Guru Charitre is the story of the lives and leelas (deeds of Lord Dattatreya and his avatars (incarnations).
The 'Trinity' of the Hindu pantheon-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva came together to incarnate as Dattatreya. According to legend the Trinity once visited the hermitage of sage Athri to test his noble wife Anasuya. In deference to her desire, the Trinity merged into one form with three heads and lived with her as her child.
Lord Dattatreya reincarnated on earth twice, over a period of time, to uplift humanity. The first avatar was of Sripada Srivallabha who lived at Kuruvarapura on the banks of the river Krishna. Nrisimha Saraswathi was the second avatar of Lord Dattatreya. In this form he lived in Ganagapura on the banks of the river Bheema. Sri Guru is the affectionate mode of address given to the lord by the devotees of both Sripada Srivallabha and Nrisimha Saraswathi.
The author of the original Marathi version of Guru Charitre is Saraswathi Gangadhara. Namadharaka as he was known, was the great great grandson of Sayamdeva, a disciple of Nrisimha Saras-wathi. Namadharaka heard the story of Sri Guru from Siddha, who also was a disciple of Nrisimha Saraswathi. Namadharaka wrote the Guru Charitre as Sri Guru appeared in his dream and asked him to do so. Siddha narrated the story in Sanskrit and Namadharaka translated it into Marathi.
The story is written in the third person though it is the author himself who prompts the sutradhar (storyteller), Siddha at the beginning of every chapter, to reminisce ever more about the times he spent with Sri Guru.
Like all epics, in Guru Charitre too there are stories within stories and more stories within these sub-stories. The narration includes anecdotes from the lives of Lord Dattatreya and Sripada Srivallabha. But a greater part of the story is about the miracles Sri Guru Nrisimha Saraswathi performed. His disciple Siddha, who personally witnessed most of these miracles, recollects them with pleasure for the benefit of Namadharaka who was destined to share this knowledge with the world.
* * *
In the following pages I have narrated the story of Sri Dattatreya's lives and deeds as depicted by G. H. Kulkarni in his Kannada translation of Namadharaka's Marathi epic, Sri Guru Charitre.
There are many of us who know neither Sanskrit nor Kannada. As a firm believer in Sri Guru as a benefactor, I felt that an English version of Guru Charitre would help more people to appreciate the power, merit, benevolence and glory of Dattatreya and to benefit from this knowledge.
I am not a linguist or a writer of renown. I have not sufficiently mastered the English language to enable me to bring into this translation all the beauty and spirit of the original epic. However, in a simple, narrative style, I have attempted what may be described as a thematic translation of Sri Guru Charitre. The only driving force has been the wish to propagate the story of Sri Guru Dattatreya. I dedicate this book and proceeds from the sale of this book to the temple of Sri Dattatreya, Ganagapur Village, Afzalpur Taluk, Gulbarga district, Karnataka State, India.
Sri Guroho Parataram Naasthi Naasthi
Tathwah Param Gurum
There is nothing that transcends the guru; there is no philosophy in life other than the guru.
* * *
With the blessings of lord Datta, all the 2000 copies of the first edition have already been sold. We have donated the entire amount from the sale to Dattatreya Annadana Trust at Ganagapur towards building a free choultry. The proceeds from the sale of this edition will go towards educating deserving poor children in the name of our lord Dattatreya. But every little thing in this world is determined by Datta. As is said "Thrunamapi na chalathi thena vinaa". With his will and blessings we are confident that we will fulfil this desire as well.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAS503 Author: Sosale R.S. Mohana Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2013 Publisher: Kalyani Mohana, Bangalore Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 184 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.21 Kg