Lord Dattatreya is regarded as an incarnation of the Hindu trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Dattatreya is represented with three heads, six hands, four dogs, standing in front of a cow and Audumbara tree.
The Lord's three heads represent all the powerful creative causes of Brahma, sustaining energy of Vishnu and annihilating energy of Shiva. In his hands He holds a Damaru,
Sudarshana Chakra, Sankhu, Rudraksh, Kamandala and a
Trishul. The four dogs surrounding the Lord represent the four Vedas. The cow is the
Kamadhenu, which grants desires. The Audumbara tree is the celestial wish-yielding tree.
Dattatreya had descended into the realm of world as progeny of Atri and Anusuya, a sage couple of the Vedic age.