Dhanvantri: The Deity of Ayurvedic Medicine
medicine is a great science in itself. It is connected to Hindu way of life from time immemorial. The knowledge of Vedas comes from the disciplic succession called Guru Shisya parampara. In the same way Brahma created the knowledge of Ayurveda who passed it to his first disciple Parajapati and then it was passed to the celestial physicians Ashwini kumaras and so on.
It is mentioned in Chakra Samhita that the knowledge of Ayurveda is forever and it is revealed in the cycles of creation of Universe. Lord Vishnu takes the form of Lord Dhanvantari and establishes the disciplic tradition of Ayurveda to relieve the health sufferings of the humans.
The Appearance of Lord Dhanvantri
Lord Dhanvantri is rightly known as the father of Ayurveda. He first appeared during the great event of Samudra manthan to deliver the amrita to the demigods. The pastime of Samudra Manthan in brief is as follows:
When Indra, the king of heavens offended his guru, he lost all his powers. All demigods became weak and demons overtook their possessions. Indra surrendered to Lord Vishnu and pleaded Him to save demigods. Lord Vishnu ordered demons and demigods to perform Samudra manthan, the churning of cosmic ocean of milk. It was in this churning Lord Dhanvantari appeared.
Lord Dhanvantri is depicted as a young man with strongly built chest with bluish black complexion. He has healthy, well-built body with reddish eyes. He is decorated with jewels holding a conch, healing herbs and the Chakra. He also holds the pot of ambrosia called
It was this pot of nectar that demons wanted but Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini and gave the nectar to demigods. In this way demigods could regain their powers.
Dhanteras: The Celebrations
Dhanvantri is the presiding deity for all medicinal related activities. His appearance day is celebrated on the day of Dhanteras, two days before Diwali. He is rightly known as god of health, healing and cure. The practitioners of Ayurveda celebrate Dhanteras with great reverence and enthusiasm towards Lord Dhanvantri.