Today is Duttatreya Jayanti. Birthdays are observed to remember the good qualities one possesses and celebrate them.
Dattatreya Symbolized the Guru Shakti
Atri Rishi had no children, so he adopted Dutta. Dutta means given, taken, or adopted. That is why when one adopts a child, they say – Dutta Svikara. So Atri and Anasuya had adopted a child who was called Duttatreya. He was special, as he had Brahma Shakti (creativity), Vishnu Shakti (skill to sustain or maintain), and Shiva Shakti (skill to bring transformation).
Many people have creativity, but they cannot sustain what they start. This creativity is Brahma Shakti. If you have Brahma Shakti, you can create things but you also need to know how to maintain things – that is Vishnu Shakti, which is the skill to maintain.
There are many people who are managers. They can’t create, but if something is created and given to them, they do an excellent job in managing it. So, Vishnu Shakti is important – it is the energy to maintain what you create.
Then there is Shiva Shakti, which is the ability to bring transformation or newness. Many can maintain, but whenever a change is needed, they don’t know how to bring a transformation – how to take it to another level. So Shiva Shakti is essential too! When you have all these three qualities, that is Guru Shakti! A Guru or a guide has to know all the three Shaktis.
Duttatreya is a symbol of Guru Shakti. He had the power of the guide – creativity, the skill to maintain, and the skill to bring transformation, all in one!
Dattatreya Learned from Everything in Creation
Duttatreya learned from everything. He observed the whole of Creation and learned some lesson from everything.
Observation brings wisdom, and you need sensitivity to observe. If you are caught up in your own world, you become insensitive to the messages coming to you from those around you. When people are caught up in their own stuff, they don’t see the other person’s point of view at all. And such people also believe their perception is absolutely right, even though you know their perception is incorrect.
There is a Mullah Nasruddin story:
Mullah Nasruddin thought he was dead and was very convinced with this fact. He began to deny and distance everything with the argument that he was dead. If his wife said something to him, he would say, “How can a dead man reply?” If she asked him to do any work, he would say, “How can a dead man do anything?”
So, finally, his wife got fed up and took him to a Psychiatrist. After a lot of discussion, the Psychiatrist asked Mullah, “Now tell me, Mullah, will a dead body have blood?”
Mullah said, “No, blood becomes water.”
The psychiatrist’s face lit up and he took out a pin and pricked Mullah’s hand and blood came out. “Look Mullah, you are bleeding, so you are alive”, said the Psychiatrist.
Then Mullah looked at the oozing blood and said, “You think you can fool me by your logic? Today, I have discovered that even dead people have blood!”
This is exactly what happens with people. They are convinced about their concepts and live in a small world and think that is it! Such people cannot learn anything. To learn, it is important to open your mind and heart to receive the right knowledge.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is said, “…it is so interesting how he (Duttatreya) looked at a swan and learned something from the swan, learned something from a crow, from the trees, and also from an elderly woman. For him, knowledge was flowing from all sides. He was so open in his mind and heart to receive knowledge and amalgamate it in his life.
An Occasion to Put Knowledge on the Front Seat of Our Lives
If you are intelligent, you will learn from life and celebrate. Today, drawing inspiration from Duttatreya, let knowledge take the front seat in your life.
Everybody has knowledge, but sometimes it takes the back seat – it is not in the driving seat. When knowledge is sleeping, it is ignorance. When knowledge is in the driving seat, there is only joy and celebration. Then we celebrate in every situation, for life is a celebration.
When we are in awareness, then everything in Creation gives us a message – gives us knowledge. And the purpose of this knowledge is to uplift our energy and enthusiasm – it is to make life a total celebration. We need knowledge to maintain and uplift our spirit of enthusiasm and positivity.
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What is Maya?
It is often said that this world is Maya. There will always be some excuse or some incidences to worry about. When such things come,
one must remember that
this is all Maya.
What is Maya? What is not Maya? What does it mean to be
drowned in Maya?
In this article Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains Maya.