Every year, Dattatreya Jayanti or Datta Jayanti is marked on December 11. This is a very auspicious day for Hindus as it marks the birthday of the Hindu god Dattatreya (Datta) and this day has a lot of significance for every devotee. Lord Datta is a form of the Hindu male divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva that makes him a powerful entity for devotion.
Devotees observe a fast for the whole day on this day and visit the Datta temple to seek blessings. According to the Hindu Calendar, the festival is observed on the full moon day of the Margashirsha (Agrahayana) month.
History and Significance
Lord Datta is the son of the sage Atri and his wife Anusaya. According to legend, Anusaya sternly made a tapasya, hoping that his son would have the qualities of the Holy Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The three gods are said to have appeared in front of Anusaya in form of sages and asked them to give her alms naked.
A very confused Anusaya formed herself, speaking a mantra, turning the sages into babies. She then fed them with her breast milk. When sage Atri returned, she told him the incident, and he used his power to turn the three babies into one.
When the gods did not return, their wives begged Anusaya for forgiveness. When the gods returned to their original form, they blessed the couple with their son Dattatreya, who is considered to be a form of all deities.
Lord Datta is also known as Avadhut and Digambar. Datta is said to be 1,000 times more active on Earth than any other day on his birthday. Therefore, worshiping him is said to yield the most benefits.