The female form of Anagha Deva (Lord Dattatreya) is referred to as Anagha Devi. We must understand that God cannot be classified as male or female. He is also she, and she is also he.
Whatever the appearances are, the original form of Shakti/energy is beyond gender differentiation; we might not even find out in which aspects or in what form Shakti is present among us. One such example is the story of Anagha Devi, who is the manifestation of Anagha Deva.
Anagha Devi – Appearance
Born out of the yogic energy of Lord Dattatreya, Anagha Devi is portrayed as a very beautiful woman with a bright face. There are many incarnations of Lord Dattatreya; one is Anagha Deva and Anagha Devi (a householder form).
Anagha Devi rests in a lotus position wearing an anklet embroidered with bells. She carries a lotus in one hand and shows the sign of protection on the other hand. Depicting her love toward Lord Dattatreya, she is in the state of yoga with her eyes half-closed.
As Lord Dattatreya (Anagha Deva) is the combined incarnation of Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar), so is Anagha Devi. Devi is the combined form of Tridevi (Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati). She is a motherly creation who bestows motherly affection to her devotees. Anagha Devi is the shakti of Lord Dattatreya, and she resides within him.
As mentioned in Dattatreya Purana, Lord Dattatreya is said to be the combined incarnation of Trideva or Trinity. He is said to be ascetic and Avadhuta (Jivanmukta). However, he had a householder form called Anagha, having Anagha Devi as his consort. Being Ascetic, one might misunderstand him being married, but Anagha Devi is also his female appearance. There are different stories behind the creation of Anagha Devi, and the most popular one is mentioned here.
Once Lord Dattatreya disappeared in a pond at age 5, many sages or his followers waited for his return, thus staying by the pond’s bank. Returning from the state of Samadhi after 100 years, Lord Dattatreya decided to test his followers who waited for his return. Thus, from his yogic energy came out his beautiful female avatar.
Female Datta then presented herself drinking wine, overflown in her dancing movement. Unknown to Devi’s youthful origin, some called her Madhumati (seeing her drinking wine); some called her Nadi (seeing her dance like a river); still, some realized her true form (as Lord Dattatreya’s creation) and worshipped her as female Dattatreya.
After everyone’s opinion about the lady, Lord Dattatreya came out of the pond and named his yogic energy as Anagha (one who is sinless). Those who called her Madhumati and Nadi failed to identify the Lord’s Leela and saw Anagha Devi as a sinful woman. But those who identified her true form were blessed with prosperity and peace. All their sorrow disappeared. She was not sinful but the one who could take away the sins and sorrow of people’s life.
Goddess Anagha was also ascetic and being formed from the divine power of Dattatreya himself; she was considered the wife of Anagha Deva. There is no difference between Anagha Deva/Anagha Swami and Anagha Devi. Those who see Anagha Devi as Lord Dattatreya and vice versa are said to attain divine benefits.
This Leela was to make people aware that there is no he and she is God. The almighty has many forms, or God is both formless and with forms. One who understands this will understand that God is multiform and created from the same energy.
Sinless Goddess Anagha
Agha means sorrow, whereas Anagha means sorrowless and sinless. Therefore, the goddess’s name itself defines the motive behind her creation. She was created to remove (Agha) the sorrows of her devotees. Lord Dattatreya is often explained as the one who seems to be influenced by Maya, but in actuality, he is the one who creates Maya.
Anagha Devi is the mother of the world and the embodiment of the knowledge of Lord Dattatreya. Anagha Deva and Anagha Devi are said to be free from all kinds of sins and all pillage. Anagha Devi is the power/shakti of Anagha Deva, because of whom Anagha Deva can bestow happiness to his devotees and remove sins from them.
Worshipping the divine couple (Anagha Deva and Devi) helps a person get rid of sin and find love, peace, prosperity, success, and family well-being. It is believed that those who wholeheartedly pray to god/goddess Anagha will be granted spiritual energy while the sins are being erased.
Anagha: A very powerful mantra
It is said that mere chanting of the name Anagha also eliminates obstacles in one’s life. One can even procure unlimited fortunes by changing the name “Anagha” with a devotional heart.
The name Anagha itself constitutes immense power, and the one chanting this name can always feel safeguarded and protected by Lord Dattatreya. Worshiping and performing poojas to Anagha Devi is believed to eliminate every obstacle and receive Ashta Siddhis.