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Dhanvantari Siddhar

Accord­ing to Purana’s Sid­dhar Dhan­van­tari is an avatar of Vish­nu in Hin­duism, who appeared at the churn­ing of the ocean. Bha­ga­va­ta Purana states that Dhan­van­tari emerged from the Ocean of Milk and appeared with the pot of amri­ta (elixir for immor­tal­i­ty) dur­ing the sto­ry of the Samu­dra (or) Sagara Math­ana whilst the ocean was being churned by the Devas and Asur­as, using the Man­dara moun­tain and the ser­pent Vasu­ki. He also appears in the Vedas and Puranas as the physi­cian of the gods (devas), and the god of Ayurve­da.

But, Sid­dhar Agathi­yar in his acclaimed work of Agathi­yar 12000 says that “Sid­dhar dhan­van­tari belongs to the ances­try of Lord MahaV­ish­nu and was born to a fam­i­ly of musi­cal tra­di­tion. Also, he learned Sid­dha Med­i­cine Sys­tem top to bot­tom seek­ing knowl­edge from 18 Siddha’s”. In the glo­ri­fied his­to­ry of Tamil Sid­dha Med­i­cine Sys­tem, Sid­dhar dhan­van­tari occu­pies a dis­tinc­tive posi­tion as an expo­nent of Ayurve­da Sys­tem of med­i­cine, which is an arm of Sid­dha Med­i­cine Sys­tem. He per­fect­ed many herbal based cures and nat­ur­al reme­dies and was cred­it­ed with the dis­cov­ery of the anti­sep­tic prop­er­ties of turmer­ic and the preser­v­a­tive prop­er­ties of salt which he incor­po­rat­ed in his cures. Being a very skilled sur­geon accord­ing to the stan­dards of his time, he is wide­ly believed to be the pio­neer of mod­ern med­ical prac­tices like plas­tic surgery Thus he is con­sid­ered “Father of Ayurve­da”. His birth­day is cel­e­brat­ed by the prac­ti­tion­ers of Ayurve­da every year, on Dhanteras, two days before Diwali.

He had com­piled his works on uni­ver­sal salt- Mup­pu, Amuri and Jaya­neer. He has also per­formed black mag­ic and mir­a­cles, which he has cit­ed in his works with full descrip­tions. Accord­ing to tra­di­tions, he taught surgery meth­ods and pro­ce­dures to Sus­rutha, the Father of Ayurvedic Surgery. His dis­ci­ples are Sus­ru­ta, Pauskalava­ta, Aurab­ha, Vaitarana, and oth­ers. His Jee­va samad­hi is in Vaitheeswaran Koil in Chi­dambaram, where there is a small tem­ple ded­i­cat­ed to him. There are a few ded­i­cat­ed tem­ples to Dhan­van­tari in South India espe­cial­ly in Ker­ala and Tamil Nadu, where Ayurve­da is high­ly prac­ticed and patron­ized. The Dhan­vatari tem­ple in Thot­tu­va in Ker­ala is a par­tic­u­lar­ly famous tem­ple, where Lord Dhan­vatar­i’s idol is almost six feet tall and fac­ing east. On the right hand the lord holds Amrith and with the left hand, the lord holds Atta, Shanku, and Chakra. The ‘Ekadasi’­day cel­e­bra­tion, which falls on the same day as the ‘Guru­vayur Ekadasi’ is of spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance. His works are most­ly in San­skrit so, seg­re­gat­ed as Ayurvedic med­i­cine sys­tem by the next gen­er­a­tion peo­ple. And yet, like oth­er Padi­nen Sid­dhas, he also com­piled many mys­ti­cal songs in Tamil lan­guage too. Let us see of his poems now.

In our tra­di­tion, we always begin any work with wor­ship of Lord Gane­sha. Let us look at one of Dhan­vand­hiri Sid­dhas poem to Lord Gane­sha, and how his ded­i­ca­tion to Lord Gane­sha include oth­er Divine Beings too.

கலையடங்கி அறிவறிந்த பெரியோர் பாதங் கண்ணாடிக் குள்ளிருந்த அசைவின் பாதம் மலரெடுத்து நிலையறிந்த ரிஷிகள் பாதம் மதிகடந்த அயன்பரத்தி னருளின் பாதம் குலைசாய்ந்த வட்டத்தின் முனையின் பாதம் குணமூன்று மொத்துநின்ற குருவின் பாதம் நிலையொடுங்கி அருளுயர்ந்த பிரமன் பாதம் நிறைந்தமலர் நிர்வாணி கணேசன் காப்பே

The feet of great men who have attained by con­trol­ling birth The feet of the awak­ened liv­ing with­in a glass door The feet of the real­ized sages, awak­ened through the flow­ers (chakras) The grace­ful feet of Bhramha who resides in the cres­cent The feet of the cir­cle filled with clus­ter flow­ers The feet of the Guru who has gone beyond the three gunas The feet of Bhrah­man steeped in Grace in the tran­quil state Seek the pro­tec­tion of Nir­vani Gane­sha who abides in the ful­ly blos­somed flower

All of the Sid­dhas that we have seen have shown us the impor­tance of rais­ing our Kun­dali­ni Shak­thi. Dhan­vand­hiri Sid­dhar also urges the seek­er for puri­fy­ing and rais­ing the Kun­dali­ni Shak­thi.

துருப்பான ரவிமதியின் சத்தி வாங்கிச் சுத்தமுற்ற கல்வத்தி லாட்டு ஆட்டு மருப்பான மூன்றெழுத்தி லுருக்கிச் சாய்க்க மயங்காதே நெடுங்காயந்த் தங்கம் போலாம் நெருப்பான அறைதிறந்து புடத்தைப் போடு நிலைச்சுதடா பளிங்குபோல் நிறமே யாகும் குறிப்பாக அணுவளவு மேலே கொள்ளு கோளில்லை நமனில்லை அருளிற் சேர்வோம்

By acquir­ing the prana from the Sun and the Moon Acti­vate at the puri­fied apothe­cary’s mor­tar By con­cen­tra­tion, tran­scend the Anu By melt­ing and pour­ing the sharp three let­ters Be not delud­ed! The body will turn into gold By open­ing the fiery cham­ber, place it for refine­ment It has sta­bi­lized! The colour will now become lie crys­tal There is no influ­ence of the plan­ets nor the god of death; There is only union with Grace

And what hap­pens when we fol­low our path to the end? Dhan­vand­hiri promis­es us that we shall be wel­comed to his own fold!

குகைதனிலே தவங்கள்செய் திருந்தாய் யானால் கோடியுகம் பிர்மத்தோ டிருக்க லாகும் தகைசபையில் நீயோடிக்கிச் சித்து மாடித் தன்வந்தரி மகனென்று பேரும் வங்கித் துகைதனிலே உன்தேகம் வலுத்துப் போச்சு தோற்றாத பிர்மத்தின் செயல்தன் னாலே செகமதிலே சிவயோக மார்க்கப் போக்கைச் செப்பினேன் இதுவழியே சேர லாமே

If one remains in the Samad­hi state One could abide with­in the Absolute for crores of years Ath the con­ver­gence, remain tran­quil attain­ing Sid­dhi The name Son of Dan­vantri shall be bestowed. One’s body has been tem­pered and strength­ened By the act of the form­less Absolute; To this world I have impart­ed the Siva-Yoga Maar­ga (path) I have extoled and you can join this path

It is said that he has learned three lakh kran­thas from his teach­ers. Three is cer­tain­ly a tip of the ice­berg of the work of Dhan­vand­hiri Sid­dhar. Some of his works such as Dhan­van­tari bal­ava­gadam, Dhan­van­tari thail­am 500, Dhan­van­tari vaithiya kaaviyam 1000, Dhan­van­tari kalaig­nanam 500 are still used by Ayurve­da and Sid­dha doc­tors to pre­pare med­i­c­i­nal cures. We invite you to con­tem­plate more on these lines and share with us your insights. We also invite you to share with us lines from Sid­dhar Padal­gal that have deeply touched you. You could write to us at

In absorb­ing this, may our abhyasa con­tin­ue, may our shrad­dha in the Sid­dha Parampara strength­en and may rev­e­la­tions awak­en as we grow with­in!

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