Dvisahasri of Tembesvami (Summary and Study)

by Upadhyay Mihirkumar Sudhirbhai | 2012 | 54,976 words

This page relates ‘Narration of Shripada’s incarnation’ 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.

Chapter 5 - Narration of Śrīpāda’s incarnation

[Note: This page represents a summary English translation of the Dvisāhasrī by Ṭembesvāmī, chapter 5.—In the 5th chapter (the story is about) Lord Dattātreya takes the birth as Śripādaśrivallabha out of sheer devotion of a Brahmin lady and takes renunciation when He has the brothers.]

05/01-02: Nāmadhāraka spoke: He requests to narrate the two incarnations (Śrīpādaśrīvallabha and Nṛsiṃhasarasvatī) of Lord Dattātreya.

05/03-11: Siddha spoke: Their pious stories purify the listeners and the speakers from sins of this world (04). He incarnates with his Divine Sport in every era in order to protect the righteousness, to save the good and to destroy the wicked (05). He manifests Himself to uplift the poor and needy devotees (06). In the city Pīṭhāpura of Eastern part of India there lives a Brahmin named Rājā with his wife Sumati. Both are devoted to Lord Dattātreya (07). Once Lord Dattātreya comes to his house in the guise of a mendicant and begs the food. She offers the food, though the performance of the ancestral right is yet to over (08). The Lord is pleased and reveals His original form (described)[1] (09-10). She offers Him food with the firm belief that He is the partaker of the food. He offers a boon (11).

05/12-16: The Brahmin lady: She along with her ancestors have become blessed, because He has showed His form (13). He is the Wish-fulfilling tree for the devotees. She asks for a virtuous son, because He has addressed her[2] as “O mother” (14). The Lord okays it and adds that she will get a son like Him without ignoring his words (15). The Lord disappears. She reports everything to her husband, both get delighted (16).

05/17-18: The Brahmin lady: She asks her husband to forgive for offering meals to the Lord before the ancestral rite.

05/19-27: The Brahmin spoke: He is happy because she has offered directly to Lord Vishnu Himself (20). Lord Dattātreya wanders at noon in any guise to uplift the devotees (21). She has sanctified their lineage and has archived boon beneficial to the world (22). He performs the ancestral rite. She gives birth to the Unborn Lord (23). Astrologers say that He is born as the fruit of his merits. He is Lord Dattātreya Himself who has taken incarnation for the path of devotion (24-25). The father names him Śrīpāda on seeing marks on his foot-soles (pāda) with auspicious sign (śrī). He grows fast (26). The boy is initiated. The father teaches Him the three Vedas. The boy denies the marriage (27).

05/28-37: Śrīpāda spoke: After renouncing the world, He would marry the Yogaśrī (29). The parents tell him that they would not be able to survive without Him (30). Though beyond the reach of senses, He is seen as their son due to their previous merits. He should not forsake them in the ocean of misery (31). His (i.e. Śrīpāda’s) remembrance releases them from the fetters of the worldly Existence, but that would run away as the time passes. The other (two) children are lame and blind (32). He listens to their words and places His hand on the head of both the children (33). Both are cured and become knowledgeable miraculously (34). On seeing this miracle the mother remembers His words[3] (35). She has imagined Him as her son not knowing His pure form (36). Though unborn He is born from her belly and His Illusory Power has enwraped her (37).

05/38-43: Śrīpāda spoke: If she keeps His form in her heart, she will attain His association. (39). Her sons will have long life, knowledge, wealth, sons and grandsons serving the parents (40-41). Śrīpāda circumambulates his parents, bows down and being permitted goes to Vārāṇasī and then to Badarikāśrama (42). He goes to holy place, called Gokarṇa (where Gaṇeśa had installed the Śivaliṅga) (43)

Footnotes and references:


vyāghracarcāvṛtastryāsyo jaṭilo bhasmabhūṣitaḥ ||


me suprajastvaṃ janasevi mātarityuktasaṃbodhanasiddhipūrvam||


putraste bhavitā māddaktaduाktiṃ mā tiraskuru|| 05/15||

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