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Story Of Alathur Nambi And Ashvins Or Ashwini Kumaras In Kerala

Alathur Nambi was one among the Ashtavaidyas in Kerala – eight families specializing in Ayurveda. There is famous story involving Alathur Nambi and Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras.

Nambi was an expert in Ayurveda and he used to daily visit a Shiva temple near his house.
One morning two birds sat on a tree on the way to the temple and made the sound ka aruk, ka aruk, ka aruk…

Nambi ignored the birds and went ahead with his daily worship at the temple.

But then it became a routine daily for the birds to make the sound ka aruk, ka aruk, ka aruk …when Nambi passed the tree.

One day Nambi stopped at the tree and answered the two birds like this:

Kale hitha mitha bhoje
Krutha chamkramana kramena vamashaya
Avidhrutha moothra poreesh
Sthreeshuyathathma chayonara soruka

The person only taking limited food on time, who walks regularly, who is sleeping with his left hand as support, who will urinate and defecate regularly on time and who has control over sexual life will never fall ill.

When Nambi chanted this shloka, the birds disappeared. It is believed that the birds were Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras, the twin gods related to Ayurveda and life science in Hinduism.

They were asking regularly ka aruk, which means who will not suffer from physical ailments.

Nambi satisfied the birds with the reply.

Several days after this incident, two boys came to his house and requested him to take them as his students. Nambi agreed to the demand and the two boys started learning Ayurveda from him.

To his surprise Nambi found that the two boys were giving more in depth and different interpretations to each sloka he taught them. Nambi soon realized that actually he was learning more from the two young boys.

The two boys were very naughty and mischievous. But Nambi ignored all of it and continued teaching them Ayurveda (in reality he was finding new methods of curing diseases and use of various herbs from the boys who constantly found different interpretations to a shloka). The family members were surprised to see the patience and love for such naughty boys by Nambi.

One day when Nambi was away, a regular patient of his arrived at his home. The two boys attended to the patient who had a constant headache. Nambi was only able to temporarily cure the patient. So he returned frequently for treatment.

The two boys took the patient inside a room. Later they collected some herbs from the compound. They then squeezed the herbs and made a oil and applied the oil on the patient’s head. Now the boys removed skin from the patients head like removing a wrapper and the skull became visible.  The removed some worms from the skull causing the headache.

After removing the worms, they put back the skin on the skull and applied the oil. The patient’s head returned to its normal state and he found permanent relief to the headache.
The incident was watched by the children of Nambi. The two boys told the children not to tell about it to anyone. If they told it to anyone, then they will have squint eye.

But the children reported it to their father when he returned.

Soon the two boys came before Nambi and told him that it was time for them to return back to their home. As Guru Dakshina they gave him a divine book which contained remedies to all diseases.

Nambi now pleaded to the boys to reveal their true identity. The two boys then changed their form and appeared as Ashwini Kumaras. They blessed him that the medicines prescribed by him will always be effective. The Ashvins also informed him that as he had received the divine book with his left hand, his cure will be more effective if performed with left hand. They also informed him that a member of his family will always have squint eye. This is happening even today.