AYURVEDA AVATARAN Hello friends, The National Library of Ayurveda Medicine is pleased to present a new episode on Ayurveda. The present release is part of a video lecture series prepared for the education of Ayurveda literature in accordance with the academic curriculum of Ayurveda studies in India. My name is Dr Sumit Kesarkar and I will be your host throughout this video on Ayurveda Avataran, which discusses how Ayurveda considered as the medical knowledge of Heaven descended to Earth. Ayurveda Avataran or the procurement of the knowledge of Ayurveda has been described with interesting tales through Indian mythology. There are 2 important legends which are mainly discussed. The first one follows the Daivya Paramapara from the Atreya Sampradaya (or the school of physicians) and the second one is a mythological tale from the Puranas which follows the Dhanvantri Sampradaya or the school of surgeons. We will look at both these explanations in brief. According to the Daivya Parampara, Ayurveda descended to Earth from Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma is known in Indian mythology as the creator of the universe. Lord Brahma snatched knowledge of the vedas from all directions and compiled his own Brahmasutras. The Brahmasutras were passed on to Daksha Prajapati in 100,000 verses. Daksha Prajapati is known as the king of the Himalayas and the father of Goddess Paravati,the wife of Lord Shiva. Daksha Prajapati passed on the knowledge of Ayurveda to the twin brothers, Asvini kumar. The Asvinis were physicians at the court of Lord Indra and they are reported to have performed miraculous medicinal feats. Lord Indra got so impressed by the Asvinis’ knowledge that he requested them to teach him Ayurveda and thus Lord Indra inherited Ayurveda from the Asvinis. During this period, due to the sedentary lifestyle of people on earth, the pious practices of worship and yagyas had diminished and people were falling sick. Seeing the plight of the humans, all the great sages decided to meet at the foothills of Himalayas to obtain a solution. It was decided that a group of sages headed by sage Bhardwaja would approach Lord Indra and request him to pass on the knowledge of Ayurveda for the benefit of mankind. This could be termed as the most important period as Ayurveda descended from Heaven to Earth for the first time. Sage Bhardwaja then passed on the knowledge of Ayurveda to his disciple, Punarvasu Atreya. Punarvasu Atreya had 6 disciples named Agnivesh, Bhel, Jatukaran, Parashar, Haarit and Kashaarpani, who all received the knowledge of Ayurveda from their guru Atreya. Each of these disciples created their own treatise. However, out of them, Agnivesh was considered to be most brilliant and his treatise called the Agnivesh Tantra gained much popularity while the other treatises got lost with time. The Agnivesh Samhita, which was in verse or Sutra form, was then expanded upon by Charak with his annotations or Bhashya in such a spectacular way that it popularly became known as Charak Samhita. This is how Ayurveda descended to Earth according to the Atreya Sampradaya We now look at Ayurveda Avataran according to the Dhanvantri Sampradaya. As per the story, the two forces in Nature, the Devas (gods) and Daityas (demons) were constantly at war with each other for supremacy. The gods came to know about Amrita or the nectar of immortality, which lay deep in the ocean. The only way to fetch it was to churn the ocean. The gods realized that their collective power was incapable of executing such a mammoth task and hence they decided to ally with the demons and share the nectar. This process is known as samudramanthan or Ksheersagarmanthan and is an important event in Indian mythology. The mythical Mount Meru, along with Sheshnaga a huge legendary snake depicted in Indian mythology were used to churn the ocean. As the process started, many celestial things were procured. First came Kamdhenu the wish fulfilling cow then Kalpavriksha the sacred tree, followed by Goddess Laxmi the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Then came Visha or poison, which was consumed by Lord Shiva for the benefit of all. The poison got lodged in his throat, turning it blue, thus Lord Shiva was henceforth also known as Neelkantha. Neel means blue and Kantha means throat. Following Visha came Lord Dhanvantri, who ultimately emerged with the nectar in one hand and Ayurveda in the other. This is why Lord Dhanvantri is worshipped as the God of Ayurveda. I hope this video was informative and made the subject clear. Comments and feedback are highly appreciated and you can leave them by visiting the NLAM website at or likewise by writing to me at Thank you for watching. [SUBTITLES CREDIT:NLAM]

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