Lord Dhanavantri - A Tribute

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Lord Dhanavantri - A Tribute

Post by hotice_steve » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:47 pm



Sri Dhanvantri Mantra

Om Namo Bhagavate
Maha Sudharshana
Vasudevaya Dhanvantaraye;
Amrutha Kalasa Hasthaaya
Sarva Bhaya Vinasaya
Sarva Roga nivaranaya
Sarva Maya Vinasanaya
Thri Lokya Pathaye
Thri Lokya Nithaye
Sri Maha Vishnu Swarupa
Sri Dhanvantri Swarupa
Sri Sri Sri Aoushata;
chakra Narayana Swaha

English Translation

"Obeisances unto the Supreme Bhagavan
holder of the Sudarshana
known as Vasudev Dhanvantari,
the holder of the Kalasha full of nectar of imortality,
who removes all fears,
who removes all diseases,
who eliminates all spells & attachments,
the well wisher of the three worlds,
and sustainer of the three worlds,
He is Vishnu swarup,
by the name Dhanvantari
empowered to heal the Jiva souls."

The legend says:
The Supreme Lord Himself descended as the avatara (incarnation) Dhanvantari and inaugurated the tradition of Ayurveda. This extremely rare appearance of God is recorded in the Vedic literature of ancient India.

Dhanvantari's appearance is celebrated each year on the 13th day (trayodasi) of the waxing moon two days before the Deepavali as Dhan Teras or Dhanvantri Trayodashi, corresponing to today 15th October this year of 2009.

Indra, the great leader of the devas(demigods), was riding on his elephant, when he came across Durvasa, a powerful rishi(sage) & saint. Pleased at seeing the King of the gods, Durvasa offered him a special garland (mala). Indra accepted this garland and put it on the trunk of the elephant. The elephant threw the garland onto the ground which enraged Durvasa Muni. The sage explained that the garland was the dwelling of Sri (Lakshmi) and was therefore to be treated as prasada (holy offering). In a fit of anger Durvasa cursed Indra and all the gods to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune.

The Demons took advantage ot the curse. The Gods were defeated by the Demons and their leader Bali gained control of the universe. In desperation, the gods sought out the help of Lord Vishnu (a part of the Hindu Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva). With the gods, Vishnu developed a plan to help the god regain their strength. The gods then entered into an alliance with the demons to jointly churn the ocean for the\Amrita (nectar of immortality). In recognition of their cooperation, the gods promised to share the nectar with the demons. Of course, Vishnu and the gods planned that they alone would obtain the nectar.

All kinds of herbs were cast into the Ocean of Milk and using the Mandara Mountain as the churning rod and Vasuki the serpent as the rope, the gods and demons proceeded to churn the ocean. This churning was so arduous that Vishnu interceded by first taking the form of Lord Ajita pulling on the side of the gods, then as Kurma the tortise who supported the great Mandara mountain which was in danger of sinking, then Vishnu sat atop the Mountain infusing the gods and Vasuki the serpent with energy.
As the churning progressed, 14 Ratnas (Gems) emerged and Lord Dhanvantri was the Vaidya Ratna.But also coming from the ocean as a result of the churning was a lot of poison. The poison was so dangerous that Shiva had to come and drink it. But because it was so intense, he held it in his throat rather than swallowing it. This explains why Lord Shiva has a face and neck that are dark blue in color. Because of this Shiva is called Neelakantha. Finally, the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and abundance, appeared from the ocean and she was reunited with her husband Vishnu after having been separated for many ages.

Then as the gods and demons continued churning, a very young and handsome male appeared. "He was strongly built, His arms were very long, stout and strong; His eyes were reddish, and His complexion was black. He was garlanded with flowers, and His entire body was fully decorated with beautiful and valuable ornaments."

He was dressed in yellow garments and wore brightly polished earrings made of pearl. The tips of His hair were anointed with oil and His chest was very broad. His body had all good features, and He was stout and strong as a lion. In His hand, He carried a jug of nectar. He was Lord Dhanvantri; the divine physician who brought with him the knowledge of health, long life and the medical arts.

Shortly thereafter, the demons stole the jug of nectar from the gods, but Lord Vishnu then appeared as Mohini; a surpassingly beautiful woman, who fascinated and seduced the demons and recovered the nectar from them. All the gods drank the nectar and were invigorated with energy and attained immortality. Thereafter, the gods fought the demons and were victorious in re-establishing dharma. They rejoiced and worshipped Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, and the gods resumed their rightful positions in the heavens.

The next appearance of Dhanvantri occurred at the beginning of the Dvapara-yuga a very long time ago. Lord Vishnu foretold at the time of the churning of the ocean of milk, that Dhanvantari will appear again in human society and will be offered sacrifices and worshipped by humans. He would also teach them the science of Ayurveda. Dhanvantari at that time was residing in the heavens and Lord Indra seeing the misery of human beings afflicted by disease on earth requested Dhanvantri to teach Ayurveda to the human race.

At the same time, the King Dirghatamas of Kasi was performing penance, desiring a son. Through long effort, the king intended to please Dhanvantri for the sake of obtaining son. Eventually, Dhanvantri appeared to him and urged the king to choose a boon. The king said, "O Lord! If you are pleased with me, then be my son, the bestower of my goal." The Lord replied, "So be it," and He vanished.

Dhanvantri was then born in the royal household of Kasi. He developed deep spiritual and ascetic tendencies even as a young boy and performed severe austerities. Brahma, with great difficulty persuaded Dhanvantri to accept lordship over the city of Kasi and since then he became known as Kasi-raja. During the time he was King, He prepared the samhitas (scriptures) on Ayurveda in eight divisions for the benefit of humanity. Lord Dhanvantri's teachings are recorded in the Agni Purana (279-289) as well as through the teachings of his disciple Susrutha. The Bhagavatam states "smrta-mantrarti-nasanah" meaning the one that remembers the name of Dhanvantri can be released from all disease.

It is said that life resembles the motion and process of churning. Every human being has to undergo this process of churning before the nectar of life is extracted. And during this process God manifests himself and helps in different forms. Two days prior to Deepawali, Dhan Teras or Dhanvantri Trayodashi is observed with great mirth and gaiety.

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Last edited by hotice_steve on Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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