DATTA JAYANTI : The Worship Of Trimurti
The full moon day in the month of Margashirsha brings the festival ofDattaJayanti. Dattatreyais a crnsayz deity consisting of all the gods of the triad - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. He is a guru or teacher. He is often shown standing under a tree with cows and dogs wandering around him. He is a yogin whose supreme meditation makes him a lustrous deity.
The myth of Dattatreya's birth is interesting. Atri, a great sage and his wife Anasuya, lived in an ashram in the forest. Anasuya, a powerful personality because of her devotion to god, posed a challenge to Laxmi, Parvati and Saraswati. They asked their husbands to trick her and discredit her.
The gods went to Atri's ashram as young mendicants who wanted a meal. As Anasuya prepared the food, they demanded that they should be served by her in the nude. Shocked by their [Previous page above] A month identified with
is Margashirsha. Thirupati is worshipped by singing the exquisite poetry of' Andal. [Previous page below] Ivory carving of Daft a tray a, the composite, triad deity.
[Below] The year ends with visits to the Jewish synagogue to mark Hanukka. and then Christmas, the festivul of universal goodwill [bottom]. request, the percipient Anasuya realized the truth. With her yogic powers, she lurned them into babies. Then she fed them in the nude and rocked them in a cradle. With maternal love she adored these babies.
The goddesses were astounded by the events and begged forgiveness ofAnasuya. But Anasuya would not return the babies. In the end, the three gods gave her Dattatreya as her child and returned to heaver with their consorts. Dattatreya temples dot the landscape of
and are centres of great festivities.