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Dhanwantri


Dhanwantari; the God of Ayurveda

Dhanvantari (Sanskrit: धन्वन्तरि) is an Avatar of Vishnu from the Hindu tradition. He appears in the Vedas and Puranasas the physician of the Gods (devas), and the God of Ayurvedic medicine. It is common practice in Hinduism for worshipers to pray to Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound health for themselves and/or others, especially onDhanteras.
 

Dhanvantari is depicted as Vishnu with four hands, holding Shankh , Sudarshan Chakra, Jalouka (Leech ) and a pot containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita in another. He is often shown with a leech in his hand rather than the scriptures. Bhagavapurana states that Dhanavantari emerged from the Ocean of Milk and appeared with the pot of nectar during the story of the Samudra or Sagar manthan whilst the ocean was being churned by the devas and asuras, using the Mandara mountain and the serpent Vasuki. The pot of Amrita was snatched by the Asuras or Demons, and after this event another avatar, Mohini, appears and takes the nectar back from the Asuras. It is also believed that Dhanvantari promulgated the medical science of Ayurveda.
According to ancient Sanskrit work Vishnudharamottara Dhanvantari is a handsome individual and should usually be depicted with four hands, with one of them carrying Amrita, the ambrosia of god. Since he is considered Vishnu himself, two of his hands are depicted carrying regular Vishnu symbols the Chakra and the Conch.
His birthday is celebrated by the practitioners of Ayurveda every year, on Dhanteras, two days before Diwali, the Hindu festival of Lights. In the Samudra manthan, Dhanvantari appears with Amrita, Shankha, Chakra and Jalauka(leech), in each of his four hands.