Science behind the idol
Around 1000 A. D. the idol of Deity Datta became three-faced (trimukhi). Before that it had only one face.
1. Kamandalu (water pot) and japamala (Chanting beads) : Brahmadev
2. Conch and discus : Vishnu
3. Trident and small hourglass shaped drum (damaru) : Shankar
Implied meaning of the family
1. The cow (behind the idol): The earth
2. The four dogs: The four Vedas
3. The holy fig tree (oudumbar): A symbol of Datta, worthy of worship as the Datta principle exists in it in a greater amount.
Main holy texts
1. Datta Puran :This Puran has the following three parts.
A. Part of ritualistic worship (karmakand)
B. Part of mental worship (upasanakand) : H.H. Vasudevanand Sarasvati (Tembeswami) has translated this into Marathi. It is called ‘Dattamahatmya’.
C. Part of spiritual knowledge (dnyankand) : This is referred to as ‘Tripurasundarirahasya’.
2. Avadhutgita : This is one of the main holy texts of the Nath sect. This Gita was preached by Dattatreya to Kartikeya.
3. ‘Shri Dattaprabodh’ by Viththal Anantsut Kavadibova
4. Shri Gurucharitra : This describes the glory of the Guru and the code of conduct of this sect. The pattern is as follows – chapters 1 to 24 : Part of spiritual knowledge (dnyankand), 25-37 : Part of ritualistic worship (karmakand) and 38-53 : Part of devotion (after Self-realisation)(bhaktikand).
Main places of pilgrimage (tirthakshetras)
1. Mahur: Kinvat taluka, Nanded district, Maharashtra.
2. Girnar: Near Junagad, Sourashtra. This has 10,000 steps.
3. Karanja: The birthplace of Shri Nrusinha Sarasvati. It is known as Lad – Karanje. Brahmanand Sarasvati of Kashi first built a temple of Deity Datta here.
4. Oudumbar: In the four months of chaturmas of the Hindu lunar calendar Shri Nrusinha Sarasvati lived here. This place is situated at a distance of 10 kilometres from Bhilvadi railway station in Maharashtra, on the banks of the river Krushna.
5. Narsobavadi: This is located in Maharashtra. Shri Nrusinha Sarasvati lived here for twelve years. The confluence of the two rivers Krushna and Panchaganga occurs here. This is the place which inspired Tembeswami.
6. Gangapur: This is situated in Karnataka on the Pune – Raychur highway. The confluence of the rivers Bhima and Amaraja occurs here. It is here that Shri Nrusinha Sarasvati spent twenty-three years and carried out His entire mission. Later He proceeded to Shri Shailya from here.
7. Kuravpur: This is an island in the waters of the Krushna river in Karnataka. One can reach this destination by road from Raychur till Palladini (Kurguddi). This is where Shripad Shrivallabh undertook His mission.
8. Pithapur: The birthplace of Shripad Shrivallabh, in Andhra Pradesh. It was Tembeswami who brought this place into the limelight.
9. Varanasi : Here, the Dattatreya hermitage (math) is situated on the Narad ghat. The family members of Shri Nrusinha Sarasvati who still live here have the surname, Kale. Later, the name Kale was changed to Kaliya. Even today a garden and a lane named Kaliya exist here.
10. Shri Shailya: Located close to Hyderabad, Shri Nrusinha Sarasvati travelled to this place.
11. Bhattagaon (Bhadgaon): This is at a distance of 35 kilometres from Kathmandu.
12. Panchaleshvar: District Bid, Maharashtra.