The Emergence of lord Dhanvantari
Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:03 AM
Lord Dhanvantari is considered an incarnation of lord Vishnu. He is regarded as the god of ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda) in the Hindu religion. He appeared as lord Vishnu during the churning of the ocean with four hands, holding medical herbs and pot containing nectar (amrita). Dhanvantari appears in the Vedas as the physician of the gods. Lord Vishnu himself incarnates as Lord Dhanvantari and reestablishes the tradition of Ayurveda in the world to help relieve some of humanity’s sufferings. Lord Dhanvantari is known as the father of Ayurveda, since he was the first divine incarnation to impart its wisdom amongst humans.
The Emergence of lord Dhanvantari
Lord Dhanvantri appeared from the churning of the ocean of Milk to deliver nectar of immortality to the demigods. He is the first teacher of the Ayurveda, the Vedic medical science. The churning of the ocean of milk is a famous episode in the Puranas. The story goes thus; Indra, the leader of the demigods, was riding on his elephant, seeing the leader of the demigods, sage Durvasa honored him by giving him a special garland, Indra accepted garland placing it on the trunk of the elephant. The elephant, irritated by the smell of the garland, threw it to the ground. This enraged the sage Durvasa and he became very upset by this display of disrespect. So, he cursed Indra and all demigods to be bereft of all strength, energy and fortune. Taking advantage of this situation, the demons, under the guidance of king Bali, attacked the demigods and gained control of the universe. Indra with other demigods rushed to Lord Brahma for help. Brahma suggested them to take help of Lord Vishnu, who advised them to churn the ocean of milk together with the help of demons for the nectar of immortality. The demigods agreed because Lord Vishnu told them that he would make sure they alone would obtain the nectar and recover their strength and power to defeat the demons.
Using the mountain Mandara as the rod and Vasuki the serpent as the cord, both demigods and demons churned the ocean of milk. During the churning of the ocea , many divine objects and beings emerged from the ocean, including Kamadhenu (the wish fulfilling cow), Ucchaisrava (the white horse), Airavata (the white elephant), Kaustubhamani (a rare diamond), Kalpavriksha (the wish fulfilling tree), Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth etc. The churning of the sea also produced a deadly poison, which was swallowed by Lord Shiva. As the churning continued, Lord Dhanvantari appeared. He was young and strongly built, his chest was very broad and his complexion bluish black.
Seeing the nectar in the hands of lord Dhanvantari, the demons greedily snatched the pot of nectar from him and started quarreling about whom of them would drink the nectar first. Frightened, demigods appealed to lord Vishnu, who then took the form of Mohini. As a beautiful and enchanting damsel, Mohini distracted the demons, took the nectar (amrita) and distributed it among the demigods.
Lord Dhanvantari is an early Indian medical practitioner and one of the world’s first surgeons. Based on Vedic traditions, he is regarded as the source of Ayurveda. According to traditions, he taught surgery methods and procedures to Susrutha, the Father of Ayurvedic Surgery. Lord Dhanvantari’s birthday is celebrated with great enthuiasm and interest by the practitioners of the Ayurveda every year, on Dhanteras, two days before Deepwali.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.