Dattatreya Ashram (Canto 76)

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Dattatreya Ashram   ( Canto 76)

In Kruta Yuga, once Narad Muni visited hermitage of Sage Atri and his wife Anusuya. Sage Atri is a Manas Putra of Lord Bramhadeo. Narad Muni was impressed by the services offered by the couple and more so by the austerities and devotion of Sati Anusuya. Sati Anusuya had earned many miraculous powers through her pious attitude.

Narad Muni was so much pleased by her Pativratya (embodiment of Chastity by worshipping her husband as God), that even after reaching Bramhaloka he continued her praise in hymns and verses. Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva, the divine trinity became very curious. The Trio wanted to check her chastity, so they transformed themselves into mendicants and visited Anusuya ensuring that Sage Atri was away from his hermitage. The trio begged for alms. Sati Anusuya welcomed them inside, offered water to wash their feet and requested them to wait till return of her Husband. The Trio acted as if they were very much in hurry and requested the choice food be served to them by disrobing herself, they wished that she should serve them naked.

Sati Anusuya did not hesitate even for a moment and she promised them that their wishes shall be fulfilled. She went in to kitchen and cooked sumptuous food. She took water in her hand and said “if by my deeds, if by my words and if in my mind, I have not thought of anybody, other than my Husband”, then the mendicants should become infants. She removed all her garments became naked and came out to serve the mendicants. What a wonder, she could not believe her own eyes, in front of her there were three infants. Her chastity transformed the three mendicants into infants. She tried to feed them the cooked food but being infants they could not eat it. All the three infants started crying for food as they were hungry. Suddenly lactation welled up from her blossom and she kept on breast feeding the trio turn by turn. This continued for three days. Fondling the infants, feeding the infants were the happiest days in the life of Sati Anusuya.

After three days Narad Muni told this episode to the wives of the trio, namely, Savitri, Lakshmi and Parvati. They realised that they will have to leave rest of their life as widow and rushed to the hermitage of Sage Atri. The three wives praised chastity and purity of sati Anusuya and begged for the lives of the creator, originator and destructor. Sati Anusuya once again took water in her hands and said, “If I have prayed my Father, my Mother, my Father in Law, my Mother in Law and my Guru, if I have worshipped my Husband, Bramhins and Gods with equal status, then the infants should be transformed to their original form” and she sprinkled the water on the infants. And what a surprise only by the touch of water the three almighty Gods received their original form.   

The Trio was very much pleased by her chastity and said “ Oh, Sati, we are very much impressed by your Pativratya (chastity), We can not forget that for last three days we survived only due to your breast feeding and all of us shall remain with you as your own sons. Bramhdev became Chandra (Moon), Vishnu became Dattatreya and Mahesh became Durvas. Chandra told her mother that he will remain in sky and went away. Dattatreya and Durvas stayed with her for five years and went for pilgrimage with other Sages. They visited many auspicious places and ultimately reached Gokarna realm. Both Dattatreya and Durvas took bath in the pious water of Koti Tirtha and went to pray Lord Mahabaleshwar. Durvas Muni constructed a hermitage on south of Koti Tirtha whereas Dattatreya Muni constructed a hermitage on north of Koti Tirtha, they constructed Tirthakunda and started a deep Tapascharya (Practicing austerities). They controlled their mind riddling of all desires. Normally during Tapascharya sages eat fruits and roots but their penance was so arduous that they refrained from eating at all. After few ages fastening, their bodies were turned in to Skelton and were covered by creepers. The energy of their Tapascharya filled smoke in cosmos. At last Lord Shankar was pleased and emerged before them. He blessed that the Tirthakunda shall always offer all Siddhis to the worshiper. Possibly this is the Datta Tirthakunda converted in to a well, effigy of Sati Anusuya is lying in open beneath a tree. One can find deity of Datta Guru within the compound of Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple.