datta, the atri

datta, the atri, was endowed with lasting youthfulness and was the embodiment of all the 3 guNas. In his early life was a great warrior and was the prime minister and priest of haihaya emperor, kArtavIrya arjuna. He led the haihaya troops to many great victories and participated in the rise of the emperor. The haihaya king was un-paralleled in the use of arms and having conquered the entire known world was crowned as saMrAT by dattAtreya. The haihaya, however, had a deep enemity with the bhR^igus. He stole the cow of the bhArgava R^ishi jamadagni. In due course arjuna was challenged by rAma the son of jamadgni and axed to death by him. dattatreya was furious and carried out many abhichAra rites to destroy the bhArgavas. Aided by his spells, the vitIhotras or the sons of arjuna slew the bhArgava R^ishi jamadgni. However, rAmo bhArgava over came the spells with their own deadly incantations of the atharvaNa shruti and prepared for war with the vItahavyas. In the battle that followed they were protected by the brahman of dattAtreya and the bhArgava could not over come them. However, finally with the atri-destroying charm of the atharvaNa shruti rAma overcame the brahman of datta. After that he pierced the vitahavyas with his deadly astras and slew each of them. With the vItihotras dead, datta renounced the world and practiced the sattva guNa. He lead the life a celibate ascetic for long, teaching the principles of renunciation. In the final stage of he became and embodiment of the tamoguNa and picked a beautiful woman as his companion and wandered around with her in carefree indulgence, bearing a trident and a bow and guarded by 4 dogs. The were continually lost in dalliance, loud laughter, merriment and imbibition of vAruNi beer, when rAmo bhArgava chanced upon them. In this state the atri enlightened him on the tantric lores.

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