What are names and function of Shri Datta? and Why is science of spirituality superior to other sciences?

What are names and function of Shri Datta?

In the era gone by, the demonic energies grew enormously in the gross and subtle forms. Gods' efforts to vanquish them were unsuccessful. Then, under orders from Deity Brahma, Shri Datta had to incarnate at various places in various forms and destroy the demons. The day of His incarnation is celebrated as 'Datta Jayanti'. - Bharat Miraje

1. Shri Dattatreya - One who provides frequencies of Divine consciousness!

The principle that makes available to an embodied soul both gross and subtle (i.e. manifest and unmanifest) frequencies of higher or lower Gods and Deities in a shorter time is called Datta or Shri Dattatreya. The very meaning of Datta is the 'One who provides frequencies of Divine consciousness'. - (Pujya) Ms. Anjali Gadgil

2. Other Names of Shri Dattatreya

2.1 Avadhut

The One who controls the eight faculties in the body of an embodied soul and shows it the path to the unmanifest dimension through the manifest dimension. Avadhut is a medium that connects both the manifest form of Shri Datta and His unmanifest form. He is a manifest form (the gross manifestation) of the three principles - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. He is also related to the unmanifest dimension (manifestation of these three principles in the form of light). 'Avadhut' comes alive with the radiance of Shri Dattatreya.

2.2 Digambar

Is the principle which gives company to an embodied soul till it gets Final Liberation in the radiance of the sky, i.e. beyond all the directions.

2.3 Shripad

'Shri' is the never-ending principle of God. The principle that takes an embodied soul to that principle of God or to the Holy Feet of 'Shri' principle, is the Datta principle in Shripad.

2.4 Vallabh

The Datta principle in the form of Vallabh protects the Universe from the circular-shaped negative energies that create fear psychosis, and thus protects the embodied souls. - (Pujya) Ms. Anjali Gadgil

3. Function of Shri Dattatreya

Shri Dattatreya bestows His grace on man by giving speed to the journey of his ancestors to the next region and reducing his distress from ancestors. God gives man a chance to get liberated from the debt of ancestors through the ritual that gives speed to ancestors onward journey and through chanting the Name of Dattatreya.
One cannot get rid of the ancestors' debt merely by remembering them off and on, displaying their photos in the house or publishing their photos in newspapers on their death anniversaries. It is only by chanting the Name of Dattatreya that the ancestors get speed to go on their onward journey in true sense. From this we can realise that it is imperative to worship the Deity to get liberated from the ancestors' debt. This also reduces the debt of God on us. - Ms. Madhura Bhosale

4. Worship of Shri Datta (who has one head)

Till the Satya Yuga, the spiritual level of all embodied souls was high and they acquired knowledge on the strength of their own spiritual practice. They possessed the state of 'Soham' (I am He). So Shri Dattatreya was required for the functions of dissolution and imparting knowledge to a very limited extent. Only the Vishnu principle in Him was active that time. As a symbol of this, the idol of Datta had only one head. Thereafter, during the Treta Yuga, the spiritual level of the embodied souls started to come down and they found it difficult to protect themselves and acquire knowledge on their own. To impart more knowledge to them through the subtle dimension, Shri Dattatreya had to bring out the dormant Brahma and Shiv principle in Him. To symbolise this, the three-headed idol of Dattatreya became prevalent.

4.1 The Japamala (rosary) in Shri Datta's hand represents perennial spiritual practice

Brahma of the three-headed Datta has a rosary in His hand. Datta's chanting goes on continuously, without a break. Perennial spiritual practice is the quality of Shiv too. This feature of 'perennial spiritual practice' of both the Deities is found in Shri Dattatreya. Perennial spiritual practice in the present Era means functioning either in a saviour or a destroyer form, as is required.' - Ms. Madhura Bhosale

4.2 Kamandalu (water-pot with a specific shape carried by ascetics)

Contains water which has the potential to absorb the unmanifest waves emanating from God and to draw a protective sheath in a moment around the three celestial regions for protecting them from the distress of negative energies in the Universe.' - (Pujya) Ms. Anjali Gadgil

5. Benefit of chanting Shri Dattatreya's Name

A. The ancestors get speed in their journey to the next region and this makes the atmosphere in the house pleasant.
B. An embodied soul gets energy from Shiv also.
- Bharat Miraje
Reference: ‘Vishnu and His forms’, published by Sanatan Sanstha

Why is science of spirituality superior to other sciences?

1. The sciences connected with the mind and the science of Spirituality

The relationship of the science of Spirituality with reference to various sciences of the mind is given in a tabular form with comparison of various methods of treatment in a patient with high blood pressure induced by anxiety, below:
site of
Special features
A. Intellectual
    The technique
    is important

1. Shavasan
Mainly the
body and the
The patient is not
taught how to face
the anxiety provoking
situations. Hence the
treatment has to be
2. Drugs to
    lower the
3. Drugs to
4. Psychothera-
   py (discussion
   , counselling,
As the patient is tau-
ght how to face anxi-
ety provoking situat-
ions incidentwise,
personality does not
change completely &
treatment has to be
continued off & on.
For some
5. Psychoana-
us mind
After some years,
personality of some
individuals changes
markedly and they
are able to face most
anxiety provoking
situations. Consuently
, their chances of
suffering from high
blood pressure again,
are reduced.
6. Hypnotherapy
cious mind
Personality of several
individuals improve
markedly within a
year. Thereafter, they
are able to face anxi-
ety provoking situati-
ons. As a result, the
chances of recurrence
of high blood pressu-
re are very low.
B. Beyond

The technique is
not important,
but it is the
spiritual energy
in the one
the treatment
which is of
A. Subtle
  and causal

B. Raja and
A. Within a few years
  , personality of most
  individuals changes
  Thereafter they are
  able to face anxiety
  provoking situations.
  Hence, the chances
  of recurrence of
  high blood pressure
  are very rare.

B. Factors beyond
   intellect are also
* Temporary (as long as treatment continues) / for sometime / permanently.
** Though these modalities of treatment are good, the number of those who recover is very less because often the patient discontinues treatment / spiritual practice midway.
The difference between psychotherapy devoid of divine consciousness (chaitanya) and Spirituality endowing divine consciousness will be illustrated by the following examples.
·         A. A girl was in love with a boy. Rationally, theirs was a mismatch. After treating her with hypnotherapy for a year she finally abandoned the idea of marrying him. Here the Vaikhari mode of speech was used to convince the girl.
In May 1993, a boy who was in love with a girl secretly got engaged and then informed his family members about it. After contemplating upon it from the spiritual angle, Dr. Athavale felt that this marriage would not last. Hence, the same was conveyed to the boy through someone and that he would receive the appropriate answer within three days. Till then he was not supposed to give it a thought. The three day period was meant to prevent him from taking a decision under the influence of emotions. On the third day he informed that he had broken off the engagement. No resolve (sankalpa) so that he should break off the engagement had been made. It had occurred solely through the Madhyama mode of speech.
·         B. A person rejected the girl whose marriage proposal his brother had received as he did not like the girl. People questioned him as to how he had refused such a good proposal. Thereafter he felt very guilty. If he had really committed a mistake, then according to psychology he would have to be told for a few months that everyone makes mistakes and that he should forget the past, etc. On the other hand, if he were correct then he would have to be given suggestions to reassure him about the same. Only spiritual progress helps one to determine whether a decision made is right or wrong. Dr. Athavale perceived spiritually that if the boy had married that girl then they would have got happiness as in an average marriage. On the other hand, the happiness which would be derived from the marriage proposal due to come six months later would endow double this amount of happiness. The moment the person was told this he overcame his repentance.
·         C. A patient constantly feared that he would die of a heart attack. The moment he was told that he would live for another 35 years his fear vanished. Otherwise to cure him through hypnotherapy it would take at least eight to nine months.

2. Amount of the Absolute Truth in other subjects and Spirituality

The table below will illustrate why Spirituality is called paravidya (meaning supreme science) and the other sciences are called aparavidya (inferior sciences).
Amount of the
Absolute Truth %
1. Stories, novels, poetry, etc.
2. Physical sciences
3. Classical dance, classical music,
    sculpture, etc.
3. Spirituality

3. Physical sciences and the science of Spirituality

‘Science has varied meanings such as specific knowledge, scientific knowledge philosophical knowledge, direct knowledge and knowledge of Brahman. However generally the knowledge which is acquired through the sense organs by analysis and experimentation of gross substances and natural phenomena following a specific order and procedure is called science (vidnyan). In this context, Prof. K.V. Belsare gives the following explanation - the role of science is to study the properties of physical substances, their interactions with one another, the general principles therein and to derive a system with logical explanation from them. The four steps in the methodology used in science are careful observation, classification, framing a hypothesis and deriving inferences from them. Once the properties of substances are studied, their actions can be controlled. Thus, man can control energies such as electricity, heat, light, sound, water, air, etc. and use them to gain mastery over place, time, speed, disease, etc.
Among all the rules in the behaviour of substances in the universe, the rule of cause and effect is common to all. Hence, in science more emphasis is laid on determining the cause and effect relationship between substances. From the scientific point of view all events in the universe are entirely dependent on rules. Nothing in Nature is mysterious or miraculous. Events which appear perplexing, appear so only until one realises the cause and effect relationship between them. With the help of this knowledge, man has invented extraordinary appliances such as the train, the aeroplane, electric lamps, the radio, the telephone, etc. which have dramatically changed his quality of life.
Though with the help of science, man has acquired external prosperity, internally he does not derive the feeling of contentment. Ancient Indian scholars have made attempts to provide society with both external and internal happiness because eventually without internal happiness, external happiness proves to be futile. After the 10th century A.D. the progress of our country came to a standstill because we began to concentrate only on internal spiritual practice. Plenty of discussions in the spheres of devotion and Righteousness (Dharma) continued, but we neglected the field of physical sciences. To add to this we even forgot the knowledge compiled by our ancient sages.’(1)
Today science claims, ‘After visiting Mars we will have crossed a great milestone in the annals of science and will know if there is existence of life there, etc.’ In Spirituality, visiting Mars by the subtle body and returning to the earth is only a ‘snake-charmer’s game’ or simply ‘purification of the mind (chitta)’.
‘If devices to record such subtle events are invented then at the most they will be useful for documentation and not for endowing the actual experience. Whereas, it is important to actually experience them. If scientists discover the blue dot with the aid of scientific devices, they will accept its existence, contemplate on it for several years, hold discussions and write theses on it. But it is more important to meditate and get introverted so as to actually experience the blue dot than to do all this. You will undergo a total tranformation due to this experience. Internally one will be endowed with Bliss, will be able to hear divine music and will be able to acquire supernatural powers such as divine vision, hearing heavenly messages, etc. There will be a flow of divine nectar (amrut) from the absolute ether (akash) element within.’ (2) It is for this alone that physical sciences is the first step in the learning process while Spirituality is the final one.
‘People complain that faith (shraddha) has declined due to modern science. Despite that curiosity about Spirituality has increased. What does decline in faith actually mean? Or what exactly is faith? Can blind and naive belief be considered as faith?
Here, it becomes necessary to explore into the basic nature of faith, as described in the Nirukta holy texts. The author, Vachaspati has defined faith as ‘the strength to support the truth’. If one understands this concept, then the distinction between faith and rationalism will be destroyed. Today, when one says that curiosity about Spirituality has increased it is as if faith itself has been augmented. The intellect aroused by curiosity ‘grasps’ knowledge and faith strengthens that knowledge. There is faith where there is curiosity about Spirituality and knowledge. Curiosity about Spirituality (jidnyasa) and a desire for the Final Liberation (mumuksha) are both complementary to each other in all aspects.’ (3)
According to the holy text, Shri Dasbodh the meaning of science (vidnyan) is as follows:
साक्षत् वृत्तीचें कारण  उन्मनी ते निवृत्ति जाण 
जेथें विरे जाणपण  विज्ञान तें ।। ..५०
जेथें अज्ञान सरे  ज्ञान तेंहि नुरे 
विज्ञानवृत्ति मुरे  परब्रह्मीं ।। ..५१
Meaning: The stance of a spectator is the action of the subconscious mind (chitta). Going beyond the mind (unmani), that is beyond the stance of the spectator is non-action (nivrutti). Where the awareness [absolute ego (ahambhav)] that I am the knower dissolves, is pure knowledge (vidnyan). - 7.4.5
At the level of Parabrahman both ignorance and knowledge disappear. Even the pure knowledge (vidnyan) dissolves. [Only non-duality (advait) persists.] - 7.4.51
Why the science of Spirituality and not the physical sciences are useful for making spiritual progress will be clear from the following table.

Physical sciences
1. Origin
Western countries
Eastern countries
2. What is it
Spiritual knowledge
Spiritual experiences
3. What is that
    which perceives
    the information/
Embodied soul (jiva)
Inferior spiritual knowledge
- Embodied soul undertaking
spiritual practice (jivatma)

Superior spiritual knowledge
- God realised soul
4. What is the
    information /
Gross things such as the
word, touch, form, taste,
odour, emotion, thought,

Initially - Subtle fragrance,
subtle sound, etc. so also
subtle things such as aura,
frequencies, etc.
Finally - The soul (atma)
5. From where is
    the information/
Externally. The five sense
organs, mind and intellect
too are external with
respect to the embodied
Initially from the Guru and
later from within. The
embodied soul undertaking
spiritual practice and the
God realised soul acquire
spiritual knowledge from
within, that is from the soul.
6. Medium of
    information /
Information is acquired
externally through the
five senses and internally
through the mind and
Knowledge is realised with
the sixth sense organ that is
the embodied soul underta-
king spiritual practice and
the God realised soul.
7. Difference in
May be present, for instance
the implied meaning is inter-
preted differently by indivi-
duals at different spiritual
8. What are they
A. Great Illusion (Maya)**
Brahman (God principle),
the soul (atma)
B. Ignorance
Spiritual knowledge
C. Objects containing the
    three components
Objects beyond the three
components (trigunatit)
D. As Brahman exists in
    unlimited forms in the
    Great Illusion, e.g. in
    food, speech, sound,
    etc. the subjects are
The sole subject is the
eternal and infinite Brahman.

E. Gross
F. Entire creation
The Creator of everything
G. Things which undergo
The eternal Brahman
H. Psychology is one of
    the branches of science
    in which the subconscious
    mind is studied with
    the objective of
    eliminating unhappiness.
The universal mind,
Brahman is studied in order
to attain Bliss.
9. Objective
Achieving temporary
Attaining eternal Bliss
10. Methodology
A. Understanding the
    difference between
    various objects
Perceiving the similarities or
oneness between various
B. Relative to an object:
   Relative to place, time
   and object. Hence it
   has limitations of place
   and time.
Unrelative to an object: Not
relative to place, time and
object as everything is
nothing but Brahman (God
C. Dependent on the object
    (place, time and the
    object are required)
Independent of the object
(place, time and the object
are not required)
11. State in which
    information /
    knowledge is
Waking state
A. Superconscious state
B. Natural state of commun-
    ion with God
C. Liberation when still
    embodied (sadeha mukti)
12. New creation
Impossible. Highlighting
what already exists or
changing it.
13. Awareness of
    the body
14. Duality /
There is duality
between intellect and
Since the one in pursuit of
Brahman merges into It,
there is non-duality (advait)
15. Happiness and
Science can give a lot
of happiness to man
but cannot always save
him from unhappiness,
e.g. a television set, air
conditioner, etc. give
happiness but when
they break down man
becomes unhappy.
Spirituality never gives unha-
ppiness. One gets worldly
happiness from spiritual pra-
ctice done with expectation
(sakam sadhana) whereas
one can attain supreme hap-
piness (Bliss) with spiritual
practice done without expec-
tation (nishkam sadhana).
16. Duration of
    the experience/
A. Short
Depends upon the duration
of the superconscious state,
continuous in the natural state
of communioun with God and
eternal in Liberation (Mukti)
B. Whatever is learnt
    through experience
    in this birth has to be
    learnt again in the
    next, for example,
    writing, reading, etc.
Whatever is learnt through
spiritual experiences in this
birth is carried forward to the
next one.
17. Quality
18. Extent
19. Complete /
    incomplete and
    truth / untruth
The ‘truth’ in science
constantly undergoes
changes. Hence, editions
of books require
improvisation. In brief,
science is incomplete
and untrue.
The knowledge of the soul
principle never changes. The
truth found in Spirituality is
eternal and beyond time.
Hence, the Vedas, Upanish-
ads, etc. have reprints but
no revised editions.
20. Additions
There are additions to
scientific information.
Spiritual knowledge does not
have additions.
21. End
Occurs, e.g. when it is
discovered that all types of
energies are created from
a single energy, it will be
the end of physics. After
the discovery of that basic
element from which all
elements are created, it
will be the culmination
of chemistry.
Does not occur
22. Boredom
May occur
Does not occur
23. Contentment
Temporary, as after
realising one ‘truth’ one
feels like knowing the next.
Present. After one acquires
the ultimate spiritual experie-
nce of Self-realisation, nothi-
ng more is left to be experie-
nced. Hence, one experien-
ces the Bliss of contentment.
24. Definition
विगतं ज्ञानं यस्मात् तत् 
means, that from which
knowledge (dnyan) has
departed is science
(vidnyan), is how the word
science can be humorously
but meaningfully defined.
सा विद्या या विमुक्तये 
means only that which
liberates is called spiritual
knowledge (vidya / dnyan).
This spiritual knowledge is
acquired only through the
science of Spirituality.
25. Fame
Occurs fast, as it is useful
in day-to-day life.
Occurs slowly, as there is
hardly any connection with
day-to-day life.
26. Relation with
    other subjects
All subjects including the
physical sciences are a part
of Spirituality.
* The embodied soul undertaking spiritual practice (jivatma) is one which has experienced a little of the soul principle (atmatattva) to some extent. Rather it is the embodied soul (jiva) which has got inferior type of spiritual experiences. Inferior spiritual experiences are related to the five subtle sense organs, mind and the intellect e.g. experiencing fragrance in the absence of an incense stick, knowing the answer to a query. The God realised soul (Shivatma) is one which has almost blended with God (Shiva) that is, the embodied soul which has got superior type of spiritual experiences. Superior spiritual experiences are in relation to higher supernatural powers (siddhi), Bliss (Anand) and Serenity (Shanti). For information on supernatural powers so also on superior and inferior spiritual experiences refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 41 - Spiritual Progress and Chapter 42 - The Spiritually Evolved’.
** Hence this is like running after a mirage. The truth is never found in it.
*** ‘The physical sciences are incomplete in one sense as at any given point of time some of its questions remain unanswered. If ever they are solved then new questions arise.’ - Mr. Jayant Naralikar, Maharashtra Times, 24th March 1991.
The difference between the physical sciences and Spirituality can be explained in simple language thus - The physical sciences cannot explain how to attain Bliss (Anand) which only the science of Spirituality can. It is only the science of Spirituality which teaches one to observe the problems in day-to-day life and unhappy events, e.g. a loss in business, death of a near one, etc. with the stance of a spectator (sakshibhav) and attain Bliss, something which none of the modern sciences can do.
‘Spirituality’, published by Sanatan Sanstha.
Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh. Publisher :Pandit Mahadevshastri Joshi, Secretary, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal, 410 Shanivar Peth, Pune 411 030.
First edition : Vol. 3 to 10
1. Vol. 9, pg. 11-13

Kalpavrukshatali (Swami Muktanandanchya Sahavasat). First edition 1986. Gurudev Siddhapith, Ganeshpuri, Thane district 401206.
2. Pg. 133

Dhaval-Giri. Second edition, dated 12th January 1964, Author: Justice D.G. Vinod. Publisher : Siddhashram, Shanti Mandir, Vijayanagar Colony, 2100 Sadashiv Peth, Pune 411 022.
3. Pg. 41

Om Tat Sat

(My humble salutations to Hindu Jagruti for the collection)


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