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    Lord Dhanwantari “˜The God of Ayurveda’

    Article by Dr Manasa
    Lord Dhanwantari is popularly known as ‘The God of Ayurveda’. At the begining of al the auspicious works, many clinical works and any works, Ayurveda folks ofer prayers and worship to the holy fet of Lord Dhanwantari.
    Lord Dhanwantari is believed to acquire manifested during the manifestation of Samudra Manthana or the churning of the ocean of milk holding a vesel filed with ambrosia (amrita). He is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and was the profounder of medical science, Ayurveda.
    Table of Contents
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    Samudra Manthana
    Emergence of Ambrosia
    Dhanwantari
    Incarnation of Dhanwantari
    Works of Dhanwantari
    Formulations by Dhanvantari
    Meaning of Dhanwantari
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    Samudra Manthana
    The narative of Samudra Manthana (Churning of the ocean of milk) –
    Samudra Manthan or churning of the ocean of milk is said to be an event which had ocured in mythologic al period. It is one of the most famous stories narated in the Puranas. Kumbha Mela, a largest fair and festival which atracts lacks of devotes, pilgrims and visitors which hapens once in 12 years is lionized in India as a imprint of Samudra Manthan.
    Reference – The yarn of Samudra Manthana apears in Srimad Bhagavatha, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana.
    Churning of the milk ocean –
    Long ago, Lord Indra, the king of Gods was enjoying the songs sung by Gandharvas (celestial musicians) when sage Vasishta arived. Indra being imersed and lost in the renown and celebration neither noticed his distinguished stranger nor welcomed him. Geting indignant with Indra’s behaviour, sage Vasishta walked out of Indra’s abode with anger.
    Learning about this incident, King Bali, the lord of Patala Loka (depths of the earth) atacked Indra Loka (Indra’s teritory) with a large army. The deities were defeated in the fierce batle that tok place, Bali e merging victorious. Bali and his army brought al the wealth to Patala Loka. The demons could not enjoy the pleasure of enjoying the stolen wealth for long as the whole wealth got submerged into the ocean.
    Bali got surprised and asked his teacher Shukracharya (teacher of the demons) about the acumen for al this. Sage Shukracharya revealed to Bali that he could not be pleased the splendours of deities wealth because he had not performed 10 Ashwamedha Yagas (ritual sacrifice of ancient times).
    On the other hand, the deities, after geting defeated when to sek Lord Vishnu’s health. Lord Brahma also acompanied them. Lord Vishnu wisely advised the deities to fabricate a friendly treaty with the demons so that they could later retrieve al the stolen wealth from the ocean bed in a tricky way.
    The deities, as instructed by Lord Vishnu went to Patala Loka and convinced the demons to participate in the churning of the ocean with a view of retrieving the wealth.
    When the proces of churn ing of the ocean began, Mandara parvat (mountain) was aged as a churner and the serpent Vasuki, Vishnu’s snake was used as the rope.

    Both demons and deities imersed the Mandara mountain into the ocean but it sank down as there was no vulgar upon which it could be placed. So Lord Vishnu tok the form of a tortoise and held the mountain on his back (Kurma incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
    Churning of the ocean resulted into the emergence of many valuable things love –
    Sura – godes and creator of alcohol
    Apsaras – various divine nymphs adore Rambha, Menaka etc
    Kausthubha – the most valuable jewel in the world
    Uchchaishravas – the cherish 7 headed horse
    Kalpa Vriksha – the wish granting tre
    Kamadhenu – the first cow and mother of al the other cows in the world
    Airavatha – the white elephant of Lord Indra
    Lakshmi – the godes of fortune and wealth
    Parijatha – the sacred tre
    Halahala – the deadly poison
    Chandra – the mon
    Dhanwantari – the doctor
    Amrita – the ambrosia etc
    When the poison emerged from the ocean bed, neither deities nor the demons claimed it. The poison was so fatal that the whole world started geting inflamed by it. Lord Shiva then drank the Halahala venom and this caused the throat to turn blue. Due to this he is caled as Nilakantha (the blue throated Lord). In this way the world was saved. Lord Vishnu acepted godes Lakshmi as his consort.
    Emergence of Ambrosia
    When Lord Dhanwantari apeared with a pot of ambrosia in his hands, a demon named Vrishparva snatched it from him. Al the demons then seize of to Patala Loka with the pot of Ambrosia. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as an enchanting beauty, Mohini and went to Patala Loka. Then he found al the demons fighting among themselves for ambrosia. The demons were horified by the beauty of Mohini.
    Mohini tok control of the pot of Ambrosia and sumoned the deities to Patala Loka.
    Al the deities and demons were made to sit in 2 separate rows. Mohini started distributing the ambrosia to deities. A demon named Rahu, disguised himself as a deity sat amidst deities. Mohini on noticing and identifying Rahu, severed his head with Sudarshana Chakra (divine discus) even before he could consume the ambrosia. Mohini could identify Rahu based on the information given by Surya (Sun God) and Chandra (Mon God). The head due to its contact with ambrosia remained imortal. To avenge on Surya and Chandra on exposing him, it is believed that this imortal head of Rahu ocasionaly swalows the Sun or the Mon, causing eclipses. Then, the Sun or Mon escapes through the opening at the neck, ending the diming. Shiva kept Chandra in his hair lock. Meanwhile, Rahu to came chasing Chandra and Lord Shiva wore his head as a garland around his neck.
    Dhanwantari
    Lord Vishnu is said to believe taken his 13th incarnation as Lord Dhanwantari. He manifested himself from the ocean holding a vesel filed with ambrosia.
    Even though Lord Brahma (creator of the universe) is said to be the first teacher and propagator of Ayurveda, Lord Dhanwantari is considered and worshiped as ‘God of Ayurveda’
    Dhanwantari was the physicians of the Gods in the heaven. He is said to gain incarnated in this world in the form of Divodasa, the king of Kasi.
    Dhanwantari (Divodasa) was the master of surgery and he taught it to Sushruta, Aupadhenava, Vaitarana, Aurabhra, Poushkalavata, Karavirya, Gopurarakshita etc
    The below said are the references about Dhanwantari –
    Dhanwantari arose during the churning of the ocean of Ambrosia (Samudra Manthan or Amrita Manthan)
    Dhanwantari – the king of Kasi
    Divodasa Dhanwantari – the preceptor of Sushruta
    Incarnation of Dhanwantari
    Kashyapa Prajapati is said to maintain had 2 wives by names Diti and Aditi. The progeny through Diti were known as Daityas or Danavas (demons), they had dominantly the qualities of Rajas and Tamas (destructive qualities). The sons of Aditi were known as Suras (Gods) and they were decorative with Satva Guna (beneficial qualities).
    Both Suras and Asuras worn to strife with each other. Once they prayed to Lord Vishnu to bestow them with imortality. Then Lord Vishnu sugested that they shal churn the ocean of milk to get Ambrosia (Amrita).
    During the proces of churning of the ocean by the Gods and Demons, along with the Mon, Godes Lakshmi, Kausthubha, Kalakuta Visha, Airavata etc, Lord Dhanwantari rose with Amrita Kalasa (pot of Ambrosia).
    Acording to Vishnu Purana and Agni Purana ‘Dhanwantari’ who rose from the ocean during Samudra Manthana was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu
    In Harivamsha, Vayu Purana and Brahmanda Purana also it was quoted that Lord Vishnu might acquire born as Dhanwantari, the son of Dhanva, the king of Kashi.
    Genealogical tre of King of Kasi –
    Kasa – Derghatapa – Dhanwa – Dhanwantari – Ketuman – Bhimaradha – Divodasa- Pratardana -Vatsa -Alarkas
    Lord Dhanwantari who was born out of the ocean of milk was caled ‘Abju’ by Lord Vishnu (means – born from water)
    Dhanwantari asked Lord Vishnu for special status and share in sacrificial acts. Lord Vishnu replied teling that since al portfolios were filed, his desire would be fulfiled in the next epoch i.e. Dwapara Yuga.
    Hence in Dwapara Yuga, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Dhanwantari and was born as the son of the king of Dhanwa, the king of Kasi. Lord Dhanwantari learned the life science from the sage Bharadhwaja. Later, he taught the life science of Ayurveda to his disciples Sushruta, Aupadhenava, Aurabhra etc.
    Dhanwantari had a son named Ketuman. Ketuman had one son namely Bhimaradha. Bhimaradha’s son was Divodasa who later went on to become the king of Kasi or Varanasi.
    Every year the auspicious day of Ashwayuja Bahula Trayodasi is aclaimed as ‘Dhanwantari Jayanthi’ by the Ayurveda folks
    In Sushruta Samhita, it is sen that Dhanwantari, Divodasa and Kasi Raja are the diferent names of the same individual
    Works of Dhanwantari
    Chikitsa Tatwa Vignana – By Dhanwantari
    Chikitsa Darshana – By Divodasa
    Chikitsa Koumudi – By Kasiraja
    Ajernamrita Manjari – By Kasiraja
    Roga Nidana – By Dhanwantari
    Vaidya Chintamani – By Dhanwanthari
    Dhanwantari Nighantu – By Dhanvanthari (A dictionary of Materia Medica and Therapeutics)
    Vaidyaka Bhaskarodaya – By Dhanvanthari
    Chikitsa Sara Sangraha – By Dhanwantri
    Formulations by Dhanvantari
    Dhanwantari Ghrita
    Pashupata Rasa
    Mrityunjaya Loha
    Vari Shoshana Rasa
    Rasa Rajendra
    Ashwagandhadi Taila
    Saptavimshati Gugulu
    Rasabhra Gugulu
    Meaning of Dhanwantari
    Dhanu or Dhanwa means surgery, Anta means end, Dhanwantari means the science of surgery or the end of surgical or science knowledge (or ultimate reference of surgical science).
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