This Lord Vishnu-like modeled imposing image cast in brass : a queer blend of various iconographic traditions, Vaishnava and Buddhist, represents the four-armed Dhanavantari, the divine physician of gods and the originator of the Ayurveda – Indian science of medicine. The unborn Dhanavantari was one of the fourteen jewels that emerged from Kshirasagara, the ocean of milk, when gods and demons churned it conjointly for obtaining Amrita – ambrosia. Dhanavantari’s significance among these fourteen jewels was beyond par for Kshirasagara was churned primarily for obtaining Amrita and Dhanavantari was its divine courier.
In a way he had greater
significance than even Lakshmi, another of the fourteen jewels, for
while Lakshmi commanded gods’ reverence primarily for being the
consort of Vishnu, the gods’ supreme commander, Dhanavantari did so by
being their protector against maladies, the only threat that gods
faced for the immortal gods were beyond death but not beyond maladies.
Mythical tradition considers Dhanavantari as the son of Lord Vishnu.
As various texts have it, soon after Dhanavantari saw Vishnu, after
his emergence from Kshirasagara, he prayed him to consider him as his
son and allocate for him his seat and a part of offering made at the
yajna. Vishnu said that gods preceded him hence he could not be one of
them but assured that in his next birth he would be born as one of the
gods and then he would be lauded by independent hymns and would have
his due share in yajna-offering. It all happened in due course and
thus Dhanavantari was Vishnu’s son born by his blessings. Hence he has
been conceived with Lord Vishnu like four-armed form, as also, as
sharing some of his attributes, such as his ‘shankha’ – conch, and
‘Sudarshana-chakra’ – disc with such name, though having in his case
different symbolic stretch. With the sound of ‘shankha’ he blunted the
attack and extremity of illness and with ‘Sudarshana-chakra’,
eliminated it completely.
Incidentally, ‘Sudarshana-churna’ – a medicinal powder with an
identical name, is the timeless Ayurvedic drug compounding a number of
antibiotic herbs and ingredients used for curing a wide range of
fevers, and ‘shankha’ – cell, not merely the main source of calcium in
Ayurveda, is also the name of the most deadly poison which on one hand
kills by its mere touch, and on the other, is the most essential
ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines. ‘Shankha’ is also the name of
a herb which by itself is one of the most effective tonics in Ayurveda
particularly one that effectively fights summer-heat’s adverse
affects. Obviously, the Ayurveda seems to have named two of its
timeless products or inventions after name of its originator’s
Deity-like venerated, especially among those practising medicine in
India, even allopathy, the tradition of casting/sculpting icons of
Dhanavantari, enshrining them at work-place or even at domestic
shrines, and lauding him with worship-hymns has been in prevalence
since Puranic days. Major gods apart, among subsidiary divinities and
subordinate gods Dhanavantari is the only one whose iconography has
been duly prescribed, and hence his images have astonishing uniformity
across centuries. Though the main image form perceives him as
four-armed and standing with vertical stretch carrying the pot of
nectar in one of his hands, as he might have emerged from below the
ocean, texts from the South, so also the images cast there, perceive
him with one form, while those of the North, with another. In SouthIndian tradition the pot of nectar and disc are held in his left
hands, disc in the upper, and pot, in the lower, in the icons from the
North they are carried identically in the upper and lower hands but on
the right side. This distinction of the two sets of images still
persists and can be seen even in this contemporary image from the
South. Besides pot containing nectar, disc and conch, Dhanavantari
images are seen carrying in one of their hands, as carries this image
in its right hand, a leech, the water-born tiny animal that Ayurvedic
practitioners used till recently for sucking out infected dead blood.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain
specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of
numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the
curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New
Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend