। दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा। । अवधूत चिंतन श्री गुरूदेव दत्त। । श्रीपाद वल्लभ श्री गुरूदेव दत्त।
त्रिगुणात्मक् त्रिमुर्ति दत्त हा जाणा त्रिगुणि अवतार त्रैलॊक्यराणा
नेति नेति शब्द न यॆ अनुमानासुर्वर् मुनिजन् यॊगि समाधि न यॆ ध्यान
जय देव जय देव जय गुरुदत्ता आरति ओवाळिता हरली भवचिन्ता जय देव जय देव
सबाह्य अभ्यन्तरी तू एक दत्त अभाग्यासी कैसी नकळे ही मात
पराही परतली कैसा हा हेत जन्म मरणाचा पुरलासे अंत
जय देव जय देव जय गुरुदत्ता आरति ओवाळिता हरली भवचिन्ता जय देव जय देव
दत्त येओनिया उभा ठाकलासद्भावे साष्टंगे प्रणिपात केला
प्रसन्न होउनीया अशिर्वाद दिधला जन्ममरणाचा फेरा चुकवीला
जय देव जय देव जय गुरुदत्ता आरति ओवाळिता हरली भवचिन्ता जय देव जय देव
दत्त दत्त ऐसे लागले ध्यान हरपले मन झाले उन्मन
मीतु पणाची झाली बोळ्वण एका जनार्दनी श्री दत्त ध्यान
जय देव जय देव जय गुरुदत्ता श्री गुरुदत्ता , आरति ओवाळिता हरली भवचिन्ता जय देव जय देव
Dattatreya is considereto be god who is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. The word Datta means "Given", Datta is called so because the divine trinity have "given" themselves in the form of a son to the sage couple Atri and Anasuya. He is the son of Atri, hence the name "Atreya."
In the Nath tradition, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of the Lord Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. Although Dattatreya was at first a "Lord of Yoga" exhibiting distinctly Tantric traits, he was adapted and assimilated into the more devotional cults; while still worshiped by millions of Hindus, he is approached more as a benevolent god than as a teacher of the highest essence of Indian thought.
Dattatreya as an historical figure
Though the Dattatreya of the Natha tradition coexisted and intermingled with the Puranic, Brahmanical tradition of the Datta sampradaya, here we shall focus almost exclusively on the earlier Tantric manifestation of Datta. Shri Gurudev Mahendranath had no doubt that Dattatreya was a historical figure. He stated that Datta appeared on Wednesday, the fourteenth day of the full moon in the month of Margasirsa, though he does not mention the year.
Sage Narad praised Anusuya's "pativratyam" (Devotion to her husband) a lot before the wives of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva making them jealous of her. They requested their husbands to reduce her pativratyam. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva went to Anusuya as guests when Atri was not there at home and asked her to serve them food (lunch). When she agreed to do so, they said that they will accept her alms on the condition that she serves them without wearing clothes. Anasuya falls into a dilemma. If she comes without clothes in front of other men her pativratyam will be reduced. If she refuses then that is dishonor to the guests and they can take away all the power of Atri. Anasuya felt that the three guests who asked such a strange favour are not normal people since they are trying to place her in a tricky situation. Anasuya prayed to her husband in her mind and said that she doesn't have any fear serving them without clothes as she is not affected by lust. Since the guests asked for alms saying "Bhavati Bhikshan Dehi" (Oh Mother! Give us some food) and indirectly called her a mother, She decided that she will consider them as her children and serve them as requested. Because of her greatness and as per her thinking by the time she came to serve food the three gods became small children and her breasts started producing milk. She then breastfed them and put them to sleep in a cradle. Atri came back afterwards and hearing the story from Anasusuya praised the three gods sleeping in the cradle. They woke up in their original form and praised Anasuya's pativratyam and gave her a boon. Anasuya requested that these three should be born as her children--the incarnation of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma as Durvasa, Dattareya and Chandra (meaning moon).
In Mahabharat Dattatreya is referred to as from the family tree of sage Atri rather than as son of sage Atri. The epic Shishupal Vadha (execution of Shishupala) of poet Magha also refers (14.79) to Dattatreya to be from Atri's family tree and not as his son.
Dattatreya left home at an early age to wander naked in search of the Absolute. He seems to have spent most of his life wandering in the area between and including North Karnataka, through Maharashtra, and into Gujarat as far as the Narmada River. He attained realization at a place not far from the town now known as Ganagapur in North Karnataka. The original footprints of Datta are believed to be located on the lonely peak at Mount Girnar. The Tripura-rahasya refers to the disciple Parasurama finding Datta meditating on Gandhamadana mountain.
According to Brahma Purana, after an order from his father, sage Atri, Dattatreya sat on the banks of river Gautami and prayed to Shiva and finally earned the Brahmagyaan (Eternal Knowledge). This is possibly the reason why Dattatreya is considered as Adisiddha in Nath Sampradaya.
In the Bhagavata Purana, Dattatreya enumerates a list of his twenty-four gurus: earth, air, sky or ether, water, fire, sun, moon, python, pigeons, sea, moth, bee, bull elephant, bear, deer, fish, osprey, a child, a maiden, a courtesan, a blacksmith, serpent, spider, and wasp. The 24 Gurus of Dattateya come from the 24 gurus of Avadhut described in the Purana.
The disciples of Dattatreya are: Sahasrarjun Kartavirya, Bhargava Parasuram, Yadu, Alarka, Ayu and Prahlad. These are known from Puranas. There is one more by name Sankruti described in Avadhutopanishad and Jaabaaldarshanopanishad.
Dattatreya as avatar
In The Pathless Path to Immortality, Shri Gurudev Mahendranath writes:
"Shri Dattatreya was a dropout of an earlier age than the period when Veda and Tantra merged to become one simple cult. It was men like Dattatreya who helped to make this possible. Three of his close disciples were kings, one an Asura and the other two both belonging to the warrior caste. Dattatreya himself was regarded as an avatar of Maheshwara (Shiva) but later was claimed by Vaishnavites as the avatar of Vishnu. Not such a sectarian claim as it appears; Hindus regard Shiva and Vishnu as the same or as manifestations of the Absolute taking form."
Indeed, the Dattatreya Upanisad, which opens proclaiming Dattatreya's identity with Vishnu, ends with the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, identifying Datta with Shiva. In the last portion of the third chapter, Mahesvara (Shiva) alone is said to pervade reality and shine in every heart of man. He alone is in front, behind, to the left, to the right, below, above, everywhere the center. Finally, Mahesvara is identified with Dattatreya, depicting the latter as an Avatara of Shiva.
Dattatreya as a devotional deity
Dattatreya is one of the oldest of the deities. The first reference of this deity is found in epics like Mahabharat and Ramayan.
Dattatreya is usually depicted with three heads, symbolising Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; past, present, and future; and the three states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. He is portrayed sitting in meditation with his shakti beneath the audumbara (wish-fulfilling) tree. In front of him is a fire pit, and around him are four dogs. These are sometimes said to be or to symbolise the four Vedas.
In the Dattatreya Upanishad which is a part of the Atharva Veda, he is described as being able to appear in the form of a child, madman, or demon in order to help his devotees achieve moksha, liberation from the bonds of worldly existence.
The single head for Dattatreya can be explained if one sees the Tantric traditions which prevailed in India about 1000 years back. It was Gorakshanath who changed removed the aghori traditions and made the Nath sampradaya in the acceptable civil form of today. Shri Dattatreya must have been a very powerful sage existing before this time and over the centuries sometime he was deitified to the form of Dattatreya. The three heads have come definitely later in the last 900 years or so.
Dattatreya incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and his avatars- Shripad Shri Vallabha, Sri Nrusimha Saraswati and Swami Samarth Maharaj.
Dattatreya is supposed to have taken 16 avatars. The names and their birthdate (as per the Lunar calendar) are given in brackets.
Yogiraaj (Kaartik Shu.15)
Atrivarad (Kaartik Kru.1)
Dattatreya (Kaartik Kru.2)
Kaalaagnishaman (Maargashirsha Shu.14)
Yogijanvallabh (Maargashirsha Shu.15)
Lilaavishambhar (Paush Shu.15)
Siddharaaj (Maagh Shu.15)
Dnyaasaagar (Faalgun Shu.10)
Vishambhar (Chaitra Shu.15)
Maayaamukta (Vaishaakh Shu.15)
Maayaamukta (Jyeshtha Shu.13)
Aadiguru (Aashaadh Shu.15)
Shivarup (Shraavan Shu.8)
Devdev (Bhaadrapad Shu.14)
Digambar (Aashwin Shu.15)
Krishnashyaamkamalnayan (Kaartik Shu.12)
There is a book written by Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati on these 16 avatars. In Dasopanta tradition, all 16 are worshiped and Dasopanta is considered as the 17th avatara.
In Datta Sampradaya the first avatar is Shri Shripad Shri Vallabh and the second is Shri Narasimha Saraswati. Also Akkalkot Swami Shri Swami Samarth, Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati (Tembe Swami, Sawantwadi)) Shri Manik Prabhu Shri Krishna Saraswati , Shri Shirdi Sai Baba (Shirdi, Maharashtra),Shri Ganapathi Sachchidananda (Mysore,Karnataka) are considered as avatars of Dattatreya.
The Upanishads Avadhutopanishad and Jaabaaldarshanopanishad mention that the philosophy is given by Shri Dattatreya.
The Tripura-rahasya (The Secret of [the goddess] Tripura) is believed to be an abbreviated version of the original Datta Samhita or Dakshinamurti Samhita traditionally ascribed to Dattatreya. This more lengthy work was summarized by Dattatreya's disciple Paramasura, whose disciple, Sumedha Haritayana, scribed the text. Thus, this text is sometimes referred to as the Haritayana Samhita.
The Tripura-rahasya is divided into three parts. The first part, the Mahatmya Khanda or section on the goddess is concerned with the origin, mantra and yantra of the goddess Tripura, also known as Lalita or Lalita Tripurasundari. The Jnana Khanda or section on knowledge elaborates on the themes of consciousness, manifestation, and liberation. Unfortunately, the last part, Charya Khanda or section on conduct, has been lost and some believe destroyed.
In the Tantric tradition, the Tripuropastipaddhati is supposed to have been written by Shri Dattareya. This is mentioned in Tripurarahasya. The summary of tantra in the Parashuramkalpasutram is also supposed to have been written by Shri Dattatreya.
Another work, the Avadhuta Gita (Song of the Free) is a wonderful, compete compilation of the highest thought given to and recorded by two of Dattatreya's disciples, Swami and Kartika. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) held it in high esteem. Originally a work of seven chapters, a spurious and misogynistic eighth chapter may be a later attempt to append sexual morality to the Natha tradition by a conservative ascetic. Some of the ideas in this Gita are however common to both Shaivite and Buddhist Tantras.
Datta sampradaya books
The sect or sampradaya which follows Dattatreya as the main deity have some specific books which they follow. These books can be classified to belong to two broad categories. The first one belongs to Shri GuruCharitra tradition while the second one belongs to the Mahanubhava sampradaya and Nath sampradaya tradition. We describe briefly below the books belonging to these traditions.
This book was written about 250 years later than Dnyaneshwari which is one of the first comprehensive books explaining religious philosophy to the masses. Although Shri GuruCharitra was written 250 years later, this book has an immortal place in the Dattatreya worship tradition in Maharashtra and other adjoining states. The writer of this book, Shri Saraswati Gangadhar was himself a Kannadiga, but wrote this wonderful and most influential book in the Marathi literature. The GuruCharitra and its contents are described in the wiki article separately and thus are not described here.
Shri Datta Prabodh
After Shri GuruCharitra, the next most important book in Datta-sampradaya is Shri Datta Prabodh (prabodh: enlightenment). This was written by Param Bhagwat Anantasut Vitthal alias Kaavadibaba on the 1st day of Chaitra (Pratipada, Shaka 1782 according to the lunar calendar) in 1860 CE at Baroda. The book has 61 Adhyaya (sections) and 14,236 stanzas. The first 35 Sections are stories of Shri Dattatreya and his life-work. The sections 36 to 50 describe the stories of Matsyendranath-Gorakshanath, Kanifnath of the Nath sampradaya. The last 10-11 sections describe the life stories of the great devotees like Shri Janaradna swami, Factsdate=February 2007}}
In Datta-sampradaya there are two books highly respected and worshipped, bearing the same name of "Guruleelamrut". Late Shri Vamanrao Vaidya (Vamorikar) is the author of this book. This book has 55 Chapters with 9757 ovyas or stanzas. Just like Shri Gurucharitra, this book is equally worshipped and respected in Maharashtra. The book is about the life story of Shri Swami Samarth of Akkalkot. The book was published after the death of Shri Vaidya, by Vinayak Sadashiv Limgaonkar, who also wrote the summary chapter to the book. The language of the book is very simple, lucid and very poetic.
The second book by the same name, is written by Shri Anand Bharati (samādhi 1901CE). This book is a short book and also describes the life story of Shri Swami Samarth of Akkalkot. The book has 21 chapters. The book follows the standard tradition of initial worship of deities in the order Ganesha, goddess Saraswati, Prakritipurush, Saints, Gurus and Parents. The further chapters narrate the stories about Dattatreya and his incarnations. Rest of the book then describes the life and work of swamiji. The book is in the form of question-answer, with questioner is Shri Gopal Sharma alias Haribhakta and the answering authority is Shri Anand Bharati.[citations needed]
Shri Datta Mahatmya
This book was written by Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati also known as Shri Tembe Swami. He also wrote a book in Sanskrit called Dattapurana. The Marathi Datta-Mahatmya book has 51 chapters and 5513 stanzas. This book is in the form of disciple-teacher conversation, where the disciple is Deepak and his Guru explains to him the importance (Mahatmya) of Dattatreya. It has full coverage of Dattatreya's disciples and devotees and their stories and mentions the 24 gurus of Dattatreya and Dattatreya's philosophy. The book also describes several vratas (specific strict rituals) to be followed and is revered and respected by Dattatreya devotees.[citations needed]
Shri Panta GuruCharitra
This is the life story of Shri Pantmaharaj Balekundrikar from Balekundri written by his disciple Shri Vaman Narahar Kamat and completed in 1918 CE. It has 54 chapters and more than 6000 stanzas and describes the life story and life philosophy of the Pant-maharaj.[citations needed]
Shri Datta Charitrasar
Shri Vishnu Gopal Natu from Ajgan (Sawantwadi) wrote this book which also one of the popular ones in Maharashtra. There are total 77 chapters with 7721 stanzas. The book is fully devoted to the deity Dattatreya and not to any of his specific incarnations, unlike the ones described above. The book however contains the stories of several of the prominent Datta-devotees and this book is quite modern from that point of view. The book follows the initial standard order of chapters described above.[citations needed]
Mahanubhava Dattatreya books / Chaturyugi Avatar
The important and influential Datta-Sampradaya books described above were mainly belonged to the traditions of Shri Shripad Shrivallabha and Shri Narasimha Saraswati in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarath and Andhra Pradesh. However, before them in Maharashtra, Shri Chakradhar Swami, (from whose time the language Marathi is considered dated, as his disciple Mahimbhatt is the first book writer (Leelacharitra) in the literature history of Marathi language), founded Mahanubhava panth or sect. Considering this aspect, then Rawalobasa's Sahyadrivarnat is technically the first book in Marathi on Dattatreya. This book has 517 stanzas and 188 of them are devoted to Shri Dattatreya.
According to Mahanubhava followers, among the five avatars of the Lord they consider, the first one is Sri Krishna, followed by Sri Dattatreya, Sri Chakrapani, Sri Govindaprabhu and Sri Chakradhar Swami. According to Mahanubhava dharm, lord Dattatreya is incarnation of the formless god, like Sri Krishna and is single headed and not triple headed. They believe he is not an incarnation of the three devas, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahadev, but is the supreme lord himself.
Another book from this sect is Krishnadasa's Shri Dattavijaya. This has 34 chapters and 5736 stanzas. One more book that is important here is Dattatreyabalakrida by Sharangadhar poet. This book is written as a conversation between Asit and Deval. This book describes the birth story of Shri Dattatreya in Badrikasharama in Tretayuga. What is notable here is that this story is different than the one consisting of Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesha story. The followers of Mahanubhav panth only believe in as told to them by Sri Chakradhar Swami (whome they consider the incarnation of supreme lord himself). According to Swami the avatar of lord Dattatreya will remain in all the four yugas. And that is why he is also referred to as "Chaturyugi Avatar".[citations needed]
There have been several books written on Shri Dattatreya in modern times in the 20th century and the list is quite big. Mainly these books follow the same traditional order of the initial chapters, followed by the life stories of the specific incarnation of the Swami or Guru. Most of the following chapters describe how he has blessed his disciples and his life philosophy. The tradition of Datta-sampradaya is quite big and unending. Several modern swamis or gurus have enormous following and are immediately turned in to the avatar of Shri Dattatreya with their fame and following. The essential point to note here is that the Indian social tradition allows and assimilates all the sects together, as can be seen from the description of the books above.[citations needed].
Following are the various traditions of Dattatreya described in brief. Mainly the traditions are from Gujarath, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Considering the languagewise literature, they are from Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada and Telugu languages.
The ancients disciples of Dattatreya are already described in the above sections. Among these, Karatavirya Sahasrajun was the most favourite of Dattatreya. The other ones are, Alarka (alias Madalasa-garbharatna), King Aayu from Somavansha, King Yadu (son of Yayaati and Devayaani) of Yadavs (Krishna's dynasty) and Shri Parashurama alias Bhargava. There is one more by name Saankruti, who is mentioned in Avadhutopanishad and Jabalopanishad. 
Shri Gurucharitra tradition
This tradition follows from Shripad Shrivallabha and Shri Narasimha Saraswati. Several very famous Datta-avatars are from this tradition. Some names are, Shri Janardanswami, Eknath, Dasopant, Niranjan Raghunath, Narayan Maharaj Jalwankar, Manik Prabhu, Swami Samarth, Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati et al. The disciples of Shri Narasimha Saraswati were, Trivikrambharati from Kumasi, Sayamdev, Nagnath, Devrao Gangadhar and Saraswati Gangadhar from Kadaganchi. There are two major traditions started by Shri Swami Samarth of Akkalkot and Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati alias Tembe Swami and are described in their respective articles. 
Niranjan Ragunath tradition
His original name was Avadhut, but his guru Shri Raghunathswami renamed him as Niranjan. He had several disciples in Maharashtra in Nashik, Junnar, Kalamb, Kolhapur, Meeraj etc, to name a few are Ramchandra Tatya Gokhale, Govindarao Nana Patwardhan-shastri etc. His heritage seems to have gone beyond Surat, Baroda, Girnar and north of Jhansi. The most famous disciple of Niranjan Raghunath is Narayan Maharaj Jalwankar. Narayan Maharaj mainly worked in Malva region. Sapta Sagar is one of his well known literature. Heritage continued with Shri Lakshman Maharaj. He was from Indore. Balbhim Maharaj Sadekar was his disciple. Balbhim Maharaj was an engineer living in Sadegaon. He called himself Gurupadicha veda i.e. Mad for Guru.
Shri Satguru Bhagirathinath Maharaj also hailed from Indore. She was born at Nashik in Kolhatkar family. She had attraction for god from early age. After Balbhim Maharaj, she faced strong opposition as people were not ready for a Woman Guru. She worked mainly for upliftment of ladies and poor needy people. She was master in Kirtanas. She wrote a drama Brahmatmabodh, a book Anandpadaver Chauda Chaukadyanche Rajya and many psams(Bhajans). Her disciples have migrated to England, America and Africa.She was constructed a big temple in Pune. The name of temple is Balbhim bhuvan.Bhalbhim is her loving and Kind Guru name.
Dattatreya Mahadev Cholkar was one of the blessed discliples of Bhagirathinath Maharaj. Although he was blind physically, he was very clever in his teaching methods. He wrote original Brahmatmabodh in poetic form. Bhagirathinath appreciated it, modified and rewritten it in simple text form. He written more than 4000 psams(unpublished). He was very good in kirtanas just like Bhagirathinath Maharaj.
Sri Dattatreya Mahadev Cholkar had constructed a huge temple in Yavatmal (Maharashatra). The name of Temple is Shri Bhagirathi Guru Mandir.Daily discourse and advait Kirtans and Programs conducted by Management of the Temple.'
Shri Satguru Samartha Madhurinath is also loving and studies disciple of Sri Dattatreya Mahadev Cholkar. She started preaching as Satguru in 1994. Being a professor by profession, she persuades uneducated as well as highly qualified people with equal ease. She demonstrates her disciples how to meditate with the divine and how to devote and serve the almighty in our daily routine life. Datta Bhagirathi Ogh, Biddhibodh, Bodhasaramrut, Mayavivaran and Shri Abhedbodh are her books written in marathi. Good Behaviour, a way to Universal Integrity is her admired book in English. Many knowledge seekers are benefitted from her even today. She lives in Gorai, Borivali which is in Mumbai and continues work of spreading awareness of almighty.
The philosophy of this tradition is mainly Bhagawat Dharma (religion), Sampradaya (sect) is attatreya and Marga (path) is Vihangam (Bird like). 
Sakalmat Sampradaya tradition
The meaning of sakalmat is, all faiths are accepted (Sakala means All and mata means opinion, but here we have to take the meaning as faith). This is a form of Datta-sampradaya which is called Rajyogi or Royal type. Shri Chaitanya Dev is the main worshipped god here and this sampradaya one views gold, pearls, diamonds, expensive clothes and music, art etc as part of tradition. Here poor and rich are considered as the same. Thus all the materialistic items are viewed at par with nothing. The philosophy of this tradition is that there is no resistance to any kind of religious faiths in the world. All faiths are believed to give the ultimate godliness to its followers. This tradition was started by Shri Manik Prabhu of Humanabad. Hindus, Muslims and people of all castes are allowed here. Some disciples of this tradition are, Bapacharya, Narayan Dikshit, Chimnya Bramhachari, Gopalbua. 
Avadhut Panth tradition
The Avadhut panth or sect was started by Shri Pantmaharaj Balekundrikar of Balekundri near Belgaum. More information of the Avadhut philosophy and tradition is described in the article on avadhut. The main disciples of this tradition are, Govindaraoji, Gopalraoji, Shankarraoji, Vamanrao and Narasimharao. These are all called "Panta-bandhu"s i.e. Panta-brothers. This sampradaya is spread across Balekundri, Daddi, Belgaum, Akol, Kochari, Nerali, Dharwad, Gokak, Hubali. 
Dattatreya tradition in Gujarat
Girnar is a famous place in the Datta-sampradaya and is situated in Saurashtra, Gujarat. Shri Vamanbua Vaidya from Baroda is from the tradition of Shri Kalavit Swami. His philosophical tradition is furthered by Saswadkar, and Pattankar. The temple of Narasimha Saraswati in Baroda continues this tradition of Dattatreya devotion. The main Dattatreya devotees who spread the Datta-panth in Gujarat were Pandurang Maharaj of Naareshwar and Shrirang Avadhut. Gujarati books like Dattabavani and Gurulilamrut are quite famous. Dr. H. S. Joshi has written the book Origin and Development of Dattatreya Worship in India. 
Dattatreya tradition in Karnataka
The town of Ganagapur,where Dattatreya is said to have attained realization lies on the banks of River Bhima in Gulbarga district of North Karnataka.The following information is taken from the letters and articles written by late Shri Vishwanath Keshav Kulkarni-Hattarwatkar from Belgaum and one of the experts of Datta-tradition in Karnataka. Dattatreya tradition is quite rich in the adjacent states of Maharashtra. In fact the Gurucharitrakar Shri Saraswati Gangadhar was himself a Kannadiga. Other than him there have been numerous disciples and Dattatreya devotees from the northern part of Karnataka. Some famous names are Shridharswami, Narayanmaharaj from Kedgaon, SiddheshwaraMaharaj from Sadhoghat, Siddharudh Swami from Hubali et al.
Shripantamaharaj Balekundrikar has also written several Kannada poems on Dattatreya worship. Several places such as Borgaon, Chikodi, Kunnur, Sadalaga, Balekundri, Shahapur, Nipani, Hubali, Hangal, Dharwad etc have Dattatreya temples or some places have Narasimha temples who is also considered to be an incarnation of Dattatreya. In fact it appears that Shri Narasimha Saraswati and some of his disciples used to worship this form of Dattatreya. The maharaja of Mysore Shri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar has written a book,Dattatreya: The Way and the Goal in English. The book is written mainly to comment on Jeevanmuktageeta and Avadhutgeeta. The last chapter is A Critical Estimate of the Philosophy of Dattatreya where all the Dattatreya philosophy and work has been described in detail. 
Dattatreya tradition in Andhra Pradesh
The first avatara of Dattatreya, Shri Shripad Shrivallabha was from Pithapuram in Andhra Pradesh. As per the article by Prof. N. Venkatarao, he describes several connections of Dattatreya tradition with those in Maharashtra. Maatapur or Mahur which is now located in Maharashtra was part of Telangana region in old days. The head of Mahur temple is called Dattatreya Yogi.
Around 1550 CE, Dattatreya Yogi taught the Dattatreya philosophy to his disciple Das Gosavi in Marathi. Das Gosavi then taught this philosophy to his two Telugu disciples Gopalbhatt and Sarvaved who studied and translated Das Gosavi's book of Vedantavyavaharsangraha into Telugu language. According Prof. R. C. Dhere, DattatreyaYogi and Das Gosavi are the original gurus in the Telugu Dattatreya tradition. Prof. Rao states that Dattatreya Shatakamu was written by Paramanandateertha who is equally important in his contributions to the Telugu tradition of Dattatreya. He was a proponent of Advaita philosophy and dedicated his two epics, Anubhavadarpanamu and Shivadnyanamanjari to Shri Dattatreya. His famous Vivekachintamani book was translated into Kannada by Nijashivagunayogi and Lingayat saint Shanatalingaswami translated this into Marathi. :
At that time Lord Dattatreya appeared at their threshold in the form of a renunciate sadhu (saint), bearing the staff and the water-vessel (Kamandalu) and asked for food. The housewife, with immense faith that the visitor was none other than the Lord to whom the whole annual ceremony was being offered, gave Him food even before the Brahmin guests were fed!
Her faith touched the Lord's heart and He at once granted her a vision of this true form. His glorious form had three heads, clad in a tiger's skin and his body besmeared with sacred ash (vibhuti), he looked like a silver mountain in moonlight.
The blessed housewife drank the divine glory of the Lord's from and felt that the highest object of her birth was fulfilled. The Lord said, "Mother, I am pleased with your devotion. Even before you fed the Brahmin guests, you have given me food with the full faith that this is the Lord in the guise of a holy mendicant. Now, ask me for anything you wish and it shall be granted". The sight blessed her eyes and now her ears were sanctified by His sweet words. "Lord", she said, "Lord! You addressed me as mother, please let your word be turned into reality"
Lord replied Tathastu (so be it) and disappeared. Lord Dattatreya, in order to bless his devotees and the righteous ones, wanders about in the guise of a random guest at the lunch hour. That's why it is said that a random guest has to be treated as the very embodiment of Lord Dattaterya. Then Sumathi told her husaband of the Divine vision the Lord had bestowed on her and of his granting her wish for a divine son.
Not long after, Sumathi conceived and delivered a male child at the proper time. She gave birth to one who is indeed birth-less. There was no birth in the normal sense, the Lord just manifested Himself as a child in this house. As the child has all the Divine features with celestial radiance, he was fittingly named as Sripaad. This was the first incarnation of Lord Dattatreya.
As days and months passed, the child Serenade grew ever more glorious, the age of eight. As per the tradition, he was investedwith the sacred thread. Normally, after the sacred thread ceremony a boy has to be trained by a Guru for 8 years before he can memorize the Vedas (external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom) completely. But this boy, Sripaad, started imparting vedic knowledge to this pupil right from the moment of his upanyana (sacred thread ceremony). It was all a purely Divine miracle.
When Sripaad attained marriageable age, He was asked His opinion, "All women in this world are like my mother. I am married to sannyaasa (renunciation). My mission is to give initiation and guidance to sadhus (holy men)". Speaking thus he sought permission from his parents to become a sannyasi and to leave the house. The parents were loathe to forego such a son. Apart from this the other two children were dumb, deaf and blind. If Sripad left his parents, who will look after them in their old age. Sripaad understood their anxiety. He called these blind and lame brothers, his heart, melting with compassion at the sight of the tears in his parents, Sripaad touched his brothers and made them whole in a moment! What is impossible for the Almighty and the lord of the universe?
The miracle dispelled the veil of delusion that blinded their understanding. Then the Lord granted them the vision of His real Divine form. The handsome, tender lad at once appeared radiant like a million suns and pleasing as myriad moons. His blissful nature seemed to enliven every atom of existence. With their permission, He renounced all worldly ties and trekked to several Holy places like Dwaraka, Brindavan, Mathura, and Badrinath. After wandering there for sometime, He marched down to the Holy Gokarna in order to bless the spiritual seekers. Sripaad lived for three years in Gokarna. Having uplifted several seekers there spiritually, the Lord went to Kurvapur and settled down there.
One day a widow, Ambika came to the river to end her life due to her unbearable poverty and to run away from the world which made fun of her for having given birth to a dullard and an idiot boy. Miraculously Sripaad came there and said 'Oh Brahmin, do not be hasty; otherwise you would incur the sin of committing suicide, as well as the sin of killing a Brahmin. No one can help you out of it. It is better for you to live on, facing any amount of suffering.' The Brahmin lady then said, 'Oh Holy one, people are humiliating me for being cursed with the birth of a stupid son. They consider it a sin even to see my face. What could I gain by continuing to live?' The Lord was moved by compassion at her words and said, 'Mother, by committing suicide, you only add to your former sins and you will have to suffer more in the next life. Therefore, devote your whole life to the worship of Lord Shiva. You shall be blessed witha noble son in your next life'.
The above event was perhaps Shri Guru’s own sankalpa to reincarnate again as Sri Narasimha Saraswati . Therefore He had pre-arranged this leela so as to meet and bless His next incarnation’s mother-to-be.
Sripaad Vallabha disappeared one day after entering the Ganges river. Though he is physically no more, devotees ever feel His presence and grace. His divine spirit is ever manifest. The Lord is eternal. As He is the seed of the whole universe, His activities are infinite. So His purposes are infinite. In fact, He is ever in front of His devotees, granting their prayers. Yet he is invisible to all those who are blinded by the spirit of the ‘Kali’ age he has been granting the wishes of his devotees, though he is invisible to them. He can even be seen by those who are pure of heart. That village has become a Holy by His eternal presence.
प्रेषक अभिजित (मंगळ, 08/28/2007 - 10:35) इतिहास प्रवास प्रवासवर्णन
पुरंदर. पुरंदर म्हटलं की आठवतो मुरारबाजी, पुरंदरचा तह आणि संभाजीराजांचा जन्म. अवघ्या सातशे मावळ्यांनिशी दिलेरखानाच्या पाच हजार फौजेच्या तोंडचं पाणी पळवणार्या मुरारबाजीचा गड पुरंदर. वज्रगड पडल्यावर कशी आणि कुठे लढाई झाली असावी. "अरे तुझा कौल घेतो की काय?" असं म्हणत दिलेरखानावर चाल करून गेलेला मुरारबाजी कसा दिसतो हे बघायचं होतं. पुरंदरला जायचं म्हणून शनिवारी सकाळी पाच जणांनी स्वारगेटला भेटायचे ठरले. सकाळी फोनाफोनी करून सगळ्यांनी एकमेकांना उठवले. अमितचा निरोप आला की आम्ही १० मिनिटात येतोय. खरंतर अमित एकटाच येणार होता पण ऐनवेळी सलिलही पुरंदरला यायचं म्हणून उत्साहाने सकाळी उठून आला होता. अगदी शेवटच्या क्षणी एखादा सवंगडी गळाला तर जितकं दु:ख होतं त्याहीपेक्षा जास्त आनंद ऐनवेळी कोणी मिळाला तर होतो. असं क्वचित होतं पण ट्रेकला जायला हुरुप येतो. आम्ही सहाजण सात वाजता म्हणजे समिराज, ओंकार, अमित, सलिल आणि सुदर्शन (अर्रेच्या मी राहिलो की) सासवडला जाणार्या गाडीत बसलो. स्वारगेटहून पुरंदरला जायला कापूरहोळमार्गे पुणे-बेंगलोर महामार्गानेही जाता येतं. पुरंदर सासवड आणि कापूरहोळला जोडणार्या रस्त्यावर आहे.
सासवडला जाताना दिवे घाट लागतो. हा रस्ता म्हणजे माऊलींच्या पालखीची वाट. मध्येच एका वळणावर खाली मस्तानी तलाव दिसतो. पावसाच्या शिडकाव्याने हिरवेगार झालेले डोंगर, वळणावळणाचा प्रशस्त रस्ता, मस्तानी तलाव आणि बाजूच्या शेतात तरारून वर आलेली पिके यामुळे प्रवास रमणीय झाला. सासवडला उतरून भोर गाडी पकडली आणि नारायणपूरला उतरलो. नारायणपूरला दत्ताचं आणि नारायणेश्वराचं मंदीर आहे. नारायणेश्वराचं मंदीर सुमारे १०००-१२०० वर्षापूर्वीचं आहे. नारायणेश्वराचं दर्शन घेऊन बाजूलाच एका हॉटेलमध्ये दणकट नाष्टा केला. मिसळ झटकेबाज होती हे वेगळं सांगायला नकोच. नारायणेश्वर मंदीराच्या जवळून जाणारी वाट पुरंदर-वज्रगडकडे जाते. डांबरी रस्त्याने थोडं चाललं की आपण पुरंदर किल्ल्याच्या पायथ्याशी असलेल्या गावात येतो. इथून एक गाडीवाट तुम्हाला अनेक वळणे घेत थेट मुरारबाजींच्या पुतळ्याजवळ घेऊन जाते. पण ही आमची वाट नव्हती. सोप्या वाटेने जायचं नाही हा गुणधर्म प्रत्येकाच्या अंगी होता.
किल्ल्याची चढण बर्यापैकी दमछाक करणारी आहे. पण निसर्गराजाने साथ दिल्याने पूर्णवेळ आकाश अभ्राच्छादित राहिलं. नऊ वाजता सुरुवात करून मध्ये थोडी विश्रांती घेत, एकमेकांना चिडवत खिदळत ११-११.३० वाजता बिनी दरवाज्यात पोहोचलो. दरवाजावरून वळणे घेत येणारी गाडीवाट सुंदर दिसते. मागे एक जुना चर्चदेखिल आहे. बिनी दरवाजातून उजवीकडे आलं की रणझुंजार किल्लेदार मुरारबाजींचा आवेशपूर्ण पुतळा आहे. समोर आलेल्या गनीमाची पाचावर धारण बसली असणार हे नक्की. पुतळ्यासमोर उभं राहिलं तर उजवीकडची वाट वर बालेकिल्ल्याकडे जाते आणि दुसरी वज्रगडाकडे. खालून येणारी गाडीवाट पुतळ्याकडे येऊन वज्रगडाला जाणार्या वाटेला मिळते. पुतळ्याचे रौद्ररूप डोळ्यात साठवून आम्ही पुढे निघालो.
आम्ही बालेकिल्ला आणि वज्रगडाकडे जाण्याऐवजी पुतळ्यासमोरच्या गाडीवाटेने पुरंदरमाचीकडे आलो. माची वरून बालेकिल्ल्यावर जायला दुसरी वाट शोधावी(मघाचाच गुणधर्म) म्हणून पद्मावती तळ्याच्या वरच्या दिशेने चढायला सुरुवात केली. पण काही वेळातच सरळ उभा कडा समोर आला. अपने बस की बात नही म्हणून परत मुरारबाजींच्या पुतळ्याकडे आलो. उजवीकडच्या वाटेने बालेकिल्ल्याच्या दिशेने चढायला सुरुवात केली. अधूनमधून पावसाचा मारा होत होता पण शिणवटा पळून जात होता. पुरंदरचा बालेकिल्ला राजगडच्या बालेकिल्ल्यापेक्षा कमी उंचीवर आहे आणि चढणही सोपी आहे. चढण संपली की दिल्ली दरवाजा आहे. दिल्ली दरवाजातून वर आलं की अजून एक दरवाजा आहे. दरवाजाच्या भिंतीवर रंगाने कल्याण दरवाजा असं लिहीलं आहे पण पूर्वेकडे तोंड करून असल्याने थोडा अविश्वास नक्कीच वाटला आणि पोट्ट्यांनी वादही घातला.
कल्याण दरवाजासमोर खंदकडा आहे. खंदकड्याच्या अगदी टोकावरून वज्रगड, पुरंदर-वज्रगड मधली भैरवखिंड, काही बंगले, राजाळ तळे असे विहंगम दृष्य दिसते. खंदकड्यावर काही झाडीत झाकल्या गेलेल्या विहीरी आहेत. खंदकड्याच्या टोकावर बुरुज आहे. तिथे थोडावेळ विश्रांती घेऊन पोटपूजा करून कल्याण दरवाजाकडे आलो. कल्याण दरवाजातून आत येऊन थोडं पुढं आलं की राजगादी टेकडी आहे. येथे संभाजी महाराजांचा जन्म झाला होता. मोठ्या उत्साहाने टेकडी वर चढून गेलो पण वरती एका बाजूला भक्कम तटबंदीखेरीज काहीच बांधकाम शिल्लक नव्हतं. मराठा साम्राज्याच्या दुसर्या छत्रपतीच्या जन्मस्थान नैसर्गिकदृष्ट्या नष्ट झालं असलं तरी सरकार आणि पुरातत्त्वविभागाने तिथे एक पुतळा तरी स्थानापन्न करायला हवा. टेहाळणीसाठी तटबंदीत बनवलेली इंग्रजी झेड आकाराची खिडकी अप्रतिम होती.
राजगादीवरून खाली येऊन तसंच पुढं गेलं की केदार टेकडी आहे. त्यावर केदारेश्वराचं पुरातन मंदीर आहे. राजगादी टेकडीवरून केदारेश्वराचं दर्शन घेणारी शिवराय आणि शंभूची जोडी क्षणभर डोळ्यासमोर तरळून गेली. केदार टेकडीवर फक्त केदारेश्वर मंदीर आहे जणू त्या मंदीरासाठीच ती टेकडी तिथे आहे. मंदिर तसं लहान आहे पण रेखीव आहे. समोर नंदी आणि एक दीपमाळ आहे. महाशिवरात्रीला येथे भाविकांचा पूर येतो. मंदिरात दुसरे चार जण आधीच झोपले होते म्हणून आम्ही बाहेरच थांबलो. वरूणराजाने काही वेळासाठी आमची रजा घेतली. आणि मंदिराच्या दगडी व्हरांड्यात आम्ही पहुडलो. दोन वाजले होते. सर्वांनी मस्त तासभर डुलकी कसली झोपच काढली. जगात सर्वात सुंदर काय असेल तर निसर्ग. पाय निघत नव्हता पण परत तर जायचंच होतं जीवनाच्या रहाटगाडग्याला जुंपून घेण्यासाठी. केदारटेकडीच्या मागे कोकण्या बुरुज आहे आणि टेकडीच्या बाजूने गेलं की केदार दरवाजा आहे. पुढे प्रचंड मोठी सपाट माची आहे.
बालेकिल्ला उतरून आम्ही वज्रगड आणि पुरंदरच्या मध्ये असलेल्या भैरवखिंडीत आलो. येथे एन. सी. सी. चे काही बंगले आहेत. किल्ला पूर्वी मिलिटरीच्या अखत्यारीत असल्याने वर बरीच बांधकामे आहेत. पण बहुतेक रसिक माणसाने बांधली असल्याने किल्ल्याची शोभा घालवत नाहीत. येथे संभाजीराजांचा पुतळा आहे. धर्मवीराला वंदन करून राजाळ तळ्याकडून आम्ही पुरंदरेश्वर मंदीरात आलो. थोरल्या बाजीरावाने या मंदीराचा जीर्णोद्धार केला होता. मंदीरामागे पेशव्यांच्या वाड्यांचे अवशेष आहेत. पुरंदरेश्वर मंदीरासमोर एक उपहारगृह आहे तिथे चहा-बिस्किटे खाऊन आम्ही तडक उतरणीला लागलो. किल्ल्यावरून खाली आलो आणि इतका वेळ गुडुप झालेला पाऊस तुफान कोसळला. सायंकाळी सहा वाजता परत नारायणेश्वर मंदिरात आलो.
किल्ल्यावर ऐसपैस माच्या आहेत. बालेकिल्लाही मोकळा आणि मोठा आहे. बचावासाठी भक्कम सरळसोट कडे आहेत. पुणे, भोर, सासवड पट्टयावर नजर ठेवता येईल अशी मोक्याची जागा त्यामुळेच हा किल्ला मराठी इतिहासात बर्याच महत्त्वाच्या घटनांचा साक्षीदार झाला आहे. किल्ल्याबद्दल अधिक माहिती येथे उपलब्ध आहे. इतिहासासंबंधित माहिती प्रियाली आणि इतर माननीय सभासदगण देतीलच. :-)
पुरंदर किल्ल्यावरील प्रकाशचित्रांचा स्लाईडशो खरडवहीत आहे.
Satakodi Archana (100 crore chants of mother godess) was held in 2000 AD starting January4 commemorating the birth centenary of the sage extra-ordinaire Brahmasree Neelakanta Gurupadar.(1900-1965).This was the greatest yajna ever since the maha yajna at Naimisharranyam in Dwapara Yuga. Satakodi Archana was also aimed at Invoking the divine inspiration and spiritual elevation among people . Developing serene state of mind in man Developing a structurally disciplined and dharmatically motivated soceity. Achieving peace and well being of the whole world
This was the greatest yajna ever since the Maha Yajna at Naimisharanyam in Dwapara Yuga by Veda Vyasa commenced on the 4th of January 2000 at Sree Rama Dasa Ashram in Chenkottukonam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India under the guidance of Swami Sathyananda Saraswathy Thiruvadikal. This Maha Yagna was conducted to commemorate the birth centinary of the great sage BRAHMA SREE NEELAKANTA GURUPADAR. Swami Sathyananda Saraswathy Thiruvadikal, the founder of Sree Rama Dasa Mission inaugurated this 100 Crore Archana (1 Billion offerings) by lighting the sacred amp at 6.30 AM IST. A crore of offerings were made to the goddess each day until its completion. Decorated charriot processions brought in sacred lamps from 501 most significant temples all over India to start this Yagna. These temples include Dwaraka, Kashi, Badari, Kalighatt, Ayodhya etc.
Mission Secretary Brahmachari Sree Santhoshji lead the procession into the Ashram. Last such Archana was conducted in Uttar Pradesh in Dwapara Yuga during 5000 BC.Yagna is conducted in specially constructed hall that can accomodate 10,000 yagnicsat the same same. Specially trained Yagnics w days of strict religious practices to be eligible to particiapate in this Yagna.Farmers in and around the country had specially planted fruits and vegetables prepared for over an year for this Krishi pooja. Food grains and vegetables were carried to the Ashram in a religiousprocession. Devotees all over the world attended the Yagna. Scientistists and researchers from all over the world attended and this Yagna to study the impact of this Yagna on various aspects. Yagna was completed with the spiritual participation of Devoteesunder direct guidance of Sree Narayanji Maharaj and Sree Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi . Lots of devotees joined the Archana from Pune
Massive infrastructure development was undertaken for the succesful completion of the project. Construction of Avatara Satabdi monumets --101 feet Panchaloha Vigraham of Lord Anjaneya at Sree Rama Dasa Asram at Badalapur, Mumbai and Sree Neelakanta Gurupada Avatara Satabdi Smaraka Jyotikshetram at Sree Neela Kanta Puram,Chenkottukonam, Thiruvanathapuram were started. Jyotikshetram is to preserve for the posterity 501 jyothis brought from across spiritual centers across Bharath. Jyotikshetram has 7 floors symbolising the saptalokas and saptachakras, an octogonal gallery displaying the 16,000 lines of Adyatma Ramayanam on 14,500 square feet of black granite.500 families and religious institutions will the patrons of the 500 lamps for generations to come.
Special training was given to more than 5000 people to chant Lalita Shasra Namam.Akhanda (un-interrupted and round-the-clock) archana was done to sactify idols,small replicas of Asram idols , lockets, talisman and other offerings.Viraja Homam was conducted from dawn -to- deskeveryday during the duration of Yajna to bestow Sanyas on the eligible.Ramayana recital,aradhana and bhajans were conducted everyday during the duration of Yajna. Sree Rama Pattabhishekam was conducted onimportant days during the duration of Yajna. This pooja was followed by a 200 crore
Siva Dattatreya archana at Narayanpur in Pune under the combined spiritual guidance of both Sree Narayanji Maharaj (Anna) and Sree Swami Sathyananda Saraswathy Maharaj, completing a total sum of 3 Billion chants in the same year - Thus making it happen in the first time in the history of mankind !
The name signified that he was the dispeller of the sins and miseries of human beings.
The child Narahari grew up to be a handsome boy of five, but he could not speak and the parents were very much worried about it.One day, the boy conveyed to them through gestures that he wished to be invested with the sacred thread. Young Narahari learned the 'Gayatri Mantra', adopted the vows of a young celebate (Brahmacharya), accepted the first offering of food from his mother's hands and at once recited the Vedas (external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom) . The parents were overjoyed but their joy did not last. According to tradition after the sacred thread ceremony, the initiate is a sannyasi and has to beg alms from his mother and leave for pilgrimage. Thus, the mother asked him to beg alms and young Narahari, taking it as her adesha (command) sought permission totake sannyasa, renounce worldly life and leave for pilgrimage.
The mother bewailed her plight and pleaded with him to give up such an idea. Narhari said "I do not want to enjoy the objects of the senses which can only lead to misery. So, I shall pass on from the state of celebacy directly to the life of a sannyasi. Wealth, family ties and responsibilities are as unreal as a dream. Youth is transient as a flower which soon withers. Thus life is very short when viewed in the light of the only purposed of it, i.e., Self-realization. To be emotionally attached to anything in this phenomenal world amounts to mere self-betrayal and is self-defeating too. This body, with the skin as its surface layer, flesh, bones and the blood within, is as frail a structure as a water bubble. Excessive fondness for one's spouse and children is the root of all other evil tendencies. In itself, this body of ours is made of inanimate matter and is ever changing and perishable. Only the 'Self' within is eternal and is our only true being. Joys and sorrows of worldly life are merely relative, subjective and are therefore illusory experiences to the realized. Man can break the fetters of this illusion only through the grace of the Guru. Therefore, Oh mother, do not hinder me in my resolve. You shall be blessed with some more children. Go on meditating on me and thereby you shall cross the ocean of misery and ignorance too". So saying, Narahari again blessed His mother with the vision of His Divine form. She perceived it through the eye of wisdom and wasat once reminded of her previous birth. So she said to the Lord :
'Holy one, you are indeed Lord Sripaad, who, in my previous life, saved me from my unwise resolve to commit suicide. I bow before you. You are, indeed, the Unbounded one. All the universes have their being in your infinite expanse. To say that you are born to me as my son is but a fallacy; for you are eternal. Yours is the omnipotent will. I shall not hinder your resolve to renounce the world for the welfare of all sentient beings. You have assured me that I shall be blessed with a few more children. Pray, stay with us, at least till such time!' Lord Narahari graciously acceded to her request and stayed away. The blessed couple used to worship the Lord every day with full awareness of his divinity.
Many were the learned who flocked to Him for the elucidation of intricate questions in scriptural knowledge. Many of them got their doubts clarified and attained Self-realization. This is no task to one who could uplift even the dull witted. After his mother got more children He covered His head with a piece of cloth, put on wooden sandals, covered His body with the ochre robe and wore a codpiece. Taking a staff in His hand, He set out from His home in joy to fulfill His mission which was to revive faith and uplift the people morally and spiritually.
On his way to Badrinath, Narahari reached the Holy Varanasi (Kashi) in the guise of a seeker after liberation. Lord Narahari, in accordance with Holy tradition, resorted to His Holiness Swami Krishna Saraswati as his Guru and from him took the vow of sanyas. Henceforth, He came to be known as Shri Narasimha Saraswati. He formally took the vow of lifelong celebacy. Thus he became a full-fledged sannyasi who has transcended the opposites of joy and sorrow and the limitations of a self-centered will. This World Teacher has laid down the tradition of sanyas for seekers after liberation.
Shri Nrishimha Saraswati expounded the nature of sanyas to some and the meaning of the Vedas, which can secure the true objects of life (Purusharthas), to others. Then, he proceeded in his wanderings round the country in a clock-wise direction, along with his disciples. He had seven disciples and they were Baala, Krishna, Upendra, Janajyotim Sadaananda, Madhava and Siddha. All have the title 'Saraswati' suffixed to their names.
He took holy dips in all the holy rivers along the way and reached the sacred place where the river Ganga joins the sea. From Benares he went to Badrika Ashram with his disciples. Then moving from place to place for the welfare of common people, he arrived at Ganga sagar, near calcutta. Some Twenty years passed this way. Shri Nrisimha Saraswati reappeared at his home to the wonder and joy of his family and town people, He blessed them all.
In the Guru Charitra the miracles performed by him are described. These miracles were meant to increase faith among people in a higher power and start them on the path of spiritual path.
Shri Narasimha Saraswati then went to Trumbakeshwar, Parli and Parli vaijnath. At Parli Vaijnath he did penance for one year and remained in seclusion. Afterwards he went to Audumbar and Amarapur near the confluence of the rivers Krishna and the Panchaganga. At Amarapur he stayed 12 years. This place was called "Nrisimhawadi" and later "Narsob awadi" by his affectionate disciples and devotees. From Amarapur he went to Gangapur and remained there for 24 years. During his stay there many astonishing incidents and miracles took place.
Shri Narasimha Saraswati was now considered as 'Siddha Purusha' (Perfect, almost Godlike being) with Divine powers of healing physical ailments and alleviating worries of his devotees. Hindus and Muslims used to come to him considering him their Sadguru.
One day he bade good-bye to people of Gangapur and with his 7 select disciples went to the confluence of Bhima and Amraja rivers and stood for a while under the Aswatha tree. He stated "worship this tree and practice penance, your wish will be fulfilled and your life will be blessed". He announced his departure from this world and his disciples were plunged in grief.
A float was prepared on the banana leaves and was adorned with flowers. This float was placed in the river and Shri Nrisimha Saraswati sat on it. All the disciples offered worship although their hearts were weighed down by grief. Shri Nrisimha Saraswati cheered them up and told them he was going to Kadali-vana (grove of banana trees) near Srisailam (One of the 12 "Jyotir Linga" is located here) and upon reaching there, as a mark of his safe arrival, clusters of flowers would come back floating against current. Soon after, as per the Master's promise, clusters of flowers came to them drifting on the river against the current!
When the Master got ready for departure, the natives of the village rushed to him and begged him not to deprive them of His Divine presence, but to stay on. The Lord said, "Do not feel sad that way. How can I bear to be away from my devotees? I only seem to leave for Srisailam only to the grosser vision of the physical, but I will ever abide at Gangapur in my real state as the Spirit or the real Self. I will seek my noon alms in this village and accept your loving devotional services. My living presence will be experienced by anyone who bathes in the Sangam (confluence of holy rivers), worships the Holy peepal tree and takes darshan of my 'pudukas' (sacred foot-wear) here.
"The Master can be seen even today by the virtuous and the devout. Only the unrighteous cannot experience his living presence. Taking his daily dip at the holy Sangam, he ever abides there. In fact, he has been blessing devotees with his divine acts (leelas) on countless occasions. The aspirations of those who worship him there with true love will be fulfilled. Indeed, the Lord is ever present with those who incessantly adore him. The miraculous experiences of such will ever remain hidden in their own hearts. He is the granter of prayers!"
When people were in utter despair, Shri Nrisimha Saraswati brought about a religious and spiritual renaissance and restored their morale. The places where He stayed, have become centres of pilgrimage viz., Narsobawadi, Audumbar and Gangapur. Gangapur is believed to be the abode of Lord Dattatreya. There is a holy hillock of Vibhuti (holy ash) from which devotees pick up the sacred ash as Prasad to take home. This hillock has not been depleted, even though devotees have been taking away sacred ash for centuries.
The atmosphere in all the three pilgrimage centers is sublime and devotees feel peaceful and spiritually uplifted. Miracles take place at Gangapur specially, even now.
The message of Shri Nrisimha Saraswati is summarized as under:
1. In our short fleeting span of human life, we should attempt to realize God through devotion
2. Use Buddhi (intellect) and Viveka (discrimination) to purify the minds.
3. Never think of hurting others in thought, word or deed.
4. Consider yourself blessed, if you secure the blessings of a Guru.
5. Strive to realize God who is inherent in your own heart.