Sree Gurucharitra

image001Gurucharitra is a pious and holy Grantham (Book) in Ovi form of  Marathi. This is written by Sri Saraswati Gangadhar. It has arisen from the conversation between Guru Siddha and disciple Namadharak. The original text recount, in 53 chapters, the life and teachings of the two incarnations in about 7000 verses.

In the late nineteenth century, Paramhans Parivrajakacharya Shreemad Vasudevanand Saraswati Swami Maharaj, a famous saint of the Dattatreya tradition, translated the work in Sanskrit verses of equal number. Later, he was told in a vision by Lord Dattatreya that details pertaining to matters of Hindu religious ritual, have infringed on proper theme of work, and was directed to abridge it into 2000 verses and popularly known as “Samhithaayana Guru Dwi Sahasri”.image003

Several miraculous deeds are associated with these two Gurus – 5 such deeds are relating to Shripad Shri Vallabh (chapters 5 to 10) and 26 are relating to Shri Narasinha Saraswati, (chapters 11 to 51) besides many mythological (pouranik) tales have also been narrated in this volume by way of illustration.

Many Gurudev Datta devotees perform parayana (read it in seven days) many times during the year. Concentration, devotion and faith on this Grantham results in removing all difficulties, sorrow, poverty and bless devotees with peace, happiness and all sorts of wealth after performing the parayana. Like all epics, in Shree Gurucharitra too there are stories within stories and more stories.The narration includes anecdotes from the lives of Lord Dattatreya and his incarnations.This volume is regarded as divine, capable of blessing one and all who read it with respect and is placed with images of Gods and adored in almost all devotee’s houses of Maharashtra. It is much respected and is very popular like Vedas, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Bhagwat and other puranas in sanskrit and Dnyaneshwari, Dasbodh, Eknathi Bhagwat etc. in Marathi.

Shri Gurucharitra is divided into three sections. They are (1)Gnana kanda (chapter 1 to 24) (2)Karma kanda(chapter 25 to 37) and (3)Bhakti kanda(chapter 38 to 51). Gnana kanda deals with the qualities to be acquired by a disciple i.e., service to Guru so that he can earn Gnana. In second section, Karma kanda, he should follow the dos and don’ts told by Vedas and sastras by which the disciple will get steadfastness in his devotion to Guru by purifying his Anthahkaran i.e., the mind. The third section, Bhakti kanda, it teaches the final stage SHARANAAGATHI, surrender to Guru who assures the disciple, the liberation (Moksha).One can feel the experiences when he goes through chapter by chapter thoroughly.

Sri Gangadhar Saraswathi, the author of the book in Marathi tells in the following lines about the resultant virtues after reading this holy book. “Prosperity ever lives in their dwellings. In whose house the parayana is observed in that house lives Sri Lakshmi. Only good and noble souls will take birth in their houses.

There will not be diseases or troubles in that house by the grace of Sri Guru. When it is read for seven days as Saptaha deeksha with religious discipline all his sins will be lost without any doubt. This pure and lovable story will get their desires fulfilled without any trouble. I swear, I have enjoyed this result and enjoyed the taste of this nectar. The Gurucharitra is like a Kamadhenu and Kalpavriksha and will bestow Gnana”.

image006Many devotees are doing this parayana in Ganagapur kshetra near Audumbar tree at Sangam and experiencing the darshan of Lord Dattatreya. Whoever organizes Samuhika Gurucharitra parayana, their sins will  disapper and their path will be cleared to Moksha.

Shree Guru Charitra talks of 4 ‘Grand proclamations’ for the disciple’s Sadhana.

They are Pragnanam brahma,Tatwamasi, Ayamathma Brahma and Ahambrahmasmi.

(1) Pragnanam brahma is Guru Datta’s upadesha vakya(the teaching of Lord Datta).It means “Pure awareness is brahman”

(2)Tatwamasi is Guru Datta’s Adesha vakya(Commandment of Lord Datta).It means “That thou art”

(3)Ayamatma brahma is Guru Datta’s abhyasa vakya(Cultivational/ Practice code).It means “The self of mine is verily brahman.

(4)Ahambrahmasmi is Guru Datta’s anubhava vakya(Iam verily the Brahman)


Saamuhika Gurucharitra Parayan

All these 4 come about by the adoption of a Guru in the Datta-path. The Guru from the anubhava gives upadesha and Adesha.

The disciple with shraddha and bhakthi hears them both and practices(abhyasa) and gains his own experience(anubhava ) which he inturn propogates.

As per bhramara-keetaka nyaya,whereby the ugly-looking beetle gets metamorphosed and transfigured into the beautiful bhramara itself.

So also the jiva,stricken with ignorance and all the afflictions of the worldy life,attains enlightenment and blossoms forth and begins to shine in his/her athmic splendour,just like His Guru,through nidhidhyasana on the Guru and the guropadesha.

Suggestions :

Always try to understand the following when reading a sacred text

1. The inner-artha- -why is Sri Guru saying thus? Think deeply

2. The inner-artha of the person involved–why did sri guru say thus? why did the character say thus?

3. The context–which period and to whom was it said? which place was it said

4. The circumstance- -what made the following to occur?

5 Secretive aspects–Some sacred texts say certain things
Sri Guru Charitra is a living embodiment of the divnity in the form of a book. We have to read with a prayerful attitude. Read with Shraddha. Read with Bhakthi. Read with tears. The reading of Guru Charithra cleanses the mind, if not dramatically, slowly (but to some sadhakaas it may happen very fast). A mere touch of Sriguru charitra with faith will solve your problems.
Since this whole book is like a Mantra by itself, it is a powerful book and should be read with some Niyamas. These rules are given in the book itself. The book is to be read either in 7 days (called Saptaha) or in 3 days or 2 days or in one day . Lord Dattatreya will fulfill the heart’s desire and the fear of the worldly existence will be destroyed.

Rules to follow for Gurucharitra Parayan:

(1)Begin the parayana on a Thursday, in the early morning after head bath and before breakfast. Sit on your ‘asan’ (seat for prayer), after quickly completing your usual morning routine.Before starting to read, take clean bath everyday. Head bath is mandatory for all the days of parayan.

(2)Clear and clean the area where you will sit to read this and the book must be read at the same place daily.

(3)Never place the sacred book on the ground and it should be closed after the reading is done.

(4)While reading, do not Talk with others and do not attend any phone calls and have your complete focus and concentration on the book which is as good as you are talking with Lord Datta Prabhu Himself.

(5)Brahmacharya is a must and avoid non-vegetarian foods during the period of Saptahika.

(6)Sleep on the floor during this period of reading (no cozy bedding etc.)

(7)One time meal in the after noon and may take fruits/tiffin in the night time.

(8) Facing the east and keeping the image of the Lord in the heart, do the recitation of the book with a calm mind and with joy.

(9)Making an image of Lord Dattatreya or taking a beautiful picture of him, place it carefully on the high platform. Make obeisance to him with love. .


(10) After worshipping the Lord Ganesha, perform Grandha puja with Harathi. Then worship Lord Dattatreya with ‘pancha upachar’, commence the reading. Pancha upacharas or five upacharas refers to (1) Gandha (Chandana), (2) Pushpa (flower), (3) Dhupa (incense), (4) Dipa (lamp) and Naivedya (food).

(11)One has to complete the chapters at a stretch as prescribed for each day in the morning itself in the same asana.

(12)Offer sugar candys/any fruit or sweet pongal as Nivedya and Harathi to Grandha and Lord Dattatreya. After completion of day parayan, tying the book in a silken cloth and place it near the Image. Don’t give the book for any purpose to anyone during the parayan period.

(13)Offer any fruit/food item whatever available to the guests whoever comes to home during the parayana period with a feel that he is Dattaguru with a inner recitation of JAIGURUDEVA DATTA. It is a must to give dakshina to the person whoever comes for alms outside  the house.

(14) . After the end of Saptaha, pooja of the book is to be performed . On the eighth day, offering of ‘naivedya’ to Lord Dattatreya, feed friends, relatives and Sad-brahmins/Sadhus and give ‘dakshina’ to them to the best of one’s ability.

Finally, after doing obeisance at one’s Guru’s Feet, offer him appropriate ‘dakshina’ or send it to some good Datta-temple. The purpose of “Dakshina” is to lose one’s material clingings to money and to aid in Karmic removal . Lord Dattatreya will be gratified thereby, and he will bless the devotee.

Prescribed chapters for Sapthaha parayana:

A 7-day Saptaha means you begin reading on a Thursday and end it on a Wednesday. The sequence of reading is as follows:


1st Day — Chap. 1 to 9

2nd Day — Chap 10 to 21

3rd Day — Chap 22 to 29

4th Day — Chap 30 to 35

5th Day — Chap 36 to 38

6th Day — Chap 39 to 43

7th Day — Chap 44 to 52

Shree Gurucharitra online reading and Audio links: