• Dattatreya
  • The Meaning
  • The Teacher


I am Datta. I am the sole phenomenon that pervades millions and millions of universes. Directions are my dress. I am ‘Digambara’.

The Meaning

Only by strict observance of spiritual discipline, you can know My corporeal cosmic form encompassing all forms of deities and all forces as My integral parts, only by strict observance of spiritual discipline.

The Teacher

Even if you are following your own righteous path, if you remember My name, I will protect you like the eyelid the eye.

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Overview: Lord Dattatreya

“I am Datta. I am the sole phenomenon that pervades millions of universes.”
- Srīpada

Book: Sri Dattatreya The World Teacher Trust and Lord Dattatreya


Lord Dattatreya is the Grand Teacher or “Guru principle” in the universe. All the teachers in various planes are the manifestation of the one teaching principle who is referred to in the ancient Indian wisdom as Dattatreya.

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The Meaning

Lord Dattatreya is also called “Datta”. Datta in Sanskrit means: “The One that is donated”. His nature is to give his presence. Atreya means “the son of Atri”.

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The Parents

Dattatreya is said to be born to Anasuya, the mother and Atri, the father. Atri, the Father, is said to be the pure consciousness and Anasuya, the mother, is said to be the state of no malice (no jealousy). The state of Anasuya is depicted as an equilateral triangle and the state of Atri is depicted as a centre within the circumference.

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The Teacher

Since Sri Guru Datta (Dattatreya) is the synthesis of the Trinity who presides over the seven planes of creation, he is considered the foremost one.

The foremost one is called in Sanskrit, Guru, the Teacher. In any group, the groupal head of wisdom is therefore called Guru, meaning: “the foremost one in that group and for that group”. Sri Guru Datta is the foremost one, the Guru in creation, if we take the creation as a group.

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The Hierarchy of Teachers

Dattatreya guides and protects the beings through his Hierarchy of Teachers on the various planets of our system. All the teachers in the solar system are but his watchdogs in the related planes. So he has his dogs everywhere in the solar system. These are his teachers.

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Lord Dattatreya


The Avatars

The incarnations of Dattatreya are compared to a banyan tree with many branches and hanging roots. They seem to be independent but are all part of the same tree. In some incarnations he appeared in his full splendour; these are called purna avatars. In others, he manifested as a partial incarnation; these are his amsa avatars.

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Symbols and Figurative Form

Lord Dattatreya is beyond the Trinity but can equally express through the Trinity. This is geometrically described as the equilateral triangle. Figuratively, Dattatreya is depicted as having three heads. This is to indicate that he is the deity in whom the Trinity is synthesised and that he presides over all the three qualities of the soul.

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Spiritual Practices and the Mantrams

The path of Dattatreya has no regulations. What Dattatreya says is, “Contemplate. Keep feeding people. Keep attending to your duties. See me in the beings. And in your restful hours relate to me within.”

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Special Places of Presence

The audumbara tree is a very sacred Indian fig tree (ficus racemose); it is considered to carry the energy of Jupiter, the Guru vibration, causing extension of consciousness. Sri Datta very much likes the audumbara tree and promised that He would reside at the base of each audumbara tree in a subtle form.

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