24 Gurus 2 of 24

August 07, 2017

I am working through a new to me story & wanted to share true realtime reactions and thoughts as I read through it.  I am excited to share an old story : Lord Dattatreya and His 24 Gurus – below is the context:

Lord Dattatreya is considered as among one of the 24 Vishnu’s Incarnations. LordDattatreya was born of Rishi Atri and Anausya. The name Dattatreya can be divided into two words, Datta (means Giver) and Atri (Sage Atri). Lord Dattatreya considered as guru of environmental education, gained enlightenment by his observation from surrounding, which provided him 24 gurus. These gurus explain the problems of mundane attachments, and teach the path towards the spiritual self-realization of the Supreme.

The core message of Lord Dattatreya is:

“Never judge by surface appearances but always seek a deeper Truth”.


Lord Dattatreya is imaged with three faces, six hands and single body. The three faces represented the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). Each pair of hands carries two of the symbols of the three deities. The four dogs are shown with the image of Lord Dattatreyarepresents the Four Holy Vedas. A cow standing behind in the image represents the Mother Earth.

Narration of Story as in Srimad Bhagavatam

Shri Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead narrates the story of Lord Dattatreyaand his 24 Gurus, in His final teaching to his dear friend Uddhava. This teaching is considered as second best teaching by Shri Krishna after Bhagavad Geeta, and is known as The Uddhava Geeta.

Once King Yadu saw Lord Dattatreya (Avadhoot) wandering in a forest happily, free from worries. The king with humbleness asked the sage, about the secret of his happiness and the name of his Guru. Further said to sage, that despite you look capable and wise, why do you live in the forest. Even though you have no family, nor any loved one, how could you be so blissful and self-contented?

To answer the Yadu’s enquired queries, the Lord Dattatreya (Avadhoot, one who have given up all worldly desires) replied:

“My bliss and contentment are the fruits of self-realization. Soul (Aatmaa) alone is my Guru, yet I have gained the necessary wisdom from the whole creation, via 24 individual who were therefore my Gurus. I shall elaborate the same for you”. 

Further Lord Dattatreya said:

(… I have taken shelter of twenty-four gurus, who are the following: the earth, air, sky, water, fire, moon, sun, pigeon and python; the sea, moth, honeybee, elephant and honey thief; the deer, the fish, the dancing girl Pingala, the kurari bird and the child; the young girl, arrow maker, serpent, spider and wasp…”.           

                                     (Srimad Bhagavatam: Canto 11: Chapter 7: Slokas 33~35)


Today is Air:

2. Air (Vaayu)

The Air being pure and odorless in its characteristics, move freely among all objects and yet remain unaffected. The Air teaches the value of being free from all contamination, and of staying clear of material world’s disturbances.

When Air blows out of control, the atmosphere becomes agitated, similarly if the mind is constantly attracted and repelled by material objects, it will be next to impossible to think of the Absolute Truth, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna.
If you would like to read ahead, feel free to do so here:

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