Shodasa Avatharas


Namasthe’ Yogirajendra! Dattatre’ya! Dayanidhe’!
Smruthim The’ De’hi Maam Raksha! Bhakthim The’ De’hi Me’ Dhruthim!

In days of yore on the banks of Godavari river there used to be an ashrama of Aangirasa maharshi. There used to be many tapaswins in that ashrama. Among those tapaswins, a Dharmavettha( one who upheld dharma to the hilt) by name VedhaDharma, the son of Pailmaharshi. He was a great brahmagnani, mahatapswi and Vedaseer.
Many used to come to Him,attend His classes(Sh’uShrusha ) and learn vedas and other scriptures. He had a Great disciple by name Deepaka(the same one mentioned in the second chapter of Sri Gurucharitra) whose gurubhakthi was unparalled. He used to consider His Guru,VedhaDharma, as the trimurthyaathmaka swaroopa and with trikarana shuddhi worship Him.

To test His gurubhakthi, VedhaDharma kept many tests and after realizing that His gurubhakthi was that of a rare and genuine one. He became happy with His disciple. He gave the blessings to Him not only to become really excellent in all vidhyaas but also revealed to Him parama-rahasyas of Lord Dattatreya with Motherly love and affection.
Puraanas are said to be revealed in Naimishaaranya by Suthamaharshi to Shounaka maharshi and other great seers, but if we turn the pages of Dattapurana it is this VedhaDharma who seems to reveal all stories(puranas) to His ardent and most excellent disciple Deepaka.

• Shri VedhaDharma = The essence of vedas and is the sanke’tham for the dharma in it(symboligical representation)
• Shri Deepaka = The essence of Gurubhakthi( worshipful attitude towards one’s preceptor) and is the sanke’tham for a true sadhaka(essential representation) }

One day He called upon Deepaka and said with motherly and affectionate glances My dear! Your Gurubhakthi is achanchala(that which cannot be perturbed) and your Sushrusha(attendence with humility and hearing what one’s preceptor says) makes me enormously happy. You are my priya-shishya( most beloved disciple). The secret of Dattatreya ShodaShaavatharas( 16 avatars) which is known only to great seers, I will now reveal in detail here it with shraddha(concentrat ed faith) and grasp the meanings and the para-meanings( inner meanings) of the avatharas. Even upon hearing(or reading) all sins become Bhasmikritha( powdered like ashes) and the vasanas(bad tendencies or the tendencies which makes a man or a woman commit sins repeatedly) would clear off like black clouds upon the arrival of the Sun. Athmagnana, Swathmananda, Jeevanmukthathwam would be achieved due to Sh’ri Datthatre’ya Prabhu’s Grace.”

Bhagwan Shri Dattatreya is known as Avinashi (non-destroyable), Siddharaj, Yogiraj etc. He has been ever advising and guiding his devotees in the worldly and spiritual affairs, yogasadhana and devotion to God. He had many Avatars from Vedic times to date. Of these, sixteen Avatars are regarded as the chief ones. ‘Shri Gurucharitra’ is a great volume in Marathi in ovi form, which depicts the life-mission of Shripad Shri Vallabha and Shri Nrusimha Saraswati, the two Avatars of Datta which took place in the Kaliyug. The celebration of the birth days of the sixteen Avatars of Shri Datta, was introduced at Ambejogai (Marathwada), Maharashtra by Shri Datta’s great favourite devotee Shri Dasopant. This was recorded by the revered Vasudevanand Saraswati, another great devotee of Shri Datta and he wrote in Sanskrit ‘Shri Dattatreya Shodash Avatar Jayanti Kalp’. The devotees of Shri Datta may keenly desire to know about these Avatars.

Sri Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Sri Vasudevanand Saraswathy Swami Maharaj describes the sixteen sacred Avataras of Lord Dattatreya.
By remembering these Avataras with devotion, one is immediately relieved from sins and misery.

1. Yogiraja – Appeared on Kartika Shuddha Pournami as the manifestation of the combined power of all divinities.

2. Atrivarada – Kartika Bahula Padyami – this incarnation indicates Sri Dattatreya as the essence of all Mantras.

3. Datta Prabhu – Kartika Bahula Dwitiya – Granted himself to sage Atri.

4. Kalagnishamana- Margashirsha Shuddha Chaturdashi – Took birth as Atri’s son.

5. Yogijanavallabha – Margashirsha Pournami – indicates the compassion of the Lord towards his devotees.

6. Lila Vishwambhara – Paushya Pournami – appeared as a child to protect his devotees.

7. Siddharaja – Magha Pournami – Resurrected the system of Yoga as a preparatory step for Gnana.

8. Jnanasagara – Phalguna Shuddha Dashami – indicated the necessity of Gnana for liberation.

9. VishwambharAvadhUta – Chaitra Pournami – Established Bhakti Yoga.

10. MayayuktAvadhUta – Jyeshtha Shuddha Trayodashi – Grants worldly desires of his devotees.

11. MayamuktAvadhUta – Vaishakha Shuddha Chaturdashi – Destroys kAma in his devotees.

12. Adi Guru – AshAdha Pournami – Grants Brahma Gnana to Uttamadhikaris.

13. Sri Shivarupa – Shravana Pournami – Grants Sayujya to Madhyamadhikaris.

14. Sri Devadeva – Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturdashi – grants Atmapada to his devotees.

15. Sri Digambara – Ashwayuja Pournami – to establish Vairagya.

16. Sri Krishna Shyama Kamalanayana – Kartika Shuddha Dwadashi – complete with sixteen kalas, is the complete manifestation of the Lord.

Though we celebrate Datta Jayanti only once a year, a sincere Upasaka should worship Dattatreya on the above-said sixteen auspicious Tithis to achieve Siddhi of Sri Dattatreya Anushtup Mahamantra.

A Datta Yogi in Andhra Desha said affirmatively a tip thus: “If one recites the great Dattatreya Mantra, having duly received it from Sadguru, sixteen thousand times on each of these sixteen Tithis, he will surely see Dattatreya”. The Datta Anushtup Mantra itself is a concise summary of the essence of these sixteen Avataras and holds the key to the secret of Dattatreya Tattva. Uttamadhikaris should learn the significance of the Mantra and its Dharana in the sixteen Chakras in the body to achieve oneness with Vishwa Guru. This mantra is the most ancient and the king among the other 32 mantras of Sri Dattatreya. The Uttaranga mantras for Anushtup are Madhumati Mahavidya and Sri Datta Sahasrakshari.

Pooja process: Pooja has to performed with shodasopachara, parayan Gurucharitra/Datta mahatmyam/datta puranam, and  Arghya should be given with the concerned mantras mentioned in each avathara. After performing puja, naivedya and harathi to be performed. The item of Naivedya to be offered and Arghya mantras for each avathara are mentioned at the end of the concerned avathara description.

Arghya pradhaan vidhi:

One has to recite the mantras  “ Kaayena yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu”….at the end of first arghya mantra by leaving water from palm to a plate.

“Vachasaa  yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu”…….at the end of second  arghya mantra by leaving water from palm to a plate.

“Manasaa   yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu” …….at the end of third   arghya mantra by leaving water from palm to a plate

 First Avathar: Yogiraj

||Adwayaananda Roopaaya || Yoga Maaya Dharaayacha||
||Yogiraajaaya Devaaya || Sri Dattatreya Namo Namaha||

After the creation of this universe the living beings had to suffer from miseries as per their past actions. This made Brahmadeo anxious and so he surrendered to Shri Vishnu, the Lord of the universe saying,“Dattoham Dattoham” (I give myself). Shri Vishnu appeared before Brahmadeo and advised him to practise yoga and know the eternal principle whereby he was relieved of the miseries, and had the peace of mind. Those, who recite “Dattoham Dattomam”, will also gain the same fruit. This Avatar took place on Kartik Shuddha 15, Krittika Nakshatra, Wednesday, first prahar at sun-rise. This Avatar propogated yoga, hence it is known as ‘Yogeshwar’ or ‘Yogiraj’. He looked most charming, delicate and snowwhite in colour. Like Shri Krishna, he had one head and four hands.

The day is on Karthika suddha poornima.Yogiraj is Sarvadevamaya and sarva mantraardhagamya.
Arghya mantras :
1.Maayaguna vimukthaaya, sarva lokeswaraaayacha, yogiraajaaya devaaya karmanaarghyam dadaamyaham
Leave water from palm to a plate by reciting Kaayena yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu…
2.Adwyaananda roopaaya, yogamaaya dharaayacha, yogiraajaaya devaaya karmanaarghyam dadaamyaham.Leave water from palm to  a plate by reciting  Vachasaa  yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu…

3. Avyaktaa vyakta roopaaya,  nirgunaaya gunaanthmane, , yogiraajaaya devaaya karmanaarghyam dadaamyaham(Naarikel daan)

Leave  water from palm to  a plate by reciting  Manasaa   yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu…..

Naivedya:Naarikel (coconut)

Second Avathara:Atrivarada:


||Maala Kamandalu ||Radhah Kara Padmayugme||
Madhyastha Paani Yugale||Dhamaru Trishoole||
Yasyasta Voordhva Karayoh Shubha Sankha Chakre||
Vande Thamatri Varadam Bhuja Shatka Yuktham||

When Atri lived as a grihastha, he had many sons. They were learned and erudite; but he longed to have a son, who would be famous in all the three lokas and would guide the people to attain the highest goal of life. He, therefore, observed severe penance on the Riksha mountain. Due to the lustre of his penance, the three lokas suffered from heat and all the creatures and birds became uneasy. All the Gods, Rishi-munis approached Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Then Brahma, riding on hans, Vishnu on garud and Mahesh on nandi appeared before Atri and roused him from his meditation. Atri bowed to them and said, “I adored only one God then who are you three ?” The three Gods said, “We are the same whom you aimed at. We appear in three forms; but we are one. Maya (illusion) is threefold sattwa, raj and tamas. Raj creates, sattwa protects and tam destroys. These three powers are prominent. Parmatma possesses all these three powers.” Atri was blessed with a son by the three Gods as desired. Hence this Avatar is known as ‘Atrivarad’. He had lustre like hot gold and a smiling face. This Avatar appeared on Kartik Vadya Pratipada, Rohini Nakshatra, Thursday, first prahar and first muhurta. He had one or three heads and held Brahma’s garland and kamandalu in the lower two hands, God Shiva’s drum and trishul in the middle two hands and Vishnu’s shankha and chakra in the upper two hands.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Maaya Guna Vimukthaaya, Sarva Lokeswaraayacha, Atri Varada Roopaya , Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2.Adwaithaananda Roopaya, Moha Maayashramaayacha, Atri Varada Roopaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Avyakta Vyakta Roopaya, Nirgunaaya Gunaatmane, Adhyaatma Gnaana Deepaaya,   Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham (Kadali Daan)

Naivedyam:Kadali phal(banana)

Third Avathar:Dattatreya:


Dattatreyam Shivam Shaantham ||Indra Neela Nibham Prabhum
Aatma Maayaratham Devam ||Avadhootham Digambaram||
Bhasmoddhoolitha Swaangam Jata Joota Dharam Vibhum||
Chathurbaahu Mudaaraangam Dattatreyam Namaamyaham||

Bhagwan Shri Hari appeared before Atri as a boy on the Kartik Vadya 2, Mrug Nakshatra, Friday at sun-rise on the first muhurta. He looked bluish as Indranil in colour.

His face was pleasant as the moon, his four hands possessed shankha, chakra, gada and padma.

Vibhuti was applied on his body and he had locks of hair on his head. He appeared saying, “Dattoham”. Atri and Anasuya said, “We shall not be content till you take birth from us.” Being pleased with their speech, he entered in the heart of Atri as a spark of lightening and afterwards took birth as a son of Anasuya.

Arghya Mantras:

1.Dattaya Divya Roopaya, Thejoroopa Nivaasine, Bhakta Santhaana Naashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2.Avyakthaadvaitha Roopaya, Nirgunaaya Gunaatmane, Parabrahma Swaroopaya Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3.Moksha Beejaaya Mukthaaya, Mukthaa Naadhaayathe Guro, Sachidaananda Roopaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham (Ikshu Daan)

 Fourth Avathara:Kaalaagni Shamana:


Gnaana Nandaika Deepaaya ||Kaalagni Shamanaayacha
Bhakthaarishta Vinaashaaya || Namosthu Paramaathmane||

Amongst the sixteen Avatars of Shri Datta, this fourth Avatar is regarded as most prominent. Due to the hard penance at the Riksha hill, Atri looked very bright and his body became too hot. Bhagwan Shri Hari came to Atri to cool down his heat. Due to this achievement this Avatar is known as ‘Kalagnishaman’. When Atri opened his eyes, he saw before him the most loving Anasuya.

The bright lustre of his eyes entered in the body of Anasuya on Margshirsh Shuddha 7 and nine month’s period was completed in 9 days (one day being or ritatithi) and the Divine Form appeared before Anasuya on Kartik 15. Anasuya wondered to see this. She entreated the God in humility saying, “I shall not be content until you take birth as a human being from my womb.” Subsequently Shri Hari appeared as a newly born baby and lay on her bedstead. At this time it was Mrug Nakshatra and the moon was just rising. Durwas and Chandra also were born at the same time.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Amaaya Yaathma Roopaya, Kaalaagni Shamanaayacha, Thoya Tatwa Nivaasaaya , Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Gnaana Nandaika Roopaya, Anasuyananda Naayacha, Bhaktaarishta Vinaashaaya. Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Nirvikalpaaya Shudhaaya, Siddhaaya Paramaathmane, Maaya Guna Vimukthaa Ya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Panchamrith Daan)


Fifth Avathara:Yogijana Vallabha:


Yoga Vijjana Naadhaaya|| Bhakthaananda Karaayacha||
Dattatreyaaya Devaaya||Thejo Roopayathe Namaha||

When Shri Dattatreya appeared at Anasuya’s ashram, Indra followed by the Gods, Rishi-munis, Gandharvas, Charanas, Yogis and saints came to see him.

Knowing their eagerness, Shri Datta appeared as a boy and advised them about yoga. He said, “I have no body, no time.I am devoid of birth and death. I take various forms to bless the devotees. Though these acts are transitory this does not affect my tatvic state.”

This Avatar is known for the propagation of yogapath and for removing the obstacles coming in the way and blessing the followers of yoga.

This Avatar is, therefore, known as ‘Yogijan Vallabha’.

Arghya Mantras:

1.Yogaarishta Vinaashaaya,  Anasuyaanandanaayacha, Dattatreya Devaaya,  Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2Yoga Vignaana Naadhaaa,  Bhaktaananda Karaayacha, Dattatreya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3.Vishweswaraaya Siddhaaya,  Viswaroopa Dharaayacha, Pridwi Tatwa Nivaasaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Moukthika Daan)

Naivedya:Bhakshya sweet

Sixth Avathar:Leela Vishwambhara:


Poorna Brahma Swaroopaaya|| Leelaa Vishwambharaayacha||
Dattatreyaaya Devaaya || Namosthu Sarva Saakshine||

The love for children and intense mercifulness of Shri Datta are observed in this Avatar. There was a great famine in the country. Animals could not get food and water. So they were reduced to boney skeletons. Thieves and dacoits looted the public. Rishi-munis could not perform their rites and sacrifices were stopped. Rishi-munis, Brahmins etc. surrendered to Shri Datta, who was lying in the laps of Anasuya and feeding on her breast. Hearing the prayers of the people, Shri Datta appeared as Leela Vishwambhar before them and offered to them food, clothes and provisions and satisfied them all. This was achieved easily and hence he is known as ‘Leela Vishwambhar’. One day Shri Datta addressed the devotees as follows, “This life is like a vast forest. Ahankar is like a big mountain surrounded by big trees, creepers and plants. Kama i.e. cupid is a fierce lion, krodha (anger) is an enraged serpent, vasana (desires) are great lakes. Those, who cannot swim in the water, get drowned.” Shri Datta then changed this scene. The devotees, therefore, asked, “Where is the fierce forest ?” Shri Datta replied smilingly, “It has immersed whence it was created. It comes into existence due to ignorance and when it is wiped off, it vanishes. Those, who remember me, get rid of the family miseries. All this physical world is destroyable and Atma, which is at the root, is only lasting.” The devotees enquired, “How is the Atma ?” Shri Datta replied, “I am that Atma. I am known by good action and intense devotion.”

Arghya Mantras:

1. Poorna Brahma Swaroopaya Leela Viswambharaayacha, Dattatreya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Adwaithaananda Roopaaya Vishwa Roopaya Sambhave, Annamayaa Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Leelaa Vigraha Roopaaya Anasuyananda Naayacha, Samsaarashrama Naashaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Anna Daan)

Naivedya:Variety Of Fruits And Annadan

Seventh Avathar:Siddha Raja


Sarva Siddhaantha Siddhaaya||Devaaya Paramaatmane||
Siddha Raajaaya Siddhaaya || Mantra Daatre Namo Namaha||

Shri Datta Guru appeared as a boy named Vishwambhar in the Badri forest, where several siddhas were observing penance of different sorts. Some had achieved siddhis and were enjoying many pleasures. Some believed in God, while some did not.

Vishwambhar sat in a corner in the assembly of the siddhas. Seeing the lustrous boy, the siddhas asked him, “Who are you ?”

“Shri Datta.” I am not discernible.

Q. “Which is your abode ?”

A. “I have no abode. No one is my master.”

Q. “Which is your yoga ? What is the mode of your study ?”

A. “Mine is Chitra yoga and there is no special mode of my study.”

Q. “Which is your mudra ?”

A. “Mine is a compassionate niranjani mudra.”

Q. “What do you see in this mudra ?”

A. “I see what is beyond meditation. My aim is that principle which is beyond the

threefold meditations, meditator and the object of meditation.”

Q. “Which is your path ?”

A. “My path is that which gives realisation of the Shivatattva (eternal principle).”

While this dialogue was going on, 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas, 49 Rudraganas, Rishis,Munis, Sadhyadeo, Gandharva, Yaksha, Kinnar etc. were passing through the sky. Theirmotion being hindered, they all came down on the floor of Badrivan. All the siddhaswondered to see this. Each siddha said that because of his penace, their motion was hindered and they came down on the earth.

Shri Datta, in the body-form, said, “Why do you struggle ? One, who can remove the hindrance of their motion and allow them to go through the sky, will be the best siddha.’’

All agreed to this and each one came forward and said one after another, “I have removed the obstacle in your movement. You can go to your places.’’ But none of them could move a bit.

Then Shri Datta said, “Oh you Rishi-munis and others, you may please go to your places as the hindrance in your movement has since been removed.” Hearing this, all those who had descended, bowed to Shri Datta and flew away in the sky. Seeing this, all the siddhas realised that the boy Yogi was the Parmatma. They, therefore, gave up their vanity and surrendered to him.

The boy Yogi, Shri Datta, said, “I am ‘Siddharaj’, ‘Yogiraj’. I am called ‘Hari’ being Kalagnishaman and remover of miseries. While thinking about Atma and in order to attain me, one should study mantras. I am Mantraraj, undestroyable and Parabrahma. All the universe is under my control; but I am controlled by mantras. All mantras, studied as per due procedure, give siddhi (power of doing certain things) to sadhak.” Saying this, he further told them some mantras and their procedure. This is known as ‘Siddha Rajagam’. Shri Datta told this again, about 500 years ago, to his great favourite devotee Dasopant of Ambejogai (Maharashtra), who has preserved it in a written script. The publication of ‘Siddha Rajagam’ will be truly most valuable and appreciable.

This Avatar took place on Magh Shuddha 15 on Magh Nakshatra in the morning when it is the time of the cows.

1. Sarva Siddhaantha Siddhaaya Devaaya Paramaathmane, Mahaaraajaya Siddhaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Samsaara Dhukha Naashaaya Sarva Shoka Haraayacha, Siddha Raajaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Swaroopa Gnaana Deepaaya Sarva Shakthi Dharaayacha, Siddharaajaaya Shaanthaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Pusthaka Daan)

Naivedya:Fruits And Any Spiritual Book On Dattatreya As Daana

Eighth Avathara : Gnana Sagara


Sarvatra Agnaana Naashaaya|| Gnaana Deepaaya Chaathmane||
Sachidaananda Bhodaaya|| Shree Dattaya Namo Namaha||

Bhagwan Shri Dattatreya once contemplated, “These persons have achieved yoga siddhis etc. Still, until kam, krodha, lobha etc. are not conquered by them, they would not have real peace of mind and they will have no pleasure. Kama i.e. desire, is at the root of all the miseries and everyone is struggling in his life to get one’s desires fulfilled. Krodha i.e. anger, follows desires. All the world is engrossed in this struggle and is suffering from threefold miseries viz. physical, metaphysical and mental. Therefore, all the people should be above the bondage of kam, krodha, lobha etc. then they will gain knowledge and attain my place.’’
So, Shri Datta appeared in the form of a Kumar known as ‘gnanasagar’. This Avatar appeared in air at the height of a man, on Falgun Shuddha 10, Sunday, Punarvasu Nakshatra at sunrise.

The siddhas tried to bring this Kumar on the ground; but they could not do so. They, therefore, realised that he was Parmatma and surrendered to him and began to praise him.

Shri Datta then said, “Kama begets anger, anger begets delusion of intellect and untoward actions take place. Those, who go after siddhis, do not get my place and consequently they do not get pleasure.

Therefore, you should adore me, recite mantras and know the eternal principle and lead a moral life. You cannot gain me by intellect or logic, without longing for the fruit. So, one should win over kama, krodha etc. and continue my devotion.

The siddhas thereafter followed the path, shown by Shri Datta and attained the bliss. This Avatar took place in Badrivan for the well-being of the siddhas, who were staying there.

Arghya Mantras:

1:Sarvathraa Agnaana Naashaaya,  Gnaana Deepaya Chaatmane, Sachidaananda Bhodaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2.Kheda Thaapa Vinaashaaya,  Moksha Beejaaya Chaatmane, Gnaana Priyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam

3.DadaamyahamBhaktaarishta Vinaashaaya,  Vignaana Saagharaayacha, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham (Mandir Daan)

Naivedya:Fruits and Mandir daana

Ninth Avathara:Vishwambhara Avadhootha


Vishwambharaaya Devaaya||Bhaktha Priya Karaayacha||
Bhaktha Priyaaya Devaaya|| Naama Priyaayathe Namaha||

With a view to test the siddhas and see how far they have progressed, Shri Datta assumed the dirty form of a mlenchha.

His face was robust. He had black string round his neck, a zigzag stick in his hand and a black dog followed him. He saw that some siddhas were meditating, while some were enjoying the jokes and some others suffering from miseries.

This Avatar appeared on Chaitra Shuddha Poornima, Tuesday, Chitra Nakshatra, in the second prahar. The siddhas asked him questions as before and he replied in the same style.

Then realising him to be Shri Datta, they surrendered to him and began to praise him. Shri Datta then appeared before them in his usual lovely form and advised them to give up doubts and concentrate their minds on him.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Viswambharaaya Devaaya, Bhakta Priya Karaayacha, Bhakta Priyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Sarva Agnaana Vinaashaaya, Dwanda Thaapa Haraayacha, Yogaashrama Vinaashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Naama Priyaaya Devaaya, Yoga Samsthaapakaayacha, Sarvothama Siddhaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Godana)
Naivedya:Fruits And Godana

Tenth Avathara: Maya Mukthaavadhutha


Maaya Mukthaaya Shuddhaaya||Maayaguna Haraayathe||
Shuddha Bhuddhaatma Roopaaya|| Namosthu Paramaathmane||

Shri Datta appeared on Vaishakh Shuddha 14, mid-day, in the form of a mendicant (bairagi) at the house of one pious devotee, named Sheel. He was performing the anniversary rites and brahmins were invited. He looked handsome and had golden lustre. He had a pot in one hand for the alms and a stick in the right hand. There was a wreath of rudrakshas round his neck. The brahmins, who were invited, got enraged to see the bairagi. They asked him, “Who are you ?”

The bairagi said, “I am undiscernible, all pervading Avadhoot.” Hearing this, Sheel knew that he was Siddhraj Dynansagar of former times. To remove his doubt, he asked, “What is your abode (ashraya) and who is your master ?” The reply was, “I have no abode and no master. I am the master of all the three lokas.” Realising him to be his Sadguru, he prostrated before him, seated him with due regard, duly worshipped him and offered him good delicious food. Seeing this, the brahmins scolded Sheel, saying that he acted un piously.

The mendicant then asked the brahmins, “What is Brahmas ?” The brahmins said, “Om is Parabrahma and it has assumed the form of Vedas. You are unpious and irreligious and so you are not eligible even to hear Vedas.” The mendicant said, “I am above Maya and hence not bound by rules and regulations. Vedas and their acts are of three qualities and this world is also three-fold and it is with me in the form of a black dog. This dog is well-versed in Vedas and shastras. He will satisfy you.” Saying so, he asked the dog to say Vedas. Like a learned pandit the dog began to chant the Vedas. The brahmins were simply stunned to see this miracle.
Shri Avadhoot called the forefathers of Sheel and in the presence of all assimilated them in himself. The vanity of the brahmins was wiped off and they surrendered to Shri Datta, who advised them to have devotion for him. This pleased them all. They prayed to him to bestow on them the lasting well-being of their families.

Arghya Mantras:
1. Maaya Mukthaaya Shuddhaaya, Maaya Guna Haraayathe, Shudha Buddha Swaroopaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Sarva Avayava Mukthaaya, Sarva Maaya Haraayathe, Sarva Santhaapa Naashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Shuddhaatma Gnaana Deepaaya, Bhakthaarishta Haraayacha, Maaya Paasha Vimukthaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Dadhyodhana Daan)

Eleventh Avathar:Maya Yuktaavadhutha


Swamaaya Guna Gupthaaya||Mukthaaya Paramaathmane||
Sarvathraa Agnaana Naashaaya|| Devadevaayathe Namaha||

This Avatar took place on Jeshth Shuddha 13, Friday, Swati Nakshatra, at sunrise.

This Avatar appeared in a young meditating pose, having a beautiful young woman on his left lap. Knowing them as Lakshmi-Narayan, all narrated their family shortcomings; but none showed a liking for the spiritual matters. Shri Datta began to sing and dance with the young woman. People thought that Shri Datta was playing with Maya and they did not leave him. Shri Datta then brought forward flesh, wine and similar unpious articles and said, “I am enjoying all these things, so I have no power and ability to fulfil your desires.” Hearing this, many persons forsook him and only few remained there. Shri Datta then told them, “Faith, devotion, meditation, practising rules of sam, dam and by conquering the desires the human beings can get rid of the family bondages.”

Then Mayayuktavadhoot roamed in the region from the south of Narmada to the Mahur hills.
The Gods, harassed by Jambasur, Kartavirya – Sahasrarjun and Parashuram met Shri Datta in this region. Shri Datta advised, ‘Tripura Rahasya’ to Parashuram in order to get rid of the effects of his sins of wars against the kshatriyas and to attain the peace of mind.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Swamaayaguna Guptaaya, Muktaaya Paramaathmane, Sarvatraa Agnaana Naashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Maayaasthaana Vinaashaaya Maayaa Yukthaaya Daatmane, Bhaktaarishta Vinaashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Yogaarishta Vinaashaaya, Deva Deveswaraayacha, Jambha Darpa Vinaashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Madhu Daan)
Naivedya:Madhuvu (Honey)

Twelvth Avathar:Adiguru



Alarka Praying Dattatreya

Chidaathma Gnaana Roopaaya||Gurave Brahma Roopine||
Dattatreyaaya Devaaya||Namosthu Paramaathmane||

Shri Datta advised Alark, the son of Madalsa. While ruling as a king, Alark was engrossed in the worldly pleasures. Dnyani Subahu, his elder brother, thought that Alark was wasting away his life as dogs and cats do in enjoyment of passions. He intended to awaken him spiritually. He, therefore, came to his city and asked for his share in the kingdom. When it was refused, he sought the help of Kashi Raja and attacked and besieged his city. Consequently the provisions coming in the city were stopped. Due to this, the subjects could not get food grains and they began to suffer from hunger. Alark was dejected to see this. His mother, Madalsa, had told him to see her letter of advice, placed in the box in times of calamity. He left the city, entered a forest and next morning opened the box and saw his dear mother’s letter. It was said in it that in times of adversity, one should forsake all and have the company of a saint and think of salvation. He should go to Shri Datta at Mahurgad for spiritual guidance. This Avatar appeared on Ashadh Shuddha 15 on Tuesday, in the first prahar, on first muhurt.

Alark went to Mahur, surrendered to Shri Datta and narrated his misery. Shri Datta placed his palm on his head and asked, “Where is your misery ? Just think who you are.” Only due to this one question, Alark began to think of himself. His ignorance was wiped off and his ego and greed also vanished. The feeling of enmity was extinct.


Arghya Mantras:

  1. Sarvathraa Agnaana Nashaaya, Gurave Paramaathmane, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham
  2. Kheda Thaapa Vinaashaaya, Sachidaananda Roopine, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham
  3. Chidaatma Gnaana Deepaya, Gurave Brahma Roopine, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Suvarna Daan)

Naivedya:Coconut And Suvarna Daana

Thirteenth Avathara:Shiva Roopa Dattatreya


Samsaara Dhukh Naashaaya||Hithaaya Paramaathmane||
Dattatreyaaya Devaaya||Namosthu Paramaathmane||

Pingalnag, a pious brahmin knowing Vedashastra lived at Mahur. He saw a lustrous youth under a black awala tree. The youth had a naked young woman. He knew Vedas.

Pingalnag asked him, “Who are you ? You do not look to be pious; but you say Vedas. You have not the ‘dand ’ of a brahmachari agnihotra of a grihastha. Your age is not due for proceeding a sannyasin.

Then which is your ashram ?” The youth said, “All the universe is Atmaroop. Mine is the fifth ashram, who sees Atma everywhere.”

Pingalnag recognised him as Shri Dattatreya, the son of Anasuya and so bowed to him humbly and prayed to bless him and give proper advice.

This Avatar appeared on Shravan Shuddha 8, Monday.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Samsaara Dhukha Naashaaya, Shivaaya Paramaathmane, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Kheda Thaapa Vinaashaaya, Mukhya Bimbaaya Chaatmane, Shivaaya Gurave Thubhyam, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Sarvathraa Kheda Roopaya, Sarvatva Vimalaathmane, Sarvadaananda Roopaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Sugandh Dravya Daan)

Naivedya:Sweet Pongal, Sugandh Dravya Daan

Fourteenth Avathar:Deva Deva


Sarvaaparaadha Naashaaya||Sarva Paapa Haraayacha||

Deva Devaaya Devaaya||Namosthu Paramaathmane||

Shri Datta roamed from the south of Narmada to Mahur in the forest. He bathed in rivers, lakes, at holy places and gave darshan to Rushi-munis.

This region was full of black awala trees and so it was called ‘Krishnamalaki Tirth’.

The Gods, Brahmadeo, Shatanand,son of Goutam had come and seen Shri Datta here.

This Avatar appeared on Bhadrapad Shuddha 14, Friday, Shatatarka Nakshatra in the first prahar of the day.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Devadevaaya Devaaya, Dukha Shoka Haraayacha, Devadevaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Sarva Aparaadha Naashaaya, Sarva Paapa Haraayacha, Devdevaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Bhakta Priyaaya Devaaya, Shudhaaya Paramaathmane, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyahamn(Thaambula Daan)

Naivedya:Panchaamrutha And Thamboola Daan (Betel Leaves)

Fifteenth Avathara:Digambara


Dhukha Durgathi Naashaaya|| Dattaya Paramaathmane||
Digambaraaya Shaanthaaya||Namosthu Bhudhi Saakshine||

This Avatar took place on Ashwin Shuddha Poornima, Wednesday, Ashwini Nakshatra, at sunrise.

In this Avatar Shri Datta blessed Yadu of Somvansh and Pralhad, son of Kayadhu.
When Yadu Raja was wandering in the forest in the Kaveri region, he saw a Digambar Avadhoot. He prostrated before him and said, “You are young, lustrous and healthy and then why do you stay in such a desolate forest and yet you are joyful and carefree.”

Digambar Avadhoot said, “I have acquired 24 Gurus from nature and learnt lessons of different types from them.

Thus I have acquired vivek, vairagya, peace of mind and contentment.

Arghya Mantras:

1. Yogapaalaaya Devaaya, Dattaya Paramaathmane, Digambaraaya Shamthaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Dhukha Durgathi Naashaaya, Dattaya Paramaathmane, Yogaarishta Vinaashaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Yogaarishta Vinaashaaya, Yoga Maaya Dharaayathe, Digambaraaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Vastra Or Haar Daan)

Naivedya:Fruits And Vastra Or Hara As Dana

Sixteenth Avathara:Krishna Shyamala Kamala Nayana


Akhandaadwaitha Roopaaya||Nirgunaaya Gunaathmane||
Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya||Namosthu Paramaathmane||

This Avatar took place on Kartik Shuddha 12, Wednesday, Revati Nakshatra at sunrise. Shri Datta had different Avatars as Yogiraj, Atrivarad etc. and advised his devotees with dnyan, bhakti, vairagya, eight fold yoga sadhana etc.

Bhagwan Shri Datta was lying on the bed of dnyan and was engrossed in yoga. At that time, some devotees and disciples came to see him. Shri Datta appeared pleasant and in the form of Sat Chit (lasting and lustrous). Shri Datta said, “Having studied all the shastras, I tell you the real essence.

Practising it you will soon get salvation. Vedic dharma is ever lasting. Veda is at its root, hence dharma has prominence and lasting status.

I am ‘Datta’ not only for Atri, but I give myself to all those who have unprejudiced devotion for me. I give sayujyata (i.e. immersion in myself) to such devotees.”

Arghya Mantras:

1. Sarva Siddhaantha Siddhaaya, Dattaya Paramaathmane, Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Akhandaadwaitha Roopaaya, Nirgunaaya Gunaathmane, Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Bhakta Priyaaya Devaaya, Yoga Nidraathuraayacha, Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Rajatha Daan)

Naivedya:Fruits And Rajatha(Silver)Daan

1. Sarva Siddhaantha Siddhaaya, Dattaya Paramaathmane, Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

2. Akhandaadwaitha Roopaaya, Nirgunaaya Gunaathmane, Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham

3. Bhakta Priyaaya Devaaya, Yoga Nidraathuraayacha, Krishnaaya Padma Netraaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham(Rajatha Daan)

May Bhagawan Dattatreya Be Pleased To Bless All
||Dattam Vande’ Digambaram!||