As per the Hindu scriptures, Lord Dhanvantari is the avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu. Lord Maha Vishnu incarnated as Lord Dhanvari with a pot of Amrit (divine nectar of immortality) from the milky ocean during Samudra Manthana. Bhagavat Purana considers Lord Dhanvantari as the physician of Gods and it is also believed that Dhanvantari propagated the practice of Ayurveda to mankind.
As per Purana stories, Gods lost their divine powers due to a curse from a sage named Durvasa. Because of this, Asuras defeated Gods on each fronts and started controlling the universe. Helpless Gods were in search of immortality and wellbeing as Asuras became stronger and stronger. Gods approached Lord Maha Vishnu for help who advised them to obtain the divine Nectar Amrit by churning the milky ocean “Ksheer Sagar”. Lord Vishnu assured that he would arrive with the divine nectar “Amrit” and that would make Gods stronger again to defeat Asuras and save our universe.
Churning of the milky ocean produced several divine objects as well as Devatas for the benefit of the universe. It also produced Halahal, a potent poison, as a byproduct. Lord Shiva swallowed this poison. And with the help from Goddess Parvati he held all the poison in his throat. The poison was very strong, and it made Lord Shiva’s throat blue. Hence the name “Neelkantha”.
Finally, Lord Maha Vishnu incarnated as Lord Dhanvantari with the pot of Amrit in his hand during Samudra Manthana. Asura’s snatched the Amrit pot but Lord Maha Vishnu disguised Asuras as a beautiful Apsara named Mohini and returned the Amrit pot to Gods.
As per scriptures, the knowledge of Ayurveda was written by Lord Brahma when he created the universe. Lord Maha Vishnu brought that knowledge to universe by incarnating as Lord Dhanvantari. This is considered the beginning of Ayurveda which helped our universe for ages.
We worship Lord Dhanvantari for his blessings and divine knowledge for wellbeing of this universe. When needed, Lord Vishnu himself incarnates as Lord Dhanvantari and reestablishes the tradition of Ayurveda in the world to help relieve some of humanity’s suffering.
Let’s pray to Lord Maha Vishnu’s avatar Lord Dhanvantari to obtain blessing and for wellbeing of our universe.