Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Gods
See also Different Level of Understanding
Vishnu has incarnated 23 times till now. His 24th incarnation will appear at the end of the Kali Yug to establish Dharm to start Sat Yug. Dhanvantari is also His incarnation and it is the 13th one. In this epoch (Kalp), Dhanvantari first appeared during the great churning of the cosmic milk ocean to deliver Amrit (nectar) for the nourishment of the gods. The Saagar Manthan churning of the milk ocean is one of the most famous episodes in Pauranik history and is celebrated in a major way every 12 years as a festival known as Kumbh Melaa. The story is related in detail in Shreemad Bhaagvat Puraan, that describes the Avataar also in great detail.
Along with other things appearing from the ocean Dhanvantari appeare carrying Amrit Kalash (pitcher). Bhaagvat Puraan tells us that, "He was strongly built; his arms were very long, stout and strong; his eyes were reddish, and his complexion was black. He was very young, he was garlanded with flowers, and his entire body was fully decorated with various ornaments." [Bhaagvat Puraan, 8:8:32] 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."Dhanvantari's Second Appearance (3)
This story appears in Brahmaand Puraan, 2:3:67: 10-24; and Bhaav Prakaash, Purush Khand-1 - a minor Aayurvedik Shaastra book.
The second appearance occurred at the beginning of the reign of the current Manu in the second Dwaapar Yug, about two billion years ago. Lord Vishnu foretold at the time of the churning that Dhanvantari would appear again in the human society and be offered sacrifices and worshipped by human beings. He would also teach them the science of Aayur Ved. Dhanvantari at that time was residing in the Heaven and Lord Indra seeing the misery of human beings afflicted by disease on earth, requested the Lord to teach Aayur Ved to the human race.
At the same time, the King Deerghtamaa of Kaashee was performing penance, desiring a son. The King desired to propitiate Lord Dhanvantari for the sake of a son. Thereupon, Dhanvantari appeared to him and urged the King to choose a boon as he was very pleased with he King. The King said, "O Lord, If you are pleased with me, be my son, bestower of my goal." The Lord replied, "So be it," and he vanished.
Lord Dhanvantari was then born in the royal household of Kaashee. He developed ascetic tendencies even as a young boy and performed severe austerities. Lord Brahmaa with great difficulty persuaded him to accept Lordship over the city of Kaashee and since then he became known as Kaashi-raaj. As a King he prepared the Sanhitaa on Aayur Ved in eight divisions for the benefit of humanity. Dhanvantari's teachings are recorded in the Agni Puraan 279-289 as well as through the teachings of his disciple Sushrut. The Bhaagavat Puraan states "smrta-matrarti-nasanah" One who remembers the name of Dhanvantari can be released from all disease.
Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/04/13