The Story of Lord Dhanvantari
According to the Ancient Hindu Scriptures, Lord Dhanvantari is the physician of the gods and the entire universe.
When the universe was created, the Devatas and the Asuras wanted to obtain Amrit - the divine nectar and antidote to death, which would make them immortal. Amrit could be obtained only by churning the ocean.
Hence the Devatas and Asuras joined hands to churn the ocean. They used mount Madura as the churning pole and the hundred headed serpent Vasuki as the churning rope. They wound the serpent around the mountain and splashed the ocean by pulling it to and fro. The ocean frothed and bubbled as they churned it.
The churning continued for a thousand years but nothing was coming out. The Devas and Asuras did not loose hope and kept on churning.
Finally their efforts bore fruits. One day out of the ocean came a wish fulfilling cow Kamadhenu. They rejoiced at its appearance and started churning the ocean with much more vigour. One by one the ocean produced several celestial gods and objects like Ucchaisrava (the white horse), Airavata (the white elephant), Kaustubhamani (a rare diamond), Kalpavriksha (the wish fulfilling tree), and Shri Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, who after being worshipped by all Gods, demigods, asuras and everyone else present, was united with her husband Lord Vishnu.
At last appeared Lord Dhanvantari. He was young and strongly built. His chest was very broad and his complexion bluish black. He had strong arms, reddish eyes, and moved like a lion. He was clad in bright yellow, his curly hair was anointed with oil and he wore shining earrings made of pearl. As he emerged, he was holding a conch, leeches, healing herbs, a chakra (one of the divine weapons of Lord Vishnu), and a pot of Amrit - the divine nectar.
The Asuras snatched the pot containing Amrit and started quarreling among themselves as to who would drink the Amrit first. This prompted Lord Vishnu to take the Avatar of Mohini, a beautiful woman who fascinated the Asuras and recovered Amrit from them. Lord Vishnu served Amrit to all the Gods and Devatas leaving nothing for Asuras. Anguished, the Asuras fought with Devas and were ultimately defeated.
Lord Vishnu foretold Devas that Lord Dhanvantari would appear again in the world to teach human race, the science of Ayurveda.
As per the prediction of Lord Vishnu, Lord Dhanvantari took birth on this earth.
King Dirghatamas of Kashi (Benares) performed severe austerities and prayed to Lord Dhanvantari in the hope that he would be pleased with him and grant him a son. The Lord appeared and offered a boon to the king, so Dirghatamas asked Lord Dhanvantari to be born as his own son. The Lord granted him his wish.
Soon after, Lord Dhanvantari was born in the royal household of Kashi and eventually became the king. Even as a young boy he had ascetic tendencies, was extremely disciplined and performed severe austerities. He taught Ayurveda orally to the sages and rishis (seers) who became his disciples. His teachings are recorded in the Agni Purana, as well as through the teachings of his disciples Susruta, Pauskalavata, Aurabha, Vaitarana, and others.
The day on which Lord Dhanvantari was born is celebrated as Dhanvantari Jayanti. It falls every year on Dhanteras, two days before Diwali - the festival of lights. On this day, a Diya (lamp) pointing toward North by North-East is lit at the doorstep of the house to welcome Lord Dhanvantari for health and happiness in life.
It is believed that Lord Dhanvantari promulgated Ayurveda.
It is written in the scriptures that, one who prays Lord Dhanvantari can be released from all diseases. Lord Dhanvantari is worshipped all over India as the God of Medicine.
Lord Dhanvantari Mantra
Om Namo Bhagavate
Amrutha Kalasa Hasthaaya
Sarva Bhaya Vinasanaya
Sarva Roga Nivaranaya
Thri Lokaya Pathaye
Thri Lokaya Nithaye
Sri Maha Vishnu Swarupaya
Sri Dhanvantri Swarupaya
Sri Sri Sri Aoushata Chakra Narayana Namaha
Meaning of Dhanvantari Mantra
We pray to the God, who is known as Sudarshana Vasudeva Dhanvantari. He holds the Pot full of nectar of immortality. Lord Dhanvantri removes all fears and removes all diseases. He is the well wisher and the preserver of the three worlds. Dhanvantari is like Lord Vishnu, empowered to heal the souls. We bow to the Lord of Ayurveda.
Dhanvantari Temples in India
There are a few temples dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where ayurveda is highly practiced and patronised. The Dhanvatari temple in Thottuva in Kerala is a particularly famous temple, where Lord Dhanvatari idol is almost six feet tall and facing east. On the right hand the lord holds Amrith and with the left hand the lord holds Atta, Shanku and Chakra.
In Tamil Nadu, in the courtyard of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (Srirangam), there is a Dhanvantari shrine where daily worship of the deity is performed. In front of this temple there is an engraved stone believed to be from the 12th century. According to the writings on the stone, Garuda Vahana Bhattar, a great ayurvedic physician, established the statue inside the temple. A prasada or theertham, a herbal decoction, is given to the visitors. The shrine is the oldest Dhanvantari shrine in the state. Another Dhanvantari shrine is found in the second precinct of Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram.
Dhanvanthari temples in South India include:
Thevalakkadu Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Kulasekharamangalam Post, Vaikom, Kottayam, Kerala.
Aanakkal Dhanwanthari Temple, Thaniyathukunnu, Thrissur, Kerala.
Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Maruthorvattom, Cherthala, Kerala.
Sree Dhanwanthari Temple, Prayikara, Mavelikara, Alleppey, Kerala.
May Lord Dhanvantari Bless his Devotees and Followers with Good Health, Wealth and Prosperity