As the trinity were pleased with them for having brought light and knowledge to the world, instantly granted the boon, which led Dattatreya to be born with characteristics of all three. In western Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh , for example, he is typically shown with three heads and six hands, one head each for Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and one pair of hands holding the symbolic items associated with each member of the Trimurti: Main traditions Vaishnavism Shaivism Shaktism Smartism. The young Dattatreya is famous in the Hindu texts as the one who started with nothing and without teachers, yet reached self-awareness by observing nature during his Sannyasi wanderings, and treating these natural observations as his twenty four teachers. The three Gunas are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Glossary of Hinduism terms Hinduism portal. One myth claims he meditated immersed in water for a long time,  another has him wandering from childhood and the young Dattatreya footprints have been preserved on a lonely peak at Girnar Junagadh, Gujarat.
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Datta Digambar Daiwat Majhe
Retrieved December 17, Digamgar Rakshasas Yakshas Vahanas. The three Gunas are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Dattatreya as the archetypal model of syncretism: Essays on Religion in Maharashtra. Dattatreya is said to have his lunch daily by taking alms at a holy place PithapuramAndhra Pradesh, where he was born as Sripada Sri Vallabha his first avatar. Iccha, Vasana, Asha and Trishna.
A sculpture similar to Badami, but with some differences, has been discovered in Ajmer Rajasthan. The self is the infallible guide of the self: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
India’s Philosophy of Meditation. The Kamadhenu cow is symbolic Panchabutasthe four dogs are inner forces of a human being: The right earlobe jewelry and hair decoration in this art work of Dattatreya is of Shiva, but on his left the details are those of Vishnu.
Always be learning The investigators of the true nature of the world are uplifted by their own efforts in this world. Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India.
His three heads are symbols of the Gunas qualities in Samkhya school of Hinduism. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dattatreya. The four dogs represent the Vedas,  as trustworthy all weather friends, company and guardians, while the cow is a metaphor for mother digambr who silently and always provides nourishment.
Retrieved 4 March As the trinity were pleased with them for having brought light and knowledge to the world, instantly granted the boon, which led Dattatreya to be born with characteristics dugambar all three. The Immortal Guru, Yogin, and Avatara. India through the ages.
Dattatreya – Wikipedia
One myth claims he meditated immersed in water for a long time,  another has him wandering from childhood and the young Dattatreya footprints have been preserved on a lonely peak at Girnar Junagadh, Gujarat. The cow is adored and reverenced mainly in North India as a symbol of the Mother Earth who nourishes all living beings. The Roots of Tantra. In his various hands, he carries a Trishula of Shiva, a Chakra of Diagmbar, a Kamandalu of Brahma, and a rosary common to all three.
Many older medieval temples of Dattatreya show him with just one head, such as the one in Mahur and another in Pandharpurboth in southern Maharashtra. The Continuum encyclopedia of animal symbolism vatta art.
Dattatreya is mentioned in the Mahabharata  and the Ramayana. Classics of mystical literature series. In western parts of Maharashtra, the syncretic six armed and three faced iconography is more common. Glossary of Hinduism terms Hinduism portal. The Ajmer art work is a free statue where Dattatreya is standing, has one head and four hands.
Yogi Heroes and Poets: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English. Continuum International Publishing Group. While his origins are unclear, stories about his life are more clearer.