Dhathathreya – The Story

December 25th, 2007

Anyone who is familiar with Indian temples would know about a practice called “archanai“. Three simple details such as your name, birth star and gothram (family lineage) are necessary to do it. Ofcourse, this practice differs slightly in different places. Legend says it that, each of the gothras that we know of now, started with Rishis (holy saints) thousands of years ago to help spread human inhabitants around the world.

What we are interested in today is about a specific family lineage known as “Athreya” (popularly known as Athreya Gothram). In the very limited Sanskrit that I know, ‘A’ (pronounced as ‘uh’) means “not” & ‘Threya’ means three. Therefore, Athreya means “not three”. The saint named Athreya got such a name because he eschewed three qualities which is predominant in some form or other in most males.

The 3 qualities which he eschewed were kama (material desires including but not limited to sex), krodha (anger) and loba (misery – in the context of not being a miser). Such a man is very difficult to see these days. During one of his meditations, his future wife named Anusuya noticed him and got impressed with his qualities. “Suya” means jealousy on other’s well being. Hence, as you correctly concluded, Anusuya means, someone who has absolutely no jealousy on other’s well being. Such people are satisfied with what they have and they don’t have the greed to look for more. Anusuya marries Athreya.

After a few years into marriage, they didn’t have any children. God, noticing such a thing, thought that, to propel the family lineage, they needed to have a son. So the Lord decided to get himself adopted to such a glorious couple. Adoption in Sanskrit is denoted by the word ‘Dhattha’ (pronounced as Dhat-tha). Since the Lord was adopted by the Rishi named Athreya, the Lord came to be known as DhatthaAthreya (meaning – the son adopted by Athreya Rishi :) ) and preserved the family lineage till date.

Sanskrit is an awesome language. Every alphabet has superb meanings, for many of which there is no equivalent word in English/any other language.

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4 Responses to “Dhathathreya – The Story”

  1. Bookmarks Tagged Miser Says:

    […] bookmarks tagged miser Dhathathreya – The Story saved by 16 others     Talonguard23 bookmarked on 01/01/08 | […]

  2. anand Says:

    very insightful man..thanks for sharing..!

  3. J.VEMBU Says:

    ATHRI MAHAARISHI MARRIED ANUSUYA. ANUSUYA WISHED TO HAVE A CHILD COMPRISING LORDS SHIVA, VISHNY AND BRAHMA.
    ONCE,THREE LORDS CAME TO HER PARNASALA AND ASKED FOR FOOD.SHE READILY AGREED AND ASKED THEM TO TAKE FOOD. tHEY DEMANDED FOR HER NAKED APPEARANCE AND THEN ONLY WOULD BEGIN TO TAKE FOOD. SHE MADE THEM AS SMALL CHILDREN AND FED THEM. THEN, GODDESSES LAKSHMI, SARASWATHI & PARVATHY CAME AND PLEADED WITH HER TO RESTORE THEIR HUSBANDS TO THEIR ORIGINAL FORM.SHE READILY OBLIGED AND ON THEIR LEAVING HER PARNASALA, ANUSUYA PRAYED THEM TO GIVE HER A CHILD COMBINING THE LORDS IMAGES THAT IS SHIVA VISHNU AND BRAHMA. THE CHILD IS ‘DHATHATHREYA’

  4. S. Rajagopalan Says:

    During the Pattabishekam of Sri Rama, all Sages and Rishies were prsented and at the end of Pattabishekam Rama respected all sages and rishies by offering them with suitable Dhanam. i.e. Each rishi as per their capacity is entitled to obtain certain thigs from Sri Rama as Dhanam. Dhanam means to receive from the King as gift. Sri Rama at the end of Pattabishekam respected each and evry one with suitable gift such as siver, grains, etc. At last Sri Rama invited a rishi who is entitled to receive Hiranya Dhanam. i.e gold. Since Sri Rama is not aware of a particular Rishi to call by name, he announced openly in the hall as to who is going to receive Hiranya Dhanam. Then a voice came from a Rishi as “Athreyayam Hiranyam”. Means I am Athreya Rishi entitled to obtain Gold from Sri Rama. And Athreya came forward to recive gold bar from Sri Rama. This was told by my Sanskrit Teacher during my school days. I am S. Rajagopalan belonging to Athreya Kothram.