long deliberation the trio decided upon a stratagem. Clothes on. The lady was greatly
startled, and naturally so! What an atrocious demand to make on the host! How could she go
before them like that? It was a great dilemma indeed. If she did not bow to their wishes
the atithis would be dishonoured-a sin mortifying to one who understands grihastha-dharma.
And non- observance of grihastha-dharma meant the destruction of all punya. But Anasuya
was equal to the occasion.
The three gods had made a sadunder- estimate
of her prowess. She decided to use her great moral strength to solve the dilemma. She
assured the brahmins that their wishes would be fulfilled.
She prepared all sorts of rich foods,
undressed herself and went out to serve the meals. However, in the meantime the gods had
been turned into small babies! They lay there helplessly wailing-A nasuya took pity on
them and collected them in her arms. Atri on his return saw them and recognised the real
nature of the babes, but took upon himself to raise them. The three later on amalgamated
themselves into one, but retained the three heads, and Dattatreya with three heads is
there-the incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh together.