Gnanasagara Avatara is eighth of Dattatreya’s 16 incarnations. Also spelt as Jnanasagara, Dnyansagar, Shri Datta’s Gnanasagara Avatara was first appeared on Phalgun Shukla Dashami, Sunday, Punarvasu Nakshatra, at sunrise.
Bhagwan Shri Dattatreya once contemplated, “These persons have achieved yoga siddhis etc. Still, until kam, krodha, lobha etc. are not conquered by them, they would not have real peace of mind and they will have no pleasure. Kam i.e. desire, is at the root of all the miseries and everyone is struggling in his life to get one’s desires fulfilled. Krodha i.e. anger, follows desires. All the world is engrossed in this struggle and is suffering from threefold miseries viz. physical, metaphysical and mental. Therefore, all the people should be above the bondage of kam, krodha, lobha etc. then they will gain knowledge and attain my place.’’
So, Shri Datta appeared in the form of a Kumara known as ‘Dnyansagara’. This Avatar appeared in air at the height of a man.
The siddhas tried to bring this Kumara on the ground; but they could not do so. They, therefore, realised that he was Parmatma and surrendered to him and began to praise him.
Shri Datta then said, “Kam begets anger, anger begets delusion of intellect and untoward actions take place. Those, who go after siddhis, do not get my place and consequently they do not get pleasure.
Therefore, you should adore me, recite mantras and know the eternal principle and lead a moral life. You cannot gain me by intellect or logic, without longing for the fruit. So, one should win over kam, krodha etc. and continue my devotion.
The siddhas thereafter followed the path, shown by Shri Datta and attained the bliss. This Avatar took place in Badrivan for the well-being of the siddhas, who were staying there.
Gnanasagara Dhyana Shloka
Sarvatra Agnaana Naashaaya
Gnaana Deepaaya Chaathmane
Shree Dattaya Namo Namaha
Gnanasagara Arghya Mantras
Sarvathraa Agnaana Naashaaya, Gnaana Deepaya Chaatmane, Sachidaananda Bhodaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham
Kaayena yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu
Kheda Thaapa Vinaashaaya, Moksha Beejaaya Chaatmane, Gnaana Priyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam
Vachasaa yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu
DadaamyahamBhaktaarishta Vinaashaaya, Vignaana Saagharaayacha, Dattatreyaaya Devaaya, Karmanaargyam Dadaamyaham
Manasaa yatkrutam tatsarvam shree guru dattatreyaarpanamasthu