Lord Dattatreya is referred to as बालोन्मत्त्पिशाच in many scriptures.

The word itself is made up of three words

1) बाल- Literally meaning the child (It is a jeevanmukta lakshana)

2) उन्मत्त​- Meaning the one who acts like a enthusiastic crazy person (Jeevanmukta Lakshana)

3) पिशाच- Demonic , It is a special type of bhoga-yoni created for people with bad karma.

A pisacha is one with deteriorated human body which is bleeding from many sides and is decomposing, they eat humans and other dead animals, they have very big nails and totally black skin and a continuous bad odour from their body.

My question is why is lord dattatreya is called a पिशाच he is jeevanmukta and an avatar of lord Vishnu, so how can he be in pishacha yoni which is meant for people with heavy load of bad karma.

  • @Sai It's from one of the Dattatreya mantras given in the (likely spurious) Dattatreya Upanishad: astrojyoti.com/dattaatreyaupanishad.htm "Dattaatreya Hare KRshhNa unmataananda-daayaka, digambara, mune, baala, pishaaca, jn~aana saagara" Commented May 14, 2015 at 14:48
  • Thankyou @KeshavSrinivasan you saved me lot of labour and time :D
    – Yogi
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 14:58
  • One possible interpretation from looking at the upanishad is that Lord Dattatreya is equally present in all, children, mad men, devils. There is nothing in which Lord Datta is not present. He pervades the Universe. It is He that has taken the guise of all the creations of the Universe. All the best.
    – Sai
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 15:16
  • 1
    @Sai This Wikipedia page says it's because of "his role as violator of moral laws", which is a rather strange thing to say about Dattatreya. Commented May 14, 2015 at 15:19
  • yeah it is advait way to look at it but as he is a jeevanmukta you cannot call him a pischa because pischa is just a pure bhogi and he is parama yogi
    – Yogi
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Dattatreya is called 'Pisacha' because Pisacha-state is one of of the states of the One who becomes one with Brahman. As the Viveka-chudamoni reads

digamvaro vaapi cha saambaro vaa tvagambaro vaapi chidamvarasthah/Unmattavat vaa api cha vaalavad va pishacha-vaad vaapi charati avanyaam//(540).

meaning: sometimes clothed, sometimes naked, sometimes wearing skins and sometimes being covered by the ether of consciousness, sometimes an insane, sometimes a boy and sometimes a pisacha--in many forms they roam around on the earth.

This 'pisacha' avastha was also seen in Sri Sri Bamakhepa of Tarapith, one of the greatest Tantriks of all times.It was also seen during the Tantrik practices in Sri Ramakrishna.Sri Ramakrisshna-Kathamrita also described the outer state of a Brahmavid as


  • 1
    whats the translation ? Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 19:23

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