[GHHF] Bala Samskar Kendras – Students learned about Lord Dattatreya, his life, message, 24 Gurus, Paduka Worship and different Avataras.

11 Dec 2022 382 Views

Sri Datta Dhyana Malika
“O Guru Deva! You are devoid of qualities. At the same time, you are the repository of all noble qualities. You are the creator for the creator for the entire creation. Yet, you are devoid of any action. You are without any form. Yet, innumerable are your incarnations. I worship you, who is beyond imagination.”
Global Hindu Heritage is very happy to inform that we started about 150 Bala Samskar Kendras in five States in India – Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu - to teach about the richness of Hinduism, Hindu festivals, Hindu ethos, Hindu History, and culture and traditions. Sri Rajesh is a very active member in the community championing the Hindu Values not only to the children but also actively involved in making the Hindus proud of their culture.
Our Children are taught about the richness of our culture by teaching about various scriptures and the timeless wisdom found in them.  Our students will learn how Hindus conceive the abstract concept of God, their features, physical features and the divine qualities. We talk about the characteristics of Lord Rama, the attributes and his behavior and the qualities that we can emulate. Many of our Gods are incarnated at different times and we try to explain about different Avataras and the purpose of incarnating at a particular time
Who is Lord Dattatreya? 
Bhagavat Puranam describes Lord Dattatreya
Once King Yadu saw Lord Dattatreya (Avadhuta) wandering in a forest happily, free from worries. The king with humbleness asked the sage, about the secret of his happiness and the name of his Guru. The King prostrated and asked politely,  "Sir, as I see you, I feel great wonder and astonishment.  Though we possess the knowledge of the Sastras, we take great pains to gratify our sense.  But you do not seem to be making any such effort.  How has this extraordinary understanding come to you? Even though you possess so much knowledge and are erudite, why do you sometimes behave like a boy, a mad man or a dunce? So strange are your ways.  It is indeed right for you not to seek gratification of the senses, but you do not seem to be making any effort to obtain Moksha.  In spite of this, you appear to be always floating about in bliss. What has made this possible? 
To answer the Yadu’s enquired queries, the Lord Dattatreya (Avadhuta, one who have given up all worldly desires) replied:
"My bliss and contentment are the fruits of self-realization. Soul (Atma) alone is my Guru, yet I have gained the necessary wisdom from the whole creation, via 24 individual who were therefore my Gurus. I shall elaborate the same for you". 
Further Lord Dattatreya said: … I have taken shelter of twenty-four gurus, who are the following: the earth, air, sky, water, fire, moon, sun, pigeon and python; the sea, moth, honeybee, elephant and honey thief; the deer, the fish, the dancing girl Pingala, the kurari bird and the child; the young girl, arrow maker, serpent, spider and wasp…”   (Shrimad Bhagavatam: Canto 11: Chapter 7: Slokas 33~35)
The Appearance of Dattatreya
 Sri Dattatreya is represented with three faces, six hands, and a single body. His icons combine the three great Gods of Hinduism—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva—as a single form. Each pair of hands carries two of the symbols of the three deities. Commonly, His central body is blue, representing Lord Krishna Vishnu, while His further two faces represent, on the right, Lord Brahma and, on the left, Lord Siva. 
Four hunting dogs at his feet are considered the embodiments of the four Vedas, guardians of the absolute Truth. They are also considered as representing 
Four Yugas – Satya (Krita), Treta, Dwapara, Kali
Four Vedas – Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva
Four states of the mind – Manas (mind), Chitta (storage of impressions), Ahamkara (Ego), Buddhi (intellect)
Four states of consciousness – Waking (Jagrit), Swapna (Dream), Sushupti (dreamless sleep), Turiya (pure consciousness)
Four states of Sound – Para (beyond), Pashyanti (perception), Madhyama (conception), Vaikhari (vocal)
Four types of Shakti (dynamic force pervading creation) – Ichcha Shakti (power of the will), Jnana Shakti (power of knowledge), Kriya Shakti (power of the intellect) and Para Shakti (Pure Consciousness)
A garlanded cow, standing behind the Lord, represents the Earth. Also considered as Kamadhenu or the wish fulfilling cow indicating that the Lord fulfils the desires of all his devotees
His arms hold various objects which have deep spiritual connotation. They are the Sankha or Conch, Chakra or Discus, Gada or Mace, Trishul or trident, Kamandalu or water pot and the Begging bowl.
What is the message of Lord Dattatreya?
“Never judge by surface appearances but always seek a deeper Truth”. Dattatreya’s principal message is making your life austere and refrain from sensuality. Do not go after luxuries, material comforts, and enjoyments. They make you life polluted and your thoughts contaminated. He cautions his devotees to guard against sensuality and materialism if they think they are strong willed and pure. 
An Avadhuta is one who has surpassed all worldly affairs, including the trappings of religion and social convention (Narada Parivrajakopanishad 9.23). “Knowledge ... the true cause of final liberation is the most precious possession of the Avadhutas” (Mahanirvana Tantra 14.140). Despite this knowledge, despite being fully liberated from the material world, from compassion, Sri Dattatreya Avadhuta remains on the material plane to help those still bound by the cords of material existence free themselves. He awards His grace to all, irrespective of their social status. “Desiring only their welfare, I hope that they will agree to become one with the Supersoul” (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.13.42).
Dattatreya is called Smatrugami
Sri Dattatreya is an ocean of compassion. By merely remembering his name, one earns his grace. Hence, he is called “SMARTHRUGAAMI” – one who immediately appears to the devotee who remembers the Lord. A sage called Dalaadana once wanted to test the truth in this statement and remembered Dattatreya.
The Lord immediately reached Dalaadana and said:
Mama prakrtirId^ishi, smartrugami na sandeho swisaptabhuvaneshwaham|abhakyavA subhaktya va yah smarenmAmananyadhih |tadanimahamagamya dadami tadabhipsitam ||
– “It is my very nature to reach that person who remembers me, instantly. Whether with devotion or not, if a man remembers me sincerely, I will instantly reach him and grant his desires”.  This is Dattatreya’s sacred promise to us, his children.
Dattatreya was a Vishwa Guru
Lord Dattatreya is considered to be the Guru of All Gurus and that's why He is revered to be the Adi Guru.  Lord Dattatreya  is an important Deity  in the Indian Spiritual Panorama. His personality integrates the elements of the three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Sri Dattatreya is Vishwa Guru - the guru to the entire universe. In fact, He taught:
– Srividya to Parasurama
– Datta Vidya to Brahma
– Adhyatmika Vidya to Prahalada
– Yoga Vidya to Vasishta and
– Atma Vidya to Kartaviryarjuna.
Why Padukas are Worshipped?
In the Datta sampradaya the Guru's feet assume more importance than the Guru's forum. It is a very old custom to worship the feet of Sri Guru or the Ishta Devata's feet. When Srirama went into exile his younger brother, Bharata kept Sri Rama's sandals on the throne, signifying his divine feet as a mark of love, respect and worship for his elder brother. One expresses respect and reverence for a great person by touching one's forehead to the person's feet. It is said the Yoga secret behind this action being that the divine strength of great persons lied centered in their feet. By a mere touch a disciple or disciples get a measure of that divine strength from the master. Thus, most of the Datta kshetras give importance to the Padukas than the form of Sri Gurudeva Dattatreya. Girinar, Ganagapur, Narsobawadi, Oudumbar and all other Datta kshetras have Sri Dattaguru's Padukas. 
The essence of 24 Gurus
Lord Dattatreya learned from 24 Gurus – teachers. They are  earth, water, air, fire, sky, moon, sun, pigeon, python, Ocean, Moth, Black Bee, Bees, Elephant, Deer, Fish, Dancing Girl, raven, Child, Maiden, Serpent, Arrow Maker, Spider, and Beetle.
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