I am!" grin , knock or ring the bell as per the times

    As the latter He would come to your doorstep at noon in avadhUt attire and a bhiksha jholi and shout "Alak!!" or "Alak Niranjan!!"

    As the former He would be just your surprise guest. As the latter He would be a traditional bhikshuk.

    In both forms His whole and sole goal would be to bestow causeless mercy on you - your entire household.


    digambara digambara shripad vallabh digambara

    om namo bahagavte vAsudevAya

    Govindam Adi purusham Tam aham bhajAmi ~
    Last edited by smaranam; 18 May 2013 at 08:56 AM. Reason: AnaghA Devi - trishakti of trimurti
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  5. #5

    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    double post sorry!
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  6. #6
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    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    Namaste Smaranam.

    Wow, very detailed and impressive information and revelation here! Lots of discovery here for myself and others.

    Looking forward to comprehending and exploring this kind sharing of advanced background on Dattatreya!

    Namah Sivaya

  7. #7
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    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    Dear ShivaFan,

    There are three books I can recommend, all available from Amazon. The first is an accessible scholarly overview of Dattatreya, entitled: Dattatreya The Immortal Guru, Yogin, and Avatara. Please see:

    The other books are both said to be the teaching of Dattatreya. Both are famous: The Avadhuta Gita and Tripura Rahasya. I give the Amazon addresses below.

    Hope this is helpful.

  8. #8

    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    || om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya ||

    Quote Originally Posted by smaranam View Post
    * Tomorrow i shall post a few transcendental quotes - direct words from ShripAd Shrivallabh, from "ShripAd Shrivallabh CharitrAmRt" a mostly unknown book by His associate and devotee, Shankar Bhatta.
    1. About JivAtmA, paramAtmA and mukti.

    NarsAvadhAni : Some say jivatma and paramatma are different, some say they are closely related, while some say jiva is paramatma. Which is true?
    ShripAd Shrivallabh: It is fine if you maintain the notion that there is a you and there is a Me. When your ahaMkAr is destroyed, you will experience peace and bliss in this dual state itself. Further, by My grace, coming to the state that you are a mere instrument (nimitta mAtra) of Mine, will also bring the state of bliss. When ignorance, impulse and consequential desires (moha) are destroyed, you will attain moksha-siddhi (liberation) in the dual state (of Me and you).
    When there is extreme closeness (sAmIpya) between Us, I express Myself through you. My energy will be manifested through you (as a medium) and hence, having destroyed moha and ahaMkAr, you will reach the state of bliss in this VishishTAdvaitic state. Complete destruction of moha is the key. This itself is liberation from bondage.
    When ahaMkAr has completely left you, you will not subscribe to doership (kartrutva bhAvanA - i am the doer).
    When there is no "you" in you, and only "Me", this is when bramhAnanda can be experienced - which is beyond the mind's imagination. Thus in this state of full advaita also, you shall be in liberated state.
    Whether in dvaita, vishishTAdvaita or advaita, you will be liberated and in bramhAnanda.

    * (ShripAd Shrivallabh was here during the 1300s, so his time was post Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya).

    2. Is ShripAd Shrivallabh an avadhUt or parabramhan' ?

    NarsAvadhAni: Some people in the avadhUt state tell others that they themselves are Brahman. In that case, since You have been telling us You are Brahman, are You basically an avadhUt?
    (Note: This conversation including pt. 1 above, is going on between this person and one year old baby ShripAd)

    ShripAd Shrivallabh: No. I am not an avadhUt. I am Brahman. It is the experience of avadhUts that Brahman is all-pervading, everywhere.
    So, I am not just an avadhUt but Brahman and I am the antaryAmi (indweller) of all beings. This is my state.
    The avadhUts who are liberated from the bondage of saMsAr, merge into Me (vileen - attain oneness with Me), and in this way they experience bramhAnanda.
    (* Note how the Lord implies their existence remains.)
    No personality (vyaktitva) is left in them, hence they are devoid of any goal, desire or resolve (saMkalpa).
    I am in the Supreme Energy (mahAshakti) and the Supreme Divine Resolve (mahAsankalpa) of the universes.
    The avadhUts who are "leen" i.e. merged in Me, are also compelled to take birth here if that is My order. My svarUp is satya-jnana-Ananda (truth-knowledge-bliss) with sankalpa (resolve) whereas their svarUp is satya-jnAna-Ananda without sankalpa.

    ** Notes: Here, the Lord shows how liberated avadhUts may also come back on His mission by His Will and order. This means the "liberated" ones, having attained advaitic oneness in the Supreme Whole, remain granular individuals. They just do not have any resolve of their own. This is what 'vileen' (merging) means. The ocean is there, the drop is there. It does not cease to exist as a drop, but it is completely purified water with no contaminants. It is simply not aware of its drop-ness.


    3. At another point in time ShripAd Shrivallabh explains to a devotee, the difference between mukta (liberated) jivas who merge into oneness with ParamAtmA and those who maintain individuality.

    A]***"The jivas who are merged (vileen) in ParamAtmA are like seeds sown in fertile soil. No one can stop them from taking birth again [if I have assigned them divine work]. The jivas who have completely surrendered to ParamAtmA, by the ParamAtmA's desire/will, take birth in the world via their causal body (kAraN deha) and perform Divine work/service. After their assigned Divine Work (daivi kArya) is accomplished, they merge back (vileen) into ParamAtmA. Staying in extreme proximity with paramAtmA (the Supreme Lord), they experience highest bliss.

    B] Those liberated jivas that distinguish between jivAtmA and paramAtmA, also take birth to perform Divine Work via their causal body (kAraN deha).
    However, their state does not change (unlike the first type who merge back into/ come out of paramAtmA).

    The Lord further says that He assigns certain jivas (mahApurush, yogis) various divine tasks for the maintenance of universes, irrespective of their dvait, vishiTAdvait and advaitic bhAv, and that creation, maintenance and dissolution are happening every moment (sRshTi - sthiti - laya). Since they (the mahApurush) are surrendered to Him, only the will of the Lord matters.

    ShripAd Shrivallabh has stated several times that He is that same DattAtreya - son of Atri and AnsUyA. He says further,
    Me = sanAtan dharma
    My svarUp (nature) = satya - jnAna - bramhan' in that order.
    I am GurusvarUp.

    Last edited by smaranam; 18 May 2013 at 08:50 AM. Reason: spelling
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  9. #9

    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    Sri Matre namah,

    Dear Siva fan,

    further to what Sri Smaranam said, below lines could be of interest to you.

    Dattatreya is the Guru Murthy of the Tretayuga. As per Srimad Bhagavatam, He is one of the 21 avataras of Vishnu. Unlike other avatars which take leave from this earth after accomplishing the task, He remains and roams in this loka through out for he is the Guru of all and his task is only to uplift the needy. It is said that, when one invokes any Guru in this world, it is infact Sri Datta Guru who would respond for he is the Guru Murthy residing on this earth. That is why he is called as "Smarthrugami" - One who comes to your aid the moment you remember or think of him.

    His state of appearance and behavior is not always pleasing and could be deceptive as well. He is referred to as "Balonmattapisachaveshaya", that is, he acts like a Child, a madman or a devil and would reveal himself only to the ones that pass his test.

    "Tripura Rahasya" is a great book of his teachings. I've read the Jnana Kanda of that.

    Of all the Tantras in this world, Dattatreya Tantra is the best.
    It is said that, Gayatri, of all the Mantras, Sri Yantra, of all the Yantras and Dattatreyatantra of all the tantras is Supreme.

    My native place is 14KM from Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh where the birth of Sripada Srivallabha took place. I feel proud of it and blessed.

    Sri Dattassaranam Mama.


  10. #10
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    Re: Dattatreya Sampradaya

    Namaste Kriyarameeshh and Smaranam.

    You have both been so generous in providing such vast, indepth and amazing histories, revelations and sacred information I cannot thank you both enough. I look forward to future insights into Sanatana Dharma and it's vast and wonderous landscape of the Divine.

    Om Namah Sivaya

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