In Hindu Dharma Bhagwan Brahma, Bhagwan Sri Hari Vishnu, and Bhagwan Shiva have a place of prime importance. They are the Trimurti who look after the creation, protection, and destruction cycle of the universe and are a manifest form of the supreme deity known as Parabrahman. The form of divinity in which Bhagwans Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh are united as one is Bhagwan Dattatreya (Bhagwan Datta).
Bhagwan Dattatreya was born to Maharishi Atri and Mata Anusuya. Mata was performing tapas (penance) and severe austerities to beget a son with the qualities of the Trimurti. Jealous of the austerities by Mata Anusuya, Devis Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati asked their consorts to test the virtue of Mata.
Accordingly, Bhagwans Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh appeared as mendicants before Mata Anusuya and begged for alms. When she was about to serve them food, they said that they would accept it only if she served them naked. By the power of her tapas and chastity she was able to turn them into infants after uttering a mantra. Mata is then said to have feed the three infants while naked.
Realizing their mistake the three Devis asked for forgiveness and requested Gurumata to return their husbands in their original form. Acceding to their request, Gurumata turned them back into Bhagwan Brahma, Bhagwan Sri Hari Vishnu, and Bhagwan Shiva. The Trimurtis were touched by her devotion and requested her to ask for a boon.
They gave her darshan as Bhagwan Dattatreya in a single body with three heads and six arms each bearing a Japmala (rosary beads), Kamandal (water pot), Damru (Mahadev’s instrument), Trishul (trident), Shankh (conch), and Sudarshan chakra (discus). They blessed Maharishi Atri and Mata Anusuya with a son who came to be known as Bhagwan Dattatreya.
Datta Jayanti or Dattatreya Jayanti is celebrated on the day of Margashirsh Purnima as per the Hindu calendar every year as it was on this day that Bhagwan incarnated as the son of Maharishi Atri and Gurumata Anusuya. The birthplace of Bhagwan Datta is said to be the village Mahur which is located at a distance of about 125 Kms from Nanded, in Maharashtra. It is a day for devotees to observe fast and perform puja at home and in mandirs. Devotees also sing bhajans (devotional songs) and some may also perform homa.
The symbolism associated with Bhagwan Dattatreya as per Hindu shastras is that the four dogs that accompany Him are considered to be the symbol of four Vedas. The Gaumata (cow) behind Him is said to be the incarnation of Bhuma Devi (earth).
Sri Dattatreya is considered as Guru of all the gurus and worshipping Him is known as Datta sampradaya or guru sampradaya. Devotees of Dattatreya strongly believe that worshipping Him saves a person from the Pitrudosha or Pitrushaap (i.e., the curse of the deceased ancestors) and receive their blessings.
As per Hindu traditions, Margarshirsh Purnima is the day when Chandradev is said to have received the Amrit (divine nectar) and is significant for both Surya Bhagwan (Sun) and Chandra Bhagwan (Moon) who are offered Arghya (holy water) by devotees at sunrise and moonrise respectively. It is said that devotees who bathe in any holy river on this day will be blessed and their desires will be fulfilled.
(Featured Image Source: Dainik Jagran)
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