(God of Medicine)
The Father of Ayurveda
The original conception of Ayurveda in its entirety is essentially linked to Dhanwantari who is considered as God of Hindu Medicine. Dhanwantari is considered a mythical deity born with ambrosia in one hand and Ayurveda on the other at the end of the churning of milk ocean. He reincarnated himself in the Chandra dynasty. He was born to King Dhanwa, learnt Ayurveda from Bharadwaja. His great grandson Divodasa was also known as Dhanwantari, but was specialised only in surgical branch of Ayurveda. Sushruta, is said to have learnt the art of science of surgery from Divodasa Dhanwantara.
DHANVANTARI also appeared to have been an actual historical person, although his precise identity is hard to be ascertained. He taught surgery and other divisions of Ayurveda (Indian system of medicine) at the instance of susruta, to a group of sages among whom Susruta was the foremost.
According to the 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 the gods. Dhanvantari is depicted as Vishnu with four hands, holding Shankha, Chakra, Jalauka (leech) and a pot containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita. He is often shown with a leech in his hand rather than the scriptures.
His birthday is celebrated by the practitioners of Ayurveda every year, on Dhanteras, two days before Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.