Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ROLE OF DATTATREY IN DEVELOPMENT OF YOGA

Dattatreya (Dattātreya) or Datta is a Hindu deity encompassing the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva collectively known as Trimurti. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words - "Datta" (meaning given) and "Atreya" referring to the sage Atri,  his physical father but in reality Dattatreya was never actually named and therefore is called "Smatrugami" (One who responds instantly when thought of). Dattatreya is verily the personification of the Maha Sankalpa (who is not different from Aadi Para Shakti) who led to the form of Aadi Para Shakti, and the Brahma Yoni from which the Trimutis and the Trishaktis Emerged. Dattatreya is verily Para Brahman who is worshiped as Sriman Narayana by Vaishnavas, Parameshwara by Shaivas, and as Aadi Parashakti by Smartas and Shaktas.
Dattatreya was the Guru of Subramanya (Muruga) to whom he Preached the Avadhoota Gita. Dattatreya initiated Parashurama into Tripura Rahasya. Dattatreya helped Brahma regain the knowledge of Vedas that he lost when he created Avidya. And was the Guru of King Yadu, Prahlada, Kartaveeryarjuna, Yogini Madalasa, and many others.
 In the Nath samprday, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avtar or incarnation of Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Samprday of the Nathas. Dattatreya was at first a "Lord of Yoga" exhibiting distinctly tantric traits, he is approached more as a benevolent god than as a teacher of the highest essence of Indian thought. However, spiritual seekers pray to this Supreme Teacher for knowledge of the Absolute Truth.
Guru Dattatreya gifted Ashtanga Yoga (eight fold path of Yoga) to the world thousands of years ago.
Ashtanga Yoga comprises of the following 

  • Yama (self-restraint) – Non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing and non-receiving.
  • Niyama (discipline) – cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and self-surrender to God. Moral discipline
  • Asana – Posture
  • Pranayama (Yoga breathing) – ‘Prana’ (vital breath) is the life-force, ‘Yama’ is control. 'Pranayama' consists of breath control exercises.
  • Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) – Withdrawal of senses away from 5 sense organs (Panchendriya)
  • Dharana – Concentration of the mind combined with retention of breath
  • Dhyan – Meditation.
  • Samadhi – The transcendental or super conscious state of being united with the God