According to the Hindu Mythology Lord dattatreya is the unified form of the Hindu supreme trinity Gods BRAHMA, VISHNU,and MAHESWARA.He has three heads representing Brahma Vishnu Maheswara, six hands Four dogs infront of Him, a cow beside him and a Pepal tree behind Him.The right side first hand holds the Japamala(Rosary),second hand holds the Drum, third hand holds the Chakra (rotating disc). The left side first hand holds the Kamandala(a pot containing holy water), second hand holds the Trident, third hand holds the Conch.All these have estoric meaning.
The trident is used to kill the ego of man. The drum is used to awaken the people from the state of phylosophical ignorance. Lord Dattatreya always keeps beating the drum the message that comes from the sound is"you must come. You must come with me towards the path of knowledge." The conch shell produces the sound of "OM" which is widely called as the OMKARA. It is the first sound or word in Hindu philosophy. All mantras in hindu scriptures start with the sound of OM.It is the combination of three words or sounds Aa(AKARA) meaning sustainer, Vu(UKARA)the protector and Ma(MAKARA) meaning the destroyer.That is the whole world is inside the sound of OM.
Lord Dattatreya holds a rotating disc with no beginning or end. This disc is called CHAKRA. He uses this chakra to take away all kinds of KARMA form the people. The rosary is used to count the number of devotees. The water in the pot that is carried by Dattatreya is the nectar of wisdom. The cow behind Him grants the wishes of those who ask for the satisfaction of desires, be they be worldly or spiritual.
The four dogs in front of Him represent the four Vedas i.e, RIG VEDA, YAJUR VEDA, SAMA VEDA, ATHARVANA VEDA. The tree behind Him is the Audumbara which also grants the wishes of people. The tree is the bearer of nevter and it is told that wherever the tree is present Lord Ddattatreya will be there.