गुरुब्रम्हा गुरुर्विष्णु: गुरुर्देवो महेश्र्वर्: गुरु:साक्षात परब्रम्ह तस्मै श्री गुरवे नम्:

त्रिगुणात्मक् त्रिमुर्ति - नारायणपुर आरती

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-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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,[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.

Birth stories

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).[citation needed]
In Mahabharat[1] 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.

His travels
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.

His gurus
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.

His disciples
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[2] 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.[3]
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.[4]

Dattatreya's avatars

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.[5]
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.

Shri GuruCharitra
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}}

Shri Guruleelamrut
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]

Modern books
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].

Dattatreya traditions
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.[6]

Puranic tradition
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. [7]

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. [8]

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). [9]

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. [10]

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. [11]

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. [12]

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. [13]

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,[14] 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. :[15]

Sripaad Shri Vallabh

Sripaad Shri Vallabh was born in a Brahmin family in a village named Pithapur (East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh, India). A Brahmin couple Appala Raju Sharma and Sumathi, were devotees of Lord Datta.They had many children of whom only two survived. One was lame and the other was blind. They worshipped Lord Datta and never failed to offer food to mendicants and monks. They looked uponon all such as they very forms of Lord Datta. One day, they were performing the annual ceremony in their house and many Brahmins were invited as guests for thefeast. Tradition holds that none should eat on that day before these guests partake their food.
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.