peace of mind and calm pupspace
The dog represents the pariah, the outcast, the untouchable. That caste sometimes has a deity, Dattatreya, who is accompanied by four dogs. Lord Dattatreya came as the Supreme Philosopher (Avadhoota) so that the true meaning and purpose of Sacrifice (Tyaaga) may be revealed to mankind. Atri, His father, symbolizes penance (tapas) as described in the scriptures, and Anasooya represents freedom from jealousy. When penance and non-jealous nature unite in a single person, the highest truth emerges as Lord Dattatreya. As ultimate self-sacrifice, the Supreme God gave Himself as Datta to Atri and Anasooya. Hence, "Datta" means not only "that which is given", but also as the ideal of "giving" without desire for reward, i.e. selfless giving. The whole life of Dattatreya shows us that this "giving" selflessly is the true renunciation/sacrifice. The significance of this sacrifice is stated in the Dattatreya Upanishad where the Lord says, "Not by action, not by progeny, nor even by self, but by renunciation (tyaaga) alone is immortality attained. "Real renunciation is the giving up of "I" and mine, not the mere abandoning of duties. Living a selfless life require giving up one's ego. That is what Lord Dattatreya describes as true sacrifice.
As a Yoga-Avatar, Lord Dattatreya teaches us to perform all our duties skillfully and diligently. Yoga does not require outside aids, nor does it demand great physical effort. All we have to do is change our outlook and transform our attitude to life. This "change" consist of giving up the idea or feeling of "doership", "enjoyership" and the resultant anxiety (and attachment ) for the fruits of our actions. By performing all our duties with this changed outlook, our mind will be freed from agitation and attain the restful state called "equanimity", or the state where there is no "mind". This is the state of Bliss that every soul ultimately aspires to. This is the state of Datta - the ultimate Gift of God. Dattatreya is one the most important Gurus of Vedanta, the Philosophy of Oneness. Dattatreya is said to be an Avatar, an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Therefore, one of his names is Trimurti Avatar. His main teaching is: Be detached. Meditate on the Absolute. Know Thyself and be free. Use Dattatreya Jayanthi for deep Meditation and for reflection about your True Nature, about Brahman. Dattatreya is called Avadhuta, the One without Clothes. This signifies his Vairagya, detachment. Dattatreya is pictured with the cow and the dogs, symbol of the most and least sacred creatures: Everybody can attain enlightenment.