Dhanvantri Tradition of Healing

Dhanvantri Tradition of Healing

A woman sat gingerly on the parapet of her old stone and mortar house, and fleetingly glanced at the tiled ceiling. Bits of it needed repairing, she knew, but she had neither the energy nor the will to set about it. She had not even the strength to get the wood stove going and make herself some coffee. Her stores were running out and she needed to go to the shop down the hill slope for provisions. Just the thought of it made her bone weary.

She had been suffering from a debilitating, mysterious illness for the past eight months now. No physician in Kasargode could diagnose it. She had consumed innumerable medicines, to no avail. Daily the disease increased in intensity. At this rate, in another week or two she would be completely bed-ridden. She was alone in the house, having lost her husband two years ago, and her son and her daughter were in other States, intent on their work. She had no wish to uproot them from their tasks.

What was she to do?
It was then she decided that she would make a last effort before succumbing to her condition. She rose, hobbled inside, flung a white shoulder drape over her plain mundu and loose blouse and slowly, painfully, made her way to the house of her nearest neighbour, some distance downhill, to request that he take her in his rickety, rattling old jeep to the village vaidyan. She would have done so sooner, but who would ever think of it when sophisticated allopathic remedies were available? Only the very grass root village folk around went to the vaidyan.

The vaidyan’s clinic was a long, palm frond-roofed shack with wooden benches. He felt her pulse, pulled back her eyelids, pressed her limbs, asked a few questions, and then asked if she had been bitten by a snake anytime during the year. She denied it at first but then recollected that about eight months ago she had felt a sharp sting in her ankle while she was attending to vegetables growing in her “parambu” , but had not seen any snake nearby. There was no immediate reaction, and so she had forgotten the incident.

The vaidyan took her extended foot in his hand and pierced the skin of the metatarsal area with the sharp point of a piece of stone, and immediately a dark thick viscous liquid oozed out. The symptoms of affectation by the bite of a particular species of snake.

Pizhichil, treatment with herbs and oil massages, oral administrations of kashayams and arishtoms followed, and within a fortnight, the woman showed marked improvement. In two months, she was completely cured.

This was the treatment handed out from ancient times to the people of the forest by their medicine men. Who first discovered the particular types of leaf or root that would cure specific ailments? How did men pick out a single type of plant from countless others in the woods? Did some extra-terrestrial cosmic force guide them? Being so close to Nature, did these primeval forest folk have built-in sensory “devices” in their nervous system that connected them to everything around them in which they were part of?

Ancient lore speaks of Sri Maha Vishnu of sacred mythology who assumed the Avatar of Dhanvantari, the Great Healer and Physician Extraordinaire who Manifested with the famed pot of Amruth in one hand, a leech in another and a bunch of herbs, in order to heal the world of all ills. Legendary Vaidyas like Susruta practised the art of healing that Sri Dhanvantari imparted to the world.

Many are the gifted and notable Vaidyas down the ages who continued the Dhanvanthari tradition of healing, even up to present times. The famous Moos family of Kerala is one such. The dhanvantric power of healing it is that make great doctors and surgeons and men and women of medicine today.
Sages who conceived this legend in the wonderful image of the Lord as the Healer would have possessed incredible powers of intuition coupled with shrewd intelligence. To vouch an important bit of practical knowledge in this manner, and upholster it in a way that could best attract primitive minds would be an astute and indelible way of instilling belief. Thus the dhanvantric power took root. The dhanvantric power is the power of Intuition.
Even in modern times , this dhanvantric power has guided many great minds in their remarkable discoveries, both in the field of medicine as well as in science.

The dhanvantric power or Intuition lies in every one of us, in varying degrees. It could be sharpened by various “exercises” though this may involve tedious and persistent hours of practise. Many successful experiments in this field have been conducted in the West and accepted as tenable. One exercise is to try and guess the time of day without looking at a clock. Another to ask someone to place objects under cover and guess what they are. A third would be to have someone you know enter the room next to where you are and guess who it is. A number of such “tests” exists, but they require complete concentration for their success. The same tests would hold for developing one’s sense of precognition, another aspect of Intuition.

In spite of all logical or scientific explanations , those who recite the Dhanvantari mantra for healing firmly believe it works. It works pretty much the same way as if one were to work on one’s own developed sense of Intuition and connect with specific cosmic energies to affect the cure, without the aid of mythical imageries. Both ways depend on the power of your own mind.

Here’s something to ponder over:

If numerous individuals from numerous countries all over the world meditated upon the Dhanvantaric Powers of Healing in their own spaces every day and recited the Dhanvantari mantra a certain number of times for a specific period, could Covid-19 be diffused?

Dhanvantari is the personification of the Healing Powers of the Universe. Ancient Sages sought to connect with It through mental concentration aided by sound and syllable. Reciting a mantra invokes and incites the inherent intuitive ability within every individual.

While the Spiritualist ponders upon the possibility of healing through the powers of mantras the Scientist recognises that the Law of Natural Manifestation ensures that with every infestation comes its cure.

Just as in the past, the Seekers realised that the solution to the maladies of human beings that live upon earth lie in the herbs and vegetation that also thrive upon earth.

It simply awaits the dawning of intuition for its discovery.

Rukmini Varma

Rukmini Varma is a leading Indian artist who paints in the classical tradition.