Do you know there are doctors to treat illness of the gods? How can gods suffer from illness?
The Hindu Puranas are not just stories, it speaks about about happiness, sorrow, greed, lust, anger and all the ill effects that were caused due to these.
Gods were too victims of these attributes of the mind, and have invited from the curses of Rishi-Muni upon them.
“Ashwinou devabhishajou…. “ bhishak- means physicians/doctors. Ashwini Kumaras are physicians of the God.
They have a very interesting vahana. A ratha which has wings of ‘gridhra’- eagle, a base having ‘koorma’-tortoise, and they, themselves are represented in form if horses. Their vehicle signifies their readiness to help the needy swiftly, they can move around in air, land and even water.
Who are Ashwini Kumaras, how they became ‘deva-bhishak’?
Ashwini kumaras are the twin sons of Surya and his wife Sangya. But how did they get horse form? Let’s see,
Sangya(means impulses, reaction, sign) has a quality to be at any place in fraction of a second. And Surya too keeps moving around to form day and night.
Hence Sangya devi asked her daasi ‘Chaaya’(shadow) to follow Surya and help him in his chores. Chaaya followed Surya obediently and Surya never realized Sangya is not with him. Chaaya had a son ‘Shani’ from surya. Only then Sangya got angry on surya and left to bhuloka.
As moving around in a blink of the eye is her quality, surya couldn’t find Sangya for a long time. Sri Vishnu helped him, located Sangya to be in a forest in the form of a horse. Vishnu advised Surya to take form of a Ashva and to convince Sangya to love him back.
So, ashwini kumaras were born when their parents were in horse form. So they too are represented as horses.
They grew up with the quality to be able see the whole world, just like Surya and to move swiftly like Sangya. These are the qualities needed to be a great doctor. Hence, when Prajapathi Daksha learnt Ayurveda from Brahma, he taught Ashwini Kumaras and they became the doctors of the gods.
“brahmasmruthvayushou vedam prajapatimajigrhath | so ashwininou sahasraksham………….. “
From Ashwini kumaras the knowledge of Ayurveda passed on to Devaraja Indra.
They were named ‘Nasathya’ and ‘Dasra’.
The infamous Daksha yagna had a very bad outcome. After Sati devi immolated herself, Veerabhadra wrecked havoc in place of yagna. He beheaded Daksha and many others suffered consequences.
“ashwinou devabhishajou yajnavahaviti smrithou, yagnasya hi shirachinnam punasthabhyam pradapayeth |
Prasheerna dashana pushno danthe nashte bhagasya cha, vrajinashcha bhujastambhaa tabhyameva chikitstithaha ||”
- Ashwini kumaras attached a head of a goat when Daksha lost his head
- Prasheerna(surya) lost his teeth, and ashwini devatas fixed those
- Bhaga, had lost eye sight, and through surgery they treated him
- Indra suffered paralyses of shoulders, and he too was treated by ashwini kumaras.
They are Yagnavahas– the one who receives offering in yagna. The story goes as,
Ashwini devata wanted to test Sukanya– a young, very beautiful wife of Chyavana maharshi. They proposed their love of her and asked her to leave Chyavana who was old and weak. But Sukanya refused to leave her husband. Impressed by her chastity, they applied science of ‘Jara chikitsa’ of Ayurveda and prepared ‘Chyavanaprasha’ a medicine to restore youth. As a gesture of thank you, Chyavana maharshi granted them havissu-offering during yagna.
It is said that, ashwini kumara are ‘Asthu devata’, the one who fulfill any wish. So it is always advised to have good, fulfilling and right desires. Ashwini kumaras granted Madri, Nakula and Sahadeva in Mahabharatha.
Just like an eagle which dives towards land on seeing a prey, Ashwini kumaras come to the rescue of the needy, because they have Manovega.
“parithram hi varivicchedi parna, aaja khelasya paritakmayam |
Sadyojangamayamsi vishpalayai dhane Hite satrave prathyadattam ||”
This verse from Rigveda not only praises ashwini kumaras but also Vishpala, a warrior queen of king Khela. Vishpala had lost a leg in the battle, and ashwini kumaras has installed a iron leg to make her able to run and defeat enemy in battle field.
Elders always advise not to wish evil or bad things, because Ashwini kumaras can instantly make it happen. It is just a way of emphasizing need of pure thoughts and action. Which will always yield fruits of punya.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth