As per "Shripad Shrivallabha Charitra" Guru Dattatreya took 3 Avatars: Shripad Shri Vallabha, Narasimha Saraswati and Akkalkot Swami Samarth Maharaj.
Shri Swami Smaratha comes from the age-old guru tradition of the Dattatreya sampradaya. The main chanting mantra of this tradition is:
Digambara Digambara shripad vallabh Digambara
Shri Swami Samartha is believed to be the incarnation of Shri Narasimha Saraswati, who in turn is the believed incarnation of Shri Shripad Shrivallabha. Although not much is known about Shri Shripad Shrivallabha, the life story of Shri Narasimha Saraswati is well documented. "Shripad Shrivallabh Charitramrut" (the book describing the life story of Shri Shripad Shrivallabh) has been recently publicised.
- The biography of Shripad Shrivallabh in "Shripad Shrivallabh Charitra".
- The biography of Shrimad Nrusimha Saraswati in "Shreemad Gurucharitra"
Shreemad Gurucharitra gives us the details of his work in guiding the devotees and the various miracles he performed to help the devotees. He stayed at Ganagapur (Karnataka State, Southern India) for a long time and then gave his "Nirguna Padukas" to his disciples and devotees, before leaving for the Kardali forests to perform Tapas [penance].