To begin the year I would like reflect on the concept of Lord Dhanvantri as referred to in the ancient Vedic texts. Like in all mythologies, the Gods are forms of our consciousness and are not to be taken literally. When we refer to Lord Dhanvantri, we refer to the divine healer that exists in each of us.
In the Caraka Samhita, a key text in Ayurveda, the legend is told that once upon a time, a long time ago, the ancient rishis, or wise people, of the Aryan (Vedic) culture wanted to end suffering in the world. They went to God, in the form of Lord Indra, and asked how to end suffering. One rishi was chosen to request guidance from Lord Indra. This rishi, Bharadvaja, was the wisest and most pure of all. He wandered and wandered in the forest until he knocked on the door of Lord Indra. Lord Indra gave the information to Bharadvaja and he was to pass it on to all of humanity. From this time forward, the knowledge of Ayurveda has been passed down from teacher to student. It is ultimately that this knowledge becomes understood from within, through Lord Dhanvantari.
This story is symbolic of the wandering of our minds. Our minds will wander until we turn inward and knock on the door of our own heart for guidance. Each one of us suffers, although the form of suffering may vary. We soon learn along the path, and after knocking at the door of our own heart, the only way to feel peace of mind, even while suffering ourselves, is to contribute to betterment of humanity by aligning our physical, mental and spiritual selves.
In Yoga, we practice Sadhana. This can be thought of service, in a way. It is the daily cultivation of positive attributes. This can be done through Kriya Yoga, so we experience the world more clearly, rather than through the cloud of delusion. This can be done through Karma Yoga, through performing acts in the world without expectation of the fruit of our works. This can be done through devotion, or Bhakti Yoga, by offering our actions in the world to a higher purpose. There are endless forms of Sadhana and as you can see they all overlap.
While it is only obvious in retrospect, the decision to study Ayurveda, only strengthened my Sadhana and my desire to commit to a life of service to humanity. What began as curiosity is blossoming into a lifestyle. Anyone who has taken up study of any subject knows that the best way to learn is through immersion. Since Ayurveda and Yoga so closely resemble each other in philosophy and practice, the study has become a part of my Sadhana.
And so today, and every day, we thank Lord Dhanvantri, the healer within each one of our hearts, for the knowledge of Ayurveda. I write this post, in honor of this cosmic principle – the principle of love, healing and the nectar of immortality. May we all experience more health, healing and prosperity this year through the alignment of mind, body and soul.
Om Dhanvantara Murtaya Namaha
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha
Tat Savitur Verenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nha Prochodyat
Om, Many Blessings in 2017,