Hindu Heritage – The Real Amrita
Happy Diwali and also Happy Dhanteras!
Today, let me talk about one of Hindu Festivals, Dhanteras. Not too many Hindus know the real significance of this important Hindu Festival.
Dhanteras, also known as Dhanvantari Trayodashi, Dhantrayodashi, or Dhanvantari Jayanti, is just around the corner. Many Hindus celebrate Dhanteras with Lakshmi puja as one of the days of Diwali celebrations. However, this day also marks the day of Samundra Manthan – the churning of the ocean of milk for the nectar of immortality. We all know of the famous story of how the devas and asuras work together to churn the ocean and that Dhanvantari, the Hindu God of medicine, also an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is birthed from the churning with amrita (the nectar of immortality) in hand. But, did you know that Lord Dhanvantari also taught us Ayurveda?
In the origins of Ayurveda, it is said that Lord Dhanvantari is considered as the physician and surgeon of Hinduism and that he is the one who disseminated ayurvedic practices especially to sages, including our great surgeon Acharya Suśrruta (author of Suśruta Samhita and also known as the father of surgery, plastic surgery, and brain surgery).
Dhanteras is also celebrated as National Ayurveda Day in India to commemorate the gift of medicinal knowledge from Lord Dhanvantari.
The amazing thing about Ayurveda is that it is a complete science. It has eight limbs: internal medicine, surgery, gynecology and pediatrics, rejuvenation therapy, aphrodisiac therapy, toxicology, psychiatry or spiritual healing, and ear, nose and throat (ENT). As Acharya Charaka said in the Charaka Samhita, there is a greater importance placed on prevention of disease than treatment of disease. The prevention is through revamping of lifestyle to work in balance with the seasons of nature. Ayurveda is considered as dharmic medicine – it considers the inherent nature of the world and teaches you how to balance yourself by becoming in tune with it.
We cannot touch on Ayurveda without bringing up its spiritual sister science, Yoga. Yoga is considered as another dharmic science that helps us to purify our body and mind. During Diwali, we celebrate light – lighting up the goodness in the world, and celebrating knowledge over ignorance, darkness, and evil. With Yoga, we bring light by purifying our body and mind through mantra, disciplines, observances, breath, movement, and concentration. As you can see, your body and mind can be purified with spiritual harmony through Yoga and physically through Ayurveda, which helps us to achieve self-realization, the ultimate spiritual goal of Hinduism.
So, Happy Dhanteras and Diwali – celebrate our Hindu Heritage by using the gifted amrita of Ayurvedic medicine and spiritual science of Yoga to bring light into your home and life!
About the Author
Chahna Tailor, a certified yoga instructor, has a background in occupational therapy and health science & administration. Chahna deepened her yoga practice by training in Rishikesh, India, where she studied the science behind yoga as a whole. Chahna provides yoga, pranayama, and meditation services through her company Namaskar To You. A volunteer for Ekal Vidyalaya, Chahna also Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ayurvedic Medicine while continuing her self-studies in yoga.
Hindus celebrate Dhanteras with Lakshmi puja
Hindu God of medicine
avatar of Lord Vishnu
great surgeon Acharya Suśrruta
National Ayurveda Day in India
gynecology and pediatrics
psychiatry or spiritual healing
nose and throat (ENT)
prevention of disease than treatment of disease
spiritual sister science
spiritual harmony through Yoga and physically through Ayurveda
amrita of Ayurvedic medicine and spiritual science of Yoga