Dattatreya is the incarnation of the Divine Trinity that consists of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva and his avatars popularly known as Shripad Shri Vallabha, Swami Samarth Maharaj and Sri Nrusimha Saraswati.
As per the book titled “Shridattareya Shodashavatar Charitanee” written by Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati, states largely that Dattatreya is generally supposed to have taken directly 16 Avatars. The names and their birthdate given in brackets (as per the Lunar calendar).
The 16 Avatars of Dattatreya are as follows:
1. Yogiraaj (Kaartik Shu.15)
2. Atrivarad (Kaartik Kru.1)
3. Dattatreya (Kaartik Kru.2)
4. Kaalaagnishaman (Maargashirsha Shu.14)
5. Yogijanvallabh (Maargashirsha Shu.15)
6. Lilaavishambhar (Paush Shu.15)
7. Siddharaaj (Maagh Shu.15)
8. Dnyaasaagar (Faalgun Shu.10)
9. Vishambhar (Chaitra Shu.15)
10. Maayaamukta (Vaishaakh Shu.15)
11. Maayaamukta (Jyeshtha Shu.13)
12. Aadiguru (Aashaadh Shu.15)
13. Shivarup (Shraavan Shu.8)
14. Devdev (Bhaadrapad Shu.14)
15. Digambar (Aashwin Shu.15)
16. Krishnashyaamkamalnayan (Kaartik Shu.12)
It is to be highly remembered that all 16 avatar are worshiped as per the Dasopanta tradition. On the other hand, Dasopanta is regarded as the 17th avatara. According to the Datta Sampradaya, Shripad Shri Vallabh is the first avatar and Narasimha Saraswati is the second avatar.
Other avatars are Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati (Tembe Swami, Sawantwadi)), Akkalkot Swami Samarth, Manik Prabhu, Shirdi Sai Baba (Shirdi, Maharashtra), Krishna Saraswati, Pujya Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji and Gajanan Maharaj (Shegaon) are also regarded as avatars of Dattatreya. The Jaabaaldarshanopanishad and Upanishads Avadhutopanishad greatly mention that this particular philosophy was directly put forward by Dattatreya.