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"Our Preceptor’s lineage is Datta’s lineage.”


HAPPY BIRTHDAY APPAJI !!!!


THDM readers are privileged to wish our Sadguru a very Happy Birthday and we pray, for many more in this Incarnation—though He is always telling us that His birthday is really our birthday. We would like all devotees and sadaks to really make Him proud of us by following strictly His many teachings and timely guidance!


Miraculous birth—Introduction


Original mural of Shri Adiguru Dattatreya Swami; Photo credit Mandipattu Sriramulu Venugopal

Devotees must know by now that our Sadguru is Sri Dattatreya in living form. However, for new devotees, we are always glad to share some details of His birth as we celebrate His divine Birthday! That His birth is nothing but one of the miraculous plays of the Lord should not astound us at all. His mother Sri Jayalakshmi Mata who lived with her family in Mekedatu in Karnataka, and His father, Sri Narasimha Sastry from Bommeparthi of Andhra Pradesh met while the latter was on pilgrimage with his sister, Venkamma after the death of his first wife. Though Jayalakshmi had predicted to her mother that the man who was to be her husband would come to their home before daybreak and that Adiguru Dattatreya would be born as her son, none believed her at the time.


However, it did come true and the young Jayalakshmi married her older husband and on 26th May 1942, Sri Datta Sadguru incarnated in Mekedatu. How the pregnant Jayalakshmi climbed two high hills, then climbed down the steep cliff to a huge rock and sat in Samadhi in the middle of the sacred Brahmakunda in waist –deep water, seems impossible to all devotees who visit that secluded, mystical place! Then again, it is unknown who delivered the baby and cut the umbilical cord.

In Sadguru’s ‘Life History’, Sri Jayalakshmi Mata discloses some of her own training to her son, our Sri Appaji, when, as the young boy Satyanarayana he tested Himself and conquered water in His father's village in Bommeparti. One day he and his friends ‘gave a slip to school' and went to play. There was a step well in that village. All the boys started swimming in the well….When everyone thought he had drowned in the village of Bommeparti’s well, he surfaced laughing. When he told his mother what happened she said to him, “You are a person born in water! There is nothing special in this. You have now command over water.”

“Will anybody be born in water?” asked Satyanarayana.

She replied, “Ordinary rules cannot be applied everywhere. There are some special circumstances where special principles apply…I want to tell you your story. A part of it I will tell you today. Listen, my boy!”


Unique Divine Mother—unique Divine Son!

“Your grandfather, my father was a pure Karma Yogi. My mother was an affectionate housewife.… You might have seen our Sangameswara sacred spot many times. You might have heard about the movements of Risheeswaras(Great Sages.) When we went to live in Mededatu, I was fifteen years old. Then I was very fond of Lord Ganapathi….I made friends with the spiritual practicants who came to have the Darshan of Risheeswar….I was doing spiritual exercises as long as it was not a hindrance to my family life….I would wander fearlessly in the forest….I became an internal atom in the heart of the atom of Mother Nature.”


Darshan of the Great Risheeshwar

Two mendicants came almost at the same time to Sangam, one was Fakir Thatha…the other Karapatra Swamy…The latter was silent mostly. Like others who came there, they favoured me…I became mentally prepared and started visiting them twice daily….One day I came near

An outer view of the cave where saints meditated. Photo credit;; Kumar Mahabir

Brahmakundam cave …Gong in I found that some flames were burning in the cave even during the day time….Then when I looked intently I found that they were not flames at all…. Inside a great sage was seated in Padmasana. His aura seemed to be blazing…it was a little difficult to see straight into his eyes. That glare was piercing….He gently smiled…I tingled with ecstasy….Needless to ask him who he was. I knew….I kept on looking at Him madly….after some time, He Himself opened His mouth. “ Nothing particular, mother. I have come to talk about thicks and thins,” said He.

“Please tell,” I said smilingly as if I could ward off His troubles.

…“ My mother Anasuya also smiles like you and asks me what news I have,” He said. I was overjoyed on hearing this. Again, He started talking. “ Kali age has come. Its effect is reaching a crescendo….the people of this Kali age are unable to bear its torments…To do some work with a definite plan which will permanently establish itself on this earth, I have to accept a body, which will be well within reach of people.”….I experienced a great blissfulness. I kept on looking at His serene face and eyes in meditation….”


Another view of the sacred cave. Photo credit Kesh Datta

That day when I met them in the cave, both my Preceptors spoke in Kannada only to my surprise. Besides they called me ‘Mata(Mother)’. …I told them that I wanted to observe strict celibacy.…Karapatra Swami told me, “ When that Lord Dattatreya Himself is going to be born in your womb, why do you have these resolves?”

“….Four days later, I went and sat there (in the Sangameswara Temple) in contemplation.

Tummi plant with flowers which are cherished by Appaji

When I opened my eyes, the original Preceptor was sitting in front of me….I put the Tummi flower garland in my hand on His Feet, and bowed touching His Feet. Something inexplicable entered into me….The Adi Guru pressed the flower garland to his eyes and put it on Lord Shiva and said, “ Mother! The new Brahmin who will come to your house before sunrise tomorrow, will be your husband….” I received His command with all sincerity….Your father came to our house that night itself under strange circumstances. My marriage with your father was celebrated….From the time I came here (to your father’s house in Bommeparti,) I stopped all my poojas and japams…. I, who did not know any work, pounded paddy, made dung cakes, and looked after cattle….in spite of these (and other household duties), I continued my spiritual exercise and also my teaching to you….”


Divine mysterious birth

“ …You got into my womb two years after my marriage. In the seventh month I was taken to my mother’s house (i.e Sangama, Mekedatu)….As the delivery days approached nearer and nearer, silence and radiance in me increased….I once again resumed my wanderings….My mother with breathless anxiety was coming in search of me….I would go to Brahmakundam and after sitting there for some time I was returning home. Strange it was….I did not feel any tiredness.”


“… It was the year Chitrabhanu. It was Adhika masam of Jyeshta, Tuesday and Ekadashi, the

Flat rock in River for meditation. Photo credit; Kumar Mahabir

bright fortnight of the moon. I woke up even when it was still dark, as usual. I felt like going to Brahmakundam immediately. Without making any noise I went in that darkness. I was very familiar with the hill paths, so I was going without any fear; some Lambadi women who were attending to their cattle, probably noticed me and followed me at a distance. I went straight away to Brahmakundam and using the protruding stones as steps, I descended. Exactly near the water surface level, there was a projected stone. It was flat and a small dais was formed on it. When the waves were more, they were coming and striking at the dais. There I squatted in meditation posture. After some time I felt that it dawned. Within a few seconds, my mind merged into Chit(wisdom or Jnanam, one of the attributes of God). Some noise dragged me back to this world. The first thing I saw was a white light. It was a clear day-break. The next thing I saw was a baby in my lap."


Mystical malas

"In that narrow valley a fragrance was coming. That sweet smell was from the vibhooti smeared over the body of the baby. Yes! That child had vibhooti smeared all over his body from head to foot as if in Pasupatha Saiva Deeksha mode (like Lord Shiva Himself). That sleeping baby had his eyelids also smeared with vibhooti. He had two garlands around his neck. They were strung with golden wires. One was Rudraksha and the other was a Salagrama garland. My saree had drenched up to my stomach. A rivulet was flowing over the feet of my baby! I did not know how and where the stream had swelled in this mid-summer and how it had subsided again. I was leaning back against stone wall. Looking at my son like this with overwhelming affection, I thought of lifting him with my hands. But I could not do so, due to weakness. Till then, my eyes had not observed my mother squatting between the hillstones and sobbing. Poor lady! She could not descend further and had stopped there. Some Lambadi women had come down and were standing by my side. There was a stringed cot on the hill. Some women standing there were looking down anxiously.

“Already they are all in full preparations,” I thought within myself.

A Lambadi old woman gave the child to my mother. Seeing the garlands around the neck of the child she was out of her wits whether they were auspicious or not. Meanwhile some Lambadi women came to me and made me drink some hot decoction; with that I got some strength. With the help of Lambadi women I slowly climbed up the hill. Then I looked around at the green trees and grass. “Oh! Heavy rain seemed to have come and stopped. Perhaps my clothes also became drenched and then dried up,” I thought. The stringed-cot was turned upside down and poles were tied to it and in that beautiful palanquin I and my darling son went in a procession to our house. It seemed that my mother’s bustlings were like the music orchestra on that occasion. A mat was placed on the floor and woollen blankets were spread over it; I and my baby were made to lie on them. As soon as the child touched the earth, the two garlands around his neck disappeared….Many people in the village saw the vibhooti on the body of the child, but a few only saw the garlands around the neck.” Jaya Lakshmi continued:

“After the crowd dispersed, my mother started asking me persistently, “When did you give birth to the baby and who cut the navel cord?”…But how to convince her that I did not know! At last I said, ”Mother, ever since my marriage, all things are happening strangely. Everything is as per the will of Risheeshwar!”….My mother became spellbound at the mention of ‘Risheeshwar’!”


A view of the sacred Kaveri River from the Sangameswara. Photo credit ;Kesh Datta

“ Oh! My daughter! That great sage is protecting you! Today He has done midwifery also to you. Lord! My father Risheeshwar! Protect us and our children. Protect us forever,” she exclaimed and went on kneeling, bowing down repeatedly, becoming exhausted with sobbing and prayers! So in that manner you were born in the middle of waters. Our Preceptor’s lineage is Datta’s lineage.”

Photo credit; Saambasivarao Metlapalli

As our Sadguru Himself described to us in Trinidad at Beaucarro Temple, in a recent visit, He came to know years later that His mother after his birth was still in Samadhi, while He as a baby had started to float away in the water but for the timely help of two tribal women who had secretly followed Jayalakshmi Mata all the way dawn! They rescued him with a kind of basket. To this day it is still a mystery how the baby came to be smeared with vibhooti and how the Saligrama and Rudraksha malas appeared around his neck, but disappeared the moment He was put down in his grandfather’s house!

To our Sadguru Dattatreya, in the form of our beloved Sri Appaji, we humbly and thankfully prostrate over and over, praying He would be happy with us, and that we would serve Him sincerely, selflessly, with true surrender!

Note that the tithi birthday comes on Sun. June 20 2021

Jai Guru Datta!

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