It is believed that Dhanvantri, the pioneer god of medicine, destroyer of senility, diseases and death descended to earth to teach mainly surgery along with other allied branches of medicine.

One of the earliest and outstanding leaders of Indian culture in the field of medicine in general and surgery in particular was Dhanvantari. His personality and identity are shrouded in the mist of antiquity. Dhanvantari, the god incarnate of Lord Vishnu is a celebrated god surgeon, who comes out during the churning of the milk - ocean by demons and demi gods. He appeared with Amritakumbham (pot of nectar) in one hand and Ayurveda in the other. In Ayurveda, the Dhanvantari is described as the teacher of Sushruta (the renowned surgeon) and his other colleagues, viz., Anupadhenava, Aurabhra, Baitarana, Paushkalavata, and Karavirya and Gopuraraksita etc. Sushruta compiled Dhanvantari's teachings on surgery and his work is known as Sushrita Samita. In Sushruta Samhita, Dhanvantari has been mentioned as the king of Kashi now known as Varanasi (Indian city) specialized by name "Divodasa". By dint of Dhanvantari's self statement as "Aham hi Dhanvantariradidevah" meaning ."I am that Dhanvantari, who appeared at the time of Ocean- churning "; it is obvious that the teacher of Sushruta and his colleagues was the god incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Dhanvantari has been mentioned at several places in the Charaka Samhita (Ayurvedic text) as -"Atra Dhanvantariyanam Adhikarah" i.e. this case refers to surgery or the school of Dhanvantari".


Dhanvantari's image as a well -versed surgeon and Physician of Ayurveda is esteemed with high reputation. According to Brahmavaivarta Purana (Ancient Indian text) he has authored:

Chikitsa Darshanam and Chikitsakaumudi.

Other works attributed to him are

1. Yoga chitamani,
2. Sannipata Kalika,
3. Dhatu Kalpa,
4. Ajirnamrita manjari,
5. Dhanvantari Nighantu,
6. Roga Nidanam,
7. Vaidya Chintamani,
8. Vaidyaka Bhashkarodaya,
9. Chikitsa Sara Sangraha

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