Archive for category Gujarat

Dattatreya – the guru who had 24 other gurus

Dattatreya was India’s first Guru in the tradition of the Nath Sampradaya to which other famous gurus like Gorakhnath and Matsyendranath also belonged. Dattatreya was the first among these Naths and undoubtedly the greatest too. The story of the birth of Dattatreya is well known in Indian culture. Dattatreya is worshipped all over India and also in Tibet and Nepal.

Dattatreya was born to Sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. Anasuya was the ideal of perfect wifehood. Her pati-vrata (devotion to her husband) was envied by Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati, the consorts of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. They envied Anasuya because everyone in the world considered Anasuya to be the most dutiful wife, while each of these three ladies considered themselves to be the most dutiful of all wives. Filled with jealousy, they coaxed their husbands to be participants in a ploy to set Anasuya up in a situation where she would be forced to choose between being unfaithful to her husband or be the cause for Atri and herself to be subject to a terrible curse.

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Narsinh Mehta – The Adi Kavi of Gujarat

(In Gujarati Script)

વૈષ્ણવ જન તો તેને કિહયે, જે પીડ પરાયી જાણે રે
પર દુખ્ખે ઉપકાર કરે તોયે, મન અિભમાન ના આણે રે

(In Devanagari Script)

वैष्णव जन तो तेने किहये, जे पीड परायी जाणे रे
पर दुख्खे उपकार करे तोये, मन अिभमान ना आणे रे

(meaning in English)

He is a vaishnava, who feels and senses the pain of another.

Who is ready to serve the unfortunate, without vanity.

Every Indian has heard this Gujarati song, that was largely popularized by Mahatma Gandhi. Some of us even think Mahatma Gandhi composed it. This famous song was actually composed by a great Krishna Bhakth called Narsinh Mehta, 600 years ago. Narsinh Mehta is called the Adi Kavi (first among poets) of Gujarat. He lived in the early 15th century India. Read the rest of this entry »

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