Spiritual significance of Datta Jayanti (18th December 2021)

Shri Datta Jayanti is a celebration of the birth of Deity Datta, who was born in the evening of Pournima (Full-moon day) of the Hindu lunar month of Margashirsha. This year, it is on 18th December.

Importance of celebrating festivals in Hindu Dharma

Karma (Action which gives rise to destiny) must be performed correctly after understanding the underlying science of Spirituality; since Karma is subtler than kruti (Activity), its effect lasts longer. If every kruti is performed after understanding the science of Karma, the individual will benefit to a greater extent.

Since Karma is in the form of thoughts, if traditional rituals such as Religious festivals, Holy festivals and Vrats are performed as Karma instead of as a duty, that is, by understanding its Divine foundation, the individual’s soul energy will get activated and the soul will obtain contentment.

If every kruti is performed after understanding the science of Karma, the individual will benefit to a greater extent !



In ancient times, demonical energies in the subtle and visible forms had increased tremendously on the earth. They were called ‘Daityas’ (Demons). All the attempts of various Deities to destroy them went in vain. Therefore, on Deity Brahma’s orders, Deity Datta had to incarnate at various places in various forms. The demons were then destroyed. The day of His Incarnation is celebrated as Shri Datta Jayanti.

On this day, His Principle is 1,000 times more active on earth when compared with any other day. By worshipping Deity Datta with full devotion, one can obtain maximum benefit from His Principle.

Functions and special features of Deity Datta

The Principle that makes available to an embodied soul the gross as well as the subtle (manifest and unmanifest) vibrations of higher or lower Gods and Deities in shorter time is called Deity Datta. The very meaning of Datta is the ‘One who provides vibrations of Chaitanya (Divine consciousness)’.

– Shrisatshakti (Mrs) Anjali Gadgil

Deity Datta bestows His grace on man by giving momentum to the journey of his ancestors to the next region and reducing his distress caused by ancestors.

God gives man a chance to get liberated from the debt of ancestors through the ritual that gives momentum to ancestors’ onward journey and by chanting the Name of Deity Datta.

One cannot get rid of the ancestors’ debt merely by remembering them infrequently, displaying their photos in the house or publishing their photos in newspapers on their death anniversaries. It is only when we chant the Name of Deity Datta that our ancestors get momentum to go on their further journey in the true sense. From this, we can realise that it is imperative to worship Deity Datta to get liberated from the ancestors’ debt. This also reduces the debt of God on us.

How to celebrate the birthday of Datta ?

There are no specific rituals mentioned in the Scriptures to celebrate His birthday. Usually, the Holy book ‘Gurucharitra’ is read for 7 days before the day of the celebration. These 7 days are called ‘Gurucharitra Saptaha’ (Saptaha denotes a week). The forms of worship like bhajans (Singing Holy songs), pujan (Worshiping the Deity with specific rituals) and especially kirtan (Discourse with devotional songs in between) are popular.

The special places of Shreekshetra Audumbar, Narsobachiwadi, Ganagapur, etc. in Maharashtra, where Deity Datta is predominantly worshipped, have special importance during the festival of Shri Datta Jayanti. There is also a tradition to celebrate Shri Datta Jayanti in Tamil Nadu.

(Ref.: Sanatan’s Spiritual text – ‘Datta’)

What is the significance of chanting the Name of Deity Datta ?

In today’s times, since spiritual practice and the rituals of shraddha (Rites for the ancestors) are not performed as before, most people face problems due to the subtle-bodies of their ancestors. Only evolved people can advise if there is a possibility of a problem in the future or if an existing problem is due to the subtle-bodies of ancestors.

If you are not fortunate to be guided by an evolved individual, then inferring that the inability to find a suitable marriage partner, marital disharmony, inability to conceive, miscarriages, birth of a premature child, birth of a retarded or handicapped child, deaths in infancy, etc. are problems which could be due to subtle-bodies of ancestors, perform spiritual practice as advised ahead.

Chanting the Name of Deity Datta based on the severity of distress

1. To prevent problems or to overcome a mild problem, chant ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ daily for 1-2 hours. At other times, to prevent problems arising out of destiny and for spiritual progress, an average individual or seeker in the primary stage should chant the Name of his Kuladevata (Family Deity) as much as is possible.

2. If the problem is moderate in nature, chant ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ for 2-4 hours daily along with the Name of your Kuladevata. Go to a Datta temple every Thursday, perform 7 circumambulations and chant 1-2 malas of ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ in the temple. Do this for about a year. After this, chant 3 malas of ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ daily.

If the problem is severe in nature, chant ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ for 4-6 hours daily along with the Name of your Kuladevata. Visit a Jyotirlinga place and perform the ritual of Narayanabali, Nagabali, Tripindi shraddha, Kalasarpa-shanti, etc. One can also stay in a pilgrimage place of Deity Dattatreya (called a Datta-kshetra) and perform spiritual practice or satseva unto Saints and obtain their blessings.

How does one get protection from spiritual distress caused by dissatisfied ancestors by chanting Deity Datta’s Name ?

Through the energy generated by chanting Deity Datta’s Name, a protective sheath is created around the person who chants.

In today’s times, majority of the people do not perform any spiritual practice, and hence, they are entangled in Maya (The Great Illusion). As a result, their subtle bodies remain unsatisfied after death. These unsatisfied subtle bodies are entrapped in Martyaloka (Region of the dead, situated between the earth and the Nether region). By chanting the Name of Deity Datta, the dissatisfied ancestors get further momentum. Since they advance to progressively higher regions based on their karma, the amount of distress caused by them to their descendants reduces.

The cloth bag on Deity Datta’s shoulder signifies elimination of ego

The cloth bag on Deity Datta’s shoulder symbolises a honey bee. Just like a bee collects honey from different flowers, Deity Datta wanders from door to door to ask for alms and collects them in the cloth bag. Wandering from door to door asking for alms eliminates the ego. Thus, the cloth bag on Deity Datta’s shoulder symbolises ‘elimination of ego’.

Some prayers to be made to Deity Datta

1. O’ Dattatreya ! The way you made 24 Gurus, let the same quality of picking up virtues from everyone be inculcated in me !

2. O’ Dattatreya ! Protect me from the distress caused by my unsatisfied ancestors. Let Your protective sheath be around me always !

(Ref.: Sanatan’s Text – ‘Prayer’)

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