Shri Dattatreya is very old incarnation who has been revered throughout history. Dattatreya, a Universal Guru manifested in the recesses of time during the ‘Kaliyug', when humanity had strayed far from its pristine state and was on the verge of succumbing to a time when all kinds of vices had already taken root, and pious souls made fervent appeals for the salvation of humanity surging forward in manifold ways. He had come to create Satya (Universal Truth), Rta (Cosmic Order), and Dharma (perennial principles) in their fullness on this planet.
Seer Atri was one of these Seers who had ‘seen' and experienced the everlasting Wisdom of Brahman. He had a son, who was the manifestation of all three Primal Energies of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and was the result of Grace or Divine Will. He was endowed with the three powers, and he grew to possess the concentrated wisdom of the three God-heads, or three heads metaphorically. Brahma is personified as ‘Tejas', Vishnu is personified as ‘Ojas', while Shiva is personified as ‘Tapas.' The three facets or states of being of the same were portrayed as illumination of knowledge, vigour of action, and stringency of penance under these headings.
As the offspring of Atri and Anusuya, a Vedic sage couple, Dattatreya had fallen into the domain of the earth. Anusuya rose to prominence as a result of her unwavering loyalty to her spouse. She was the epitome of virginity. Her spiritual strength was so strong that even the rough soil softened and smoothed for her as she went about. The three Gods resolved to convince these questioning elements how wrong they were by using this devout woman to instill jealously and envy in others.
Dattatreya is the reservoir of the united divinity of the ultimate Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. He was the son of Atri, the renowned Sage, and Anusuya, his faithful consort. Datta means "to give" or "to be given," while "Atreya" means "Atri's son." Dattatreya is the name given to Atri's son when the three ultimate Gods united and offered themselves to him in the form of a son. He is a modest monk with three heads and six arms who stands out. In his hands, he holds a rosary and a water pitcher, a conch and a discus, and a trident and a drum, signifying the three Gods.