Did you know that today is celebrated as the National Ayurveda Day?
Mostly not. We have come to associate this day with buying gold or silver or something valuable, because well, Dhan means wealth na?
धन्वन्तरि – Dhanavantari
dhanu = “science of [extracting] arrows” (surgery)
dhanu + anta = dhanvanta = “the end (complete knowledge) of surgery”
dhanvanta + ri = dhanvantari = “he who has the knowledge of surgery”
Generally known to be the Deva of healing.
When did this become God of Wealth??
Anyways, as mentioned last year on this occasion, we have come to associate dhan with wealth.
Dhan in Sanskrit is not wealth. It is something or someone invaluable. For instance,
विद्याधनं सर्व धनं प्रधानम् – the greatest dhan is knowledge. Dhan here refers to knowledge.
Daan again is not donation. Vidyadaan – the gift of learning, jeevandaan – the gift of life – these have much deeper meanings than the literal translations that often accompany them.
And so Dhantrayodashi, or Dhanteras, is about celebrating the gift of health. Not of gold and silver, for health cannot be bought and is therefore priceless.
So this Dhanteras, pray for good health, and then work towards it. Gold and silver will come in due course:)
Here is what I wrote last year…