Lord Dhanvantari: God of medicine & Doctor of Gods
Lord Dhanvantari – As an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Dhanvantari works as a physician for the gods. He is also the God of Ayurveda medicine. Dhanvantari is mentioned many times in the Puranas and Vedas, the sacred scriptures of Hindus. On the day of Dhanteras, people pray to Lord Dhanvantari for good health for them and their loved ones.
According to the Puranas, Dhanwantari was born from the ocean of milk during the Samudra Manthan. He brought with him a pot of Amrit, the elixir, which could make one immortal. As the Gods did not want the demons to drink the elixir, they brought in Mohini, a beautiful girl, who seduced the demons and took away their elixir. The birthday of Dhanwantari falls two days before Diwali and is called Dhanteras.
Dhanvantari is a very handsome God with four hands. In one hand, he has amrita; in others, he has leech, shankha and chakra as he is a birth of Vishnu. He is clad in bright yellow silk clothing and sometimes he is shown carrying the Upaveda texts. He is wearing Tulsi garland around his neck and a plant-wreath halo on his head. He is blue skinned, just like Vishnu. He carries the leech because it was used to suck out impure blood from a patient’s body.
Dhanwantari is believed to have the power of healing snake bites. He can also cure deadly diseases and give one a good health. He had received the powers and knowledge of medicine from Bharadwaj.
The Dhanwantari Nighantu, an important and earliest book in Ayurveda, is believed to be written by Dhanwantari himself.
Once Dhanwantari was visiting Kailash with his disciples. On their way, Takshaka, the snake god spat venom at them. One of the disciples was angry and plucked the diamond from Takshaka’s head and threw it on the ground. Vasuki, the King of Serpents, was angry after hearing this and sent thousands of serpents along with Drona, Pundarika, and Dhananjaya. The snakes breathed poison and the disciples of Dhanwantari fainted. But, nothing happened to Dhanwantari, and he used a powerful medicine to bring back his disciples and fainted the serpents. The angry Vasuki sent serpent maid Manasa Devi, who was the disciple of Lord Shiva. But, when the same thing happened to her, she got angry and took the Trisula, the trident of Lord Shiva to kill Dhanwantari. But, Lord Shiva himself intervened and pacified her.
There are a few temples in India dedicated to the Ayurveda God, mostly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These states practice Ayurveda widely. In Kerala, there is a six feet tall Dhanwantari statue at a temple in Thottuva. At the courtyard of Srirangam Temple in Tamil Nadu, there is a shrine of Dhanwantri. In the Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kanchi, you can find a Dhanwantari temple. Other temples include Thevalakkadu Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Kottayam in Kerala, Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Maruthorvattom, Cherthala in Kerala and many more.
If you want good health and life, pray for Lord Dhanwantari.