Dvisahasri of Tembesvami (Summary and Study)

by Upadhyay Mihirkumar Sudhirbhai | 2012 | 54,976 words

This page relates ‘Gurustuti (Eulogy of Dattatreya)’ of the study of the Dvisahasri by Tembesvami:—a Sanskrit epic poem (mahakavya) narrating the legend and activities of Lord Dattatreya, including details on his divine sports and incarnations. Also known as Datta, he is considered one of the Holy Masters in the Natha cult imparting spiritual knowledge and adequate practice to the aspirant.

Gurustuti (Eulogy of Dattātreya)

[Note: This page represents a summary English translation of the Gurustuti by Ṭembesvāmī]

H. H. Ṭembesvāmī’s Dvisāhasrī begins with the gurustuti: (= Śrīgurustuti) containing 112 verses. The word stuti: means a eulogy or a praise and guru: means the Holy Master i.e. Lord Dattātrey.

The initial word śrī of the 1st verse of the śrīgurustutiḥ (i.e. the first word of the text Dvisāhasrī) is meant for auspiciousness and hence H.H. Ṭembesvāmī quotes the verse:

śrīśabdo devatāvācakatvānmaṅgalārthaḥ |
yaduktaṃ devatāvācakāḥ śabdā ye ca bhadrādivācakāḥ |
sarve te naiva nindyāḥ syurlipito gaṇato'pi vā ||

“The words expressing the names of gods or of auspiciousness, etc. are not to be ignored in writings or in the text.”

(1): H.H. Ṭembesvāmī prays Lord Dattātreya, composite form of divine power, to reside in our heart.

(2): Enumerates His quality-wise different names. He creates the universe by Yogic Power.

(3): His physical form is seen through the vision of knowledge.

(4): He, the infinite one creates the vast world like the seed of various creations.

(5): Difference between the individual self and the Supreme Self is described.

(6): Though the unborn, he incarnates to protect the righteous remaining permanently in His Real Nature.

(7): Those who listen to His Divine Sports (līlā) become free from the couplets and consequently get released from the worldly existence, while a man with his heart filled with illusion gets pains of couplets.

(8): Those who know Him to be the Non-maker of the Creation, four casts etc. never fall in the bondages.

(9): By His different forms of incarnations, he destroys the wicked.

(10): Among those incarnations, Dattātreya has not finished His work and hence manifests Himself in front of the remembering ones.

(11): In the Kali Era, there is the only means of Devotion to fulfill the desires.

(12): Though unmanifest He spreads the world in Him, but He is not in it.

(13): Under His observation the Divine Power creates the world, yet the world does not know Him

(14): One possessed of demoniac endowments does not know Him as one incarnated in the human form.

(15): The same Unborn Supreme Lord (mentioned in Śrīgurustuti 1-14) is born as Datta (i.e. Lord Dattātreya), the son of Anasūyā and Atri.

(16): Lord Viṣṇu, the Highest Bliss residing in the hearts of all, yet not cognizable.

(17–21): As He is the Supreme Reality, it is not possible to perform the 16 steps of Veneration, like invocation (āvāhana), meditation (dhyāna), offering a seat (āsanama), etc.[1]

(22): Though totally indescribable, He, the adorable is worshipped through the relation of the object of worship and the worshipper (sevyasevakabhavena).

(23): Lord being beyond the reach of the senses, is venerated by the devotees in the stone etc. through the mental worship (given in Śrīgurustuti 24-43).

(24): O Lord Dattātreya, please wake up by this pleasant hymn (gītena) of (your) glory and oh dearest of devotees, (bhaktavatsala) please remain present here at the time of my mental worship.

(24-43): The 25 steps of Veneration are (01) Waking up the Lord (jāgaraṇa) (24), (02) Meditation (dhyāna) (25), (03) Invocation (āvāhana) (26), (04) Offering a seat (āsana) (27), (05) Washing the feet (pādya) (28), (06) Materials of worship (arghya) (29), (07) Sipping water (ācamana) as well as (08) Refreshment (madhuparka) (30), (09) Anointing scented oil (lepaḥ) as well as (10) Offering a bath (snāna) with 05 nectar like object (pañjāmṛta) along with the water of the river of Gaṅgā (31), (11) Scarlet garments (kaṣāya paridhāna) as well as Deer-skin (airṇaya carma) (32), (12) Sacred Thread (yajñopavīta) (33), (12) Applying Sandal paste mixed with ashes, clay, musk, saffron, etc. (candanādyalaṅkāra) (34), (14) Offering of the leaves of Śamī, Bilva, Basil and lotus (patrārpaṇa) (35), (15) Scented sticks (dhūpaḥ) (36), (16) Lighting a lamp (dīpaḥ) (37), (17) Offering the food of six tastes (38), (18) Sipping water (ācamana), (19) Offering a betel leaf (tāmbūla), (20) Sacred gift (dakṣiṇā) (39), (21) Waiving the lighted lamps (nīrājana) as well as (22) Circumambulations (pradakṣiṇā) (40), (23) Offering a handful of flowers (kusumāñjali), (24) Entertaining with songs, musical instruments as well as dance) (41)[2] and (25) Offering a bed in the heart (śayana) (43).

(44–53): This unit comprises of “aparādhakṣamāpanastotram [aparādhakṣamāpana-stotra]”, the well-known prayer requesting the Lord Dattātreya to forgive the faults. Its 3rd and the 4th lines are the same “kṣamasvāparādhaṃ kṣamasvāparādhaṃ kṣamasvāparādhaṃ prabhoklinnacitta|” means “O kind-hearted Dattātreya, please forgive my (mental) drawbacks, please forgive my (oral) faults and please forgive my (bad) action.”

(54–64): The unit comprises of the Hymn of Lord Dattātreya’s 108 names beginning with da (dakārādistuti) and continues to supply the rest of the names beginning gradually with the Later da followed by the each of the da excepting the one with the Visarga daḥ.

(65): The Vedas even can not give all the names of Lord. Śrīgurustuti 66: He is the Highest Self and One without second.

(67): The dull-witted ones imagined His contact with the Illusory Power like the pure sky seen clouded.

(68): This Illusory Power of Him causes one to ascertain and to incline one to enmesh in the Qualities.

(69): The only reason for the transmigratory world is the ego of the individual souls.

(70-71): The people of the 14 worlds transmigrate, but the blessed reach to His Abode that can be accessed through the virtues and pure reasoning.

(72-73): He is beyond the reach of the mind like the Sun to the blind, but His pure devotees reach to His abode gradually.

(74): A prayer to Lord to caste His glance of compassion.

(75): A prayer to let his soul remain united with His affectionate devotion, his intellect with His thought, his sight with His vision and his limbs with His physique.

(76): Let his feet be engaged in the pilgrimage of His holy places, let his hands in His worship and his tongue relish the sentiments of His exploits.

(77): Let his nose relish the fragrance of His lotus-feet, his eyes the vision of His image and his ears the stories of Him.

(78): Let his body bear the dust of the pure lotus-feet of His devotees and his mind in Him.

(79): Let his head bow down in His lotus-feet and his body in the close contacts of His image.

(80): He has Himself created this entire world.

Prayer 81 - 93:

(81): The people deluded by His Illusory Power do not recognize His true nature and hence revolve in the cycle of births and deaths.

(82-83): He is really the Creator, Sustainer and the Destroyer of the universe. He appears to have these 08 forms.

(84): All the gods and even this world of movables as well as immovable are the parts of His Universal Form.

(85): His nature difficult to be witnessed, is the result of one’s past merits.

(86):As He takes shelter in Him.

(87): The devotional love in Him may not abandon him.

(88): He does not care for any praise or blame, beating or adorning, or death, love or to hatred.

(89): The mind, intellect, ego, speech and body depend now upon the natural instinct.

(90): He has incarnated as Dattātreya, the son of sage Atri.

(91-92): Lord Dattātreya is beheld in different forms like a monk, an enjoyer, a Yogi, bedecked with precious garments or a naked and a house holder or a forester.

(93): His festival is to protect devotees. His homage is His remembrance. The graced food is His total surrender

(94-96): The unit gives the daily routine of Lord Dattatreya such as, He sleeps in the Māhuradaḍha, dwells on the Mt. Sahya, takes bath in the river Gaṇgā, meditates in the city of Gandharvas, performs the rite sipping water in kurukṣetra, applies the holy ashes in the Dhūtapāpeśvara, performs twilight in Karahāta, begs alms in Kuravapura, anoints sandal paste in Panḍharapura, takes meals at Pancāleśvara and performs the evening rite on the western sea-coast.

(97): May Lord Dattātreya dwell in his heart and remind Him in all the activities.

(98): Request for the protection of the body which made up of the five gross elements.

(99): He walks and catches without hands and feet, hears without ears, watches without eyes, knows what is worthy of knowing but no one knows Lord Dattātreya.

(100–103): The 08 forms of the Lord like (01) Earth, (02) Water, (03) Fire, (04) the Sun, (05) the Moon, (06) the Wind, (07) the Ether and (08) the individual soul.

(104): Lord Dattātreya is the inner controller of all, the author of the Vedānta, and the knower of the Vedas.

(105): He is the Highest Self and has entered into the three worlds and supports them.

(106-110): This unit is a collection of stanzas for meditation (dhyānaślokā) depicting His lotus-feet (106), sitting posture (107), chest, shoulders, long arms, palms and the face (108), His eyes, hair, eye-browse eye-lashes, etc. (109) and His lotus-face, teeth (110).

(111): In this Kali Era He has manifested twice as Śri pāda śri vallabha and Śri Nṛsi ṃhasarasvatī to protect the righteous path, the saints, the Vedas and the Piety.

(112): He will now describe the infinite Divine Sports according to his intellectual capacity.

Footnotes and references:


ācintyasya kuto dhyānaṃ kūṭasthāvāhanaṃ kutaḥ|
kvāsanaṃ viśvasaṃsthasya pādyaṃ pūtātmanaḥ kutaḥ||
kvānarghorukramasyārghyaṃ viṣṇorācamanaṃ kutaḥ|
narmalasyā kutaḥ snānaṃ kva nirāvaraṇe'mbaram||
svasūtrasya kutaḥ sūtraṃ nirmalasya ca lepanam|
nistṛṣaḥ sumanābhiḥ kiṃ kimakledyasya dhūpataḥ||
svaprakāśasya dīpaiḥ kiṃ kiṃ bhakṣyādyaurjagadbhṛtaḥ|
kiṃ deyaṃ paritṛptasya virājaḥ kva pradakṣiṇāḥ||
kimanantasya natibhiḥ stauti ko vāgagocaram|
antarbahiḥprapūrṇasya kathamudvāsanaṃ bhavet || śrīgurustutiḥ


Śrīgurustuti 42 presents the statement of H. H. Ṭembesvāmī who has prepared on the instruction and inspiration of Lord Dattātreya.

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