Faith

Dhanvantari avatara

Dhanvantari is an avatara of Lord Vishnu. His name indicates what He does. Dhanu indicates the use of weapons. A knife, arrows etc are all weapons used in warfare. But they can serve other purposes too. A knife can be used to perform surgery. Dhanvantari is skilled in the art of surgery. Dhanvantari avatara is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, Skanda 3, Chapter 2, Sloka 21, said Velukkudi Krishnan in a discourse. Lord Narayana appeared as Dhanvantari when the milky ocean was churned. His name was Keerthi. Whoever is ill is cured by Dhanvantari. When a yaga is performed, Dhanvantari gets a portion of the havis. Ayurveda has two divisions. One is diagnosing a disease and prescribing medicines for it. This is what a modern day physician does. Surgery is the other division of Ayurveda. The first division is an Upanga of the Rg Veda, and surgery is an Upanga of Atharva Veda. Thus, Ayurveda is one of the Upangas of the Vedas.

The aim of Ayurveda is to enable people to live long and to live a healthy life. Dhanvantari emerged from the milky ocean holding in His hands the pot of nectar. The Bhagavata Purana describes Dhanvantari’s appearance. It says He had a broad chest, long neck and large eyes. He was young, dark, and wore a yellow garment, and also wore kundalas in His ears. He had long, dark, curly hair. He walked majestically like a lion. Bracelets adorned His wrists.

Many more Puranas talk about Dhanvantari. Dhanvantari is described as One who is well versed in all the Vedas, Vedangas, mantras and tantras. It was predicted that 16 persons like Him would be born to spread Ayurveda. They would author 16 works, and impart to the world knowledge of all herbs and their uses. The Bhagavata purana sloka ends with a salutation to Dhanvantari.


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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 11:37:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/dhanvantari-avatara/article65419141.ece