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Spiritual science in Hinduism – Facts about Lord Datta

Description: This article provides information about the spiritual science about Deity Dattatreya.


The birth of Deity Datta, who incarnated on the full moon day (pournimā) of the Hindu lunar month of Mārgshīrsha, is celebrated as Datta Jayanti. In the previous eras of existence, the atrocities of demonic forces on mankind increased tremendously; hence, Deity Dattatreya incarnated in different forms at different times to destroy the demons.
On Datta Jayanti, Deity Datta’s principle is 1000 times more active on Earth as compared to any other day. On this day by worshipping Deity Datta with full devotion, one can derive maximum benefits of the His  principle.

Meaning of Datta

The One Who has been endowed with the anubhūti(spiritual experience) of the unmanifest (nirgun) is called Datta. The anubhuti of nirgun essentially means, realization that He is the soul (ātmā) or He has attained God-Realization.
Deity Datta is also known as Dattatreya, Avadhut and Digambar.

Mission and characteristics of Deity Datta

  1. Deity Datta is an incarnation of Shrī Vishnu; hence His mission includes sustenance, creation and developing devotion for God in people, and teaching people how to lead an ideal and blissful life.
  2. He also provides forward momentum to our departed  ancestors in their afterlife.
  3. Deity Shiva and Deity Datta bestow detachment.
  4. He removes the distress caused by ancestors and negative energies.
  5. Deity Datta  learnt from many things, which includes – The Earth, Sun, Moon, Water, Sea, Python, Trees and Mountains. He considered all these aspects as Gurus. (Here, the word ‘Guru’ implies ‘teacher’.)

Implied meaning of Deity Datta’s family

  • The cow: It represents the Earth.
  • The four dogs: They represent the Hindu Scriptures; four vēdas, namely; Rugvvēda, Yajurvēda, Samvēda and Atharvavēda.
  • The holy fig tree (oudumbar): This tree  is a symbol of Deity Datta because it has a lot of Datta principle. This tree is also ritualistically worshipped as part of Deity Datta’s worship.

Incarnations of Deity Datta

“Numerous are the incarnations, which undergo dissolution with the passage of time, the idol of Shrîdattâtreyamûrti however is unlike this, it never undergoes dissolution.”
– Râmavijay 13:21 by Shrîdharswâmî
Implied meaning: Deity Datta performs the function of the Gurutattva (Guru Principle); His mission of guiding disciples / devotees continues till everyone attains the Moksha (Final Liberation).
There were sixteen main incarnations of Deity Datta.

  1. The spiritual significance of Datta Jayanti
  2. Importance of Deity Datta’s chant ‘Shree Gurudev Datta’
  3. Importance of chanting Deity Datta’s chant when carrying a dead body
  4. What are Ancestral problems?
  5. Where do we go after death?


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