[Advaita-l] 24 Gurus of Bhagavan Dattatreya - I

Nithin Sridhar sridhar.nithin at gmail.com
Thu Dec 19 01:38:54 CST 2013

Thank you very much would look forward to next in the series.


On Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>wrote:

> Dattatreya is the avatara of all the trimurti, born at the prayer of
> Maharshi Atri.  He is the founder of the avadhuta marga of jnanis.  The
> recent Margashirsha Purnima is also Dattatreya Jayanti.  It is a big day in
> my wifes family as they were followers of the famous 20th century Saint
> Ranga Avadhuta who did much to popularize the worship of Dattatreya in
> Gujarat.  My wife recites a Gujarati stotra called Datta Bavani (Bavani =
> 52 verses) composed by Ranga Avadhuta every day.
> In Bhagavata Purana 11.7-9, Dattatreya tells Raja Yadu about his 24
> unusual gurus.  I shall present them 8 at a time.
> 1. The Earth
> The Earth is disrespectfully trodden on by all creatures but bears them
> all without complaint.  So from Her, He learned to accept all of lifes
> pleasures and pains with forbearance.
> 2. The Wind
> Wind is of two types, prANa refers to the internal life forces and vAyu
> refers to the external movement of air.  prANa is in all bodies but takes
> on the shape and form of the particular body it is in.  vAyu passes
> everywhere but does not remain in one place.  So from prAna and vAyu He
> learned to avoid attachment to any place but to adapt to wherever He might
> find himself.
> 3. AkAsha
> AkAsha is one and all-pervading.  From it He learnt that brAhman is one
> and all-pervading.
> 4.  Water
> Water in the form of a tirth, purifies and sanctifies.  From it He learnt
> to be a a source of purity and sanctity.
> 5. Fire
> Fire burns things leaving only their essence. From it He learnt that a
> yogi should see in beings not all the false opposites like rich-poor,
> old-young, high-low, but only the Atma which is the essence.
> 6. Moon
> The one and same moon appears to go though changes, waxing, waning etc.
> From Him He learnt that the one atman only appears to go through changes
> such as birth and death.
> 7. Sun
> The Sun through most of the year draws up moisture but during the monsoon
> the weather cycle results in all that moisture being released as rain. Thus
> all the living this are nourished.  So from Him He learned to gather up all
> the energy normally dissipated in the body due to avidya and expend it in
> tapas which leads to jnana.
> 8. a kapoTa bird
> The kapoTa is a kind of bird like a pigeon.  It only has one mate which it
> pairs with for life.  Once in a forest there was a kapoTa who built a nest
> together with a female of the species.  For years they lived together,
> laughing and having fun in each others company.  The female kapoTa laid
> eggs that hatched into babies who were their parents pride and joy.  Once,
> when the pair were out to find food for their children, a hunter came by
> and snared the chirping young ones in his net.  The parents returned at
> that moment and seeing the fate of her offspring, the mother rushed towards
> them only to be caught herself.  Seeing this the father bird began to
> reflect.  "I had the perfect life with all material conforts and a loving
> family.  Now it is all gone so what is the point of living?" Despondent and
> unaware, he didn't notice the hunter coming after him until it was too late
> and he too was caught.  From this Dattatreya learned that although pleasure
> is found in this world, it is transient and ends in pain.  So it is better
> to renounce it.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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