Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 07 Nov 2020


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Datta Swami's Philosophy of the Three Components

[Śrī Durgaprasad asked: Swami, is there any single word with which we can identify Your philosophy?]

Swami replied: The entire philosophy can be given three names. Each of the names is respectively with regard to (1) the God, who is to be known through the philosophy; (2) the soul, who is the knower of the philosophy and (3) the knowledge of the path for the soul to get the grace of God. From the point of view of God, who is the goal to be known by this philosophy, the philosophy is named the Datta-Parabrahma-Matam. From the point of view of the soul, who is the knower, trying to know God, it is named Jagadaṃśa-Jīvātma-Matam. From the point of view of the path by which the soul may attain the grace of God, the philosophy is named Jñānabhaktisahakṛta-Karmayogamārga-Matam.


The three components, namely the knower, the known and the knowledge are called the tripuṭi (triad). Since this philosophy explains these three components of knowledge, it is entitled the Dattasvāmi-Trisūtra-Matam, which means Datta Swami’s Philosophy of the Three Components.

The three names of the philosophy from the points of view of God, the soul and the path are described in detail below.


This is one compounded word composed of three words. Datta is the mediated unimaginable God. Parabrahma is the original unimaginable God. Matam means philosophy in Sanskrit. So, it is the philosophy of the mediated unimaginable God.

Explanation: Parabrahman is the unimaginable God. Datta means the first Energetic Incarnation with which the unimaginable God merged perfectly. Now, there is no trace of difference between Datta and Parabrahman except that Datta means the mediated God present in a created medium that is relatively true with respect to Parabrahman, whereas, Parabrahman means the original non-mediated absolute God. Parabrahman is beyond space and hence, He is always unimaginable to the intellect of any being. He is the absolute truth. The medium for God’s entry can either be made of energy or matter. When God enters an energetic being (angel) in the upper world, He becomes an Energetic Incarnation. When He enters a selected human being on earth, He becomes a Human Incarnation. Whether the medium is energetic or material, it is part of creation, which is the relative truth. God, the absolute truth, can perform miracles in creation, which is only a relative reality with respect to Him. Energetic Incarnations are relevant to angels in the upper worlds and Human Incarnations are relevant to human beings on earth. Datta means the first Energetic Incarnation. Datta also means other subsequent Energetic Incarnations as well as all Human Incarnations. Datta simply means ‘GIVEN’. It clearly refers to the unimaginable and invisible God who has ‘given’ Himself to the world through the visible, imaginable medium.


This too is a compound word consisting of three words. The first two words are further compounds of two words each. Jagadaṃśa means a part of creation. Jīvātma means the individual soul and matam means philosophy, as described earlier.

Explanation: The soul or the individual soul (jīvātmā) is a part of the creation (jagadaṃśa) created by God. Ātman means soul or the pure soul and it refers to the inert energy in the nervous system that gets converted into awareness. Jīva is the individual soul, which means the awareness, which is a specific work-form of that inert energy (ātman) that gets transformed in the specific system which is the functioning brain and nervous system. Both the words jīva and ātman are approximately used in the same sense. Commonly the compound, jīvātmā, is used, which means the individual soul (jīva), which is a converted form of the inert energy (ātman).

Jagadaṃśa-jīvātma clearly means that the soul or the individual soul is a part of the imaginable creation and that it cannot be the unimaginable God. Every soul is not God. But we cannot say that no soul is God. When unimaginable God descends into creation as an Energetic or Human Incarnation, God merges with a selected energetic or human being completely. That specific soul is the original unimaginable God, who has become visible and imaginable. The soul being a part of the relative world is only a relative reality and not the absolute reality or God.


This too is a compound word consisting of three words. The first two words are further compounds of three words each. Jñānabhaktisahakṛta means accompanied by (sahakṛta) spiritual knowledge (jñāna) and devotion (bhakti). Karmayogamārga means the path (marga) of practice (karma yoga). It means the philosophy of the practical path consisting of service and sacrifice, which are accompanied by (or caused by) spiritual knowledge and devotion.

Explanation: This name of the philosophy tells us that the spiritual path consists of three steps. The spiritual knowledge (jñāna) given by the Incarnation of God is the first step. It generates inspiration in the mind of the devotee, which is called devotion (bhakti). This devotion is the second step. The inspiration or devotion transforms the theoretical knowledge into practice (karma yoga), which is the third step. Practice or karma yoga has two parts: (a) The offering (sacrifice) of one’s service to the Human Incarnation is called karma sanyāsa and (b) The offering (sacrifice) of the fruit of one’s work, is called karma phala tyāga. The fruit of work is one’s hard-earned wealth, which is to be offered to the Human Incarnation. Both karma sanyāsa and karma phala tyāga are approximately equivalent and together constitute karma yoga, which is the final step of practice. Monks (saṃnyāsīs) can only do the former, while householders (gṛhasthas) can do a combination of the two.

These are the three steps in the path to attain the complete grace of God. Knowledge is the water, devotion is the fertilizer and practice is the mango plant. The mango plant of practice alone yields the divine fruit. The steps of knowledge and devotion are necessary for attaining the fruit, but they do not yield the fruit on their own. Apart from the spiritual path, the path of justified worldly life or pravṛtti also exists. The aim of pravṛtti is to attain the grace of God and is the basic mandatory requirement for every soul. The spiritual path or nivṛtti aims at attaining the extreme grace of God and is only optional.

This is the philosophy of Datta Swami regarding the three components (tripuṭi), which are the goal that is to be known (God), the knower (soul), and the knowledge, which is the path by which the soul may attain the total grace of God. This is Dattasvāmi-Trisūtra-Matam, which is Datta Swami’s philosophy of the three components.


| Shri Datta Swami | Datta Swami's Philosophy Of The Three Components | Jagadansha Jiivaatma Matam Jnanabhakti sahakruta-Karmayogamarga Matam. Dattaswami Trisuutra Matam Aatman jivaatma sahakruta jnaana karma phala tyaaga samnyaasa gruhasthas samnyaasis pravrutti triputi