• 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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Dattatreya: Spiritual Practices and the Mantrams

Spiritual Practices

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.”

You can contemplate the shoulders, the upper torso, and the lower torso as the three aspects of Dattatreya; or the ida, pingala, and sushumna; or the central column, the left, and the right column as Dattatreya. See them in the form of light. Or you can see the cerebrospinal column as a form of light and keep saying “DRAM” – not vocally but mentally. Keep doing it and be silent within.

Whatever knowledge is needed to you, it comes to you. Everything is from within. Dattatreya does not prescribe any regulations about contemplation; it is all free. He says when you are leisurely do it. There is no time duration, there is no time fixation. As much as you do, the related transformations happen from within. The moment you start intently relating to the sound “DRAM”, the eyes close and you don’t feel like opening the eyes. Sometimes, there would be some external movements also; they gradually cease and internal movements start causing the necessary transmutations and transformations. That’s how it happens.

The path is that you do these during your leisure time. If you say you don’t have leisure, it means you have enough karma that does not permit it. Dattatreya does not compel but it means that you are not yet ripe to get into the path. If you are ripe you have the inclination to do it. It is all voluntary. The only ritual he suggests is serve food, see Me, listen to Me, and if possible serve Me in the surrounding. In your leisure, which decides your degree of karma, you may relate to Me. Dattatreya lets you so completely free. But when you relate to him, the regulations start happening from within and you would yourself impose regulations upon you. No outer impositions.

The Mantrams

The Seed Sound DRAM

The seed sound relating to Srī Guru Datta is DRAM. The sound DA signifies dana whose English word is “to donate”. The sound showers benedictions for mundane and supermundane fulfilment. It can fulfil desires, including the desire for immortality and self-realisation.

RA is the seed sound relating to fire, it burns ignorance and the related impurities, revealing the knowledge. It makes the being radiant and resplendent. DRAM enables accomplishment of knowledge, neutralisation of ignorance and comfort in the subtle and the gross planes of existence. The sound “M” represents, pure, transmuted matter.

“OM DRAM” is uttered forth with the inhalation and the exhalation, to establish the presence of Srī Guru Datta in one's own being. A sincere practice would enable the manifestation of the presence of Srī Guru Datta as one's own pulsation and respiration.

The sound given by a guru to a disciple forms the link between the guru and the disciple. It need not always necessarily be DRAM. Depending on the need and the state of awareness of the student, the guru initiates the student into a sound. When the sound is uttered as per the given regulations, the presence of the teacher manifests.

Other Mantrams

In your leisure time you can relate to the mantra DRAM. Or you can say DRAM DATTATREYA YA NAMAHA, or DRAM DATTA MURTHAYE NAMAHA - the number of syllables in these two mantrams is the same. They are to be chanted mentally but not vocally. The mind is to be engaged with the mantra, that is a practice. Much wisdom will unfold from within, when you regularly relate to the mantram in the morning and evening. Continued recitation in silence, with inner and outer purity of life, would enable the fulfilment of the mantram.

Download / listen to the intonation of the mantrams

The Dattatreya Gayatri





The Gayatri related to Dattatreya is not from the popular exoteric sources but from ashramic sources. In every line of this mantram there are eight syllables, all together there are twenty four syllables. The meaning is: We meditate upon the son of Atreya so that he enlightens us. He is essentially Bhadrambara; he is like the lighted sky, meaning existence and awareness. You can chant this mantram while relating to ida, pingala and sushumna; to the head, upper torso, and lower torso.

Download / listen to the Dattatreya Gayatri


It is an old tradition to worship deities through continuous chanting, and there are many such songs. These rhythmic sounds of chantings come from initiates. Aspirants typically organise meetings for chanting for twenty four hours and sometimes for seven days. Chanting is a lesser version of a mantram but it also has an impact. It facilitates relating to the deity of worship.

These songs have melodies but there are no prescribed intonations. In the Gayatri mantram, “OM Bhur Buvah Suvaha…” there is a prescribed intonation: there is a high tone, a low tone, and a middle tone.

There are songs like “Digambara, Digambara, Srīpāda Vallabha Digambara”, or “Srīpāda Srīvallabha Datta Digambarā”. Digambara means, the One who has the directions as his clothing, who permeates all around us, and we are in him. When we keep uttering the sound everything within and around is filled with his energy.

Another song is “Srīpāda Rājam Sharanam Prapadye”: We offer ourselves to the king who is Srīpāda and we live under his guidance and direction.

Download / listen to Srīpāda Rājam Saranam Prapadyae Digambara, Digambara, Srīpāda Vallabha Digambara (YouTube)

Continue: Special Places of Presence

Sources: K. Parvathi Kumar: Srī Dattatreya / notes from seminars. The World Teacher Trust - Dhanishta, Visakhapatnam, India (www.worldteachertrust.org)