Lord Dhanvantari is an outstanding personality in the history of Ayurveda. He was the physician of the Gods (in both the Vedas and Puranas) and an excellent surgeon. In hinduism, worshipers pray to Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound healing. In his incarnation as king of Kashi, Divodasa, he was approached by a group of sages (including Susruta, the great indian surgeon) with the request to teach them the science of Ayurveda.
Dhanvantari stated that Brahma composed the ayurveda even before he created mankind, forming one of the upangas of the Atharvaveda in 100,000 verses arranged in 1,000 chapters, which was not easy for the restricted intelligence of men to learn within their short life spans. So Dhanvantari complied with the sages’ request, recast Brahma’s ayurveda into 8 divisions (shalya, shalakya, kayachikitsa, bhutavidya, kaumarabhrtya, agadatantra, rasayanatantra, vajikaranatantra) and began teaching within the framework of pratyaksa (perception), agama (authoritative scripture), anumana (inference) and upamana (analogy).
In other versions of the origins of ayurveda, it has been said that Dhanvantari was deputed by Lord indra to take the science of ayurveda to the mortals. Also to be noted, Dhanvantari is seen as an avatar of vishnu in Hinduism. The most frequently told story about Dhanvantari is that when the ocean was churned by the gods and demons in search of the elixir of life, Dhanvantari came out of it holding a bowl of nectar in his hands.