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Story Of Alathur Nambi

In Kerala, numerous families have gained renown for their proficient Ayurvedic treatments, often inheriting the traditional Indian medical knowledge, Ayurveda, from their forebears. Alathur Nambi's family, situated in Alathoor near Ponnani in the Malappuram district of Kerala, holds a prominent position in the realm of traditional Ayurveda. Despite already being experts and masters in Ayurveda, certain incidents further enhanced the effectiveness of their treatments, and the legend surrounding this family unfolds as follows. Here are some popular stories associated with Alathur Nambi.

Alathur Nambi And Ashwini Devatas

The surname "Nambi" is carried as a suffix by all male members of the family. Among them was a skilled Ayurveda practitioner who made it a routine to visit the nearby Shiva temple every morning. On one such morning, he observed two birds perched on a tree branch along his path, emitting the sounds "kwaruk… kwaruk…". Initially disregarding it, he soon found it to be a regular occurrence, with the birds repeating the same words each day when he passed by. Eventually, Nambi responded to the chiming.

He recited a verse: “Kale hitha mithabhoji Krutha chamkramana kramena vamashaya Avidhrutha moothra poreesh Sthreeshuyathathma chayonara soruk”

The verse conveyed that a person who consumes limited and timely meals, walks regularly, sleeps on their left side, does not withhold urine and stool, and maintains moderation in sexual activities is unlikely to fall ill. Surprisingly, as soon as Nambi uttered these words, the birds vanished. Legend has it that these birds were the Ashwini Devatas, twin gods associated with medical science. Their repeated inquiry, "kwaruk or ka aruk," in Sanskrit, translated to "Who will not suffer from diseases?" Nambi's articulate response satisfied them, marking a unique connection between the family's Ayurvedic expertise and divine acknowledgment.

Ashwini Devathas Teaching Alathur Nambi

After a few days, two Brahmin youths approached Nambi, expressing a desire to learn Ayurveda. Nambi graciously agreed, and they commenced their studies while residing at his home. Despite being remarkably intelligent, these two students were also mischievous, often presenting Nambi with challenging puzzles and offering alternative interpretations to the verses he taught them. Over time, Nambi realized that he was gaining a deeper understanding by teaching these boys, and he began to overlook their playful antics.

Squint Eye In The Family Of Alathur Nambi

Despite these playful incidents, Nambi continued to impart his knowledge to the boys. One day, in Nambi's absence, a regular patient suffering from persistent headaches arrived. Unable to find Nambi, the two boys took charge. They gathered herbs from outside the compound, crafted oil, and applied it to the patient's head. The application revealed worms beneath the skin, causing the headaches. They meticulously removed the worms, replaced the skin, and applied the oil again. The patient experienced lasting relief and departed with immense joy.

All this time, the children of the Nambi family were watching entire incidents through a small window. When these Brahmin boys came out, they saw the children watching them through a small window. They called them and told not to watch like this as they may develop squint-eye. 

Treatment With Left Hand By Alathur Nambi

Upon Nambi's return, the children enthusiastically recounted the entire sequence of events. Without uttering a word, he proceeded indoors for lunch. 

While engrossed in his meal, the two Brahmin boys approached him, expressing gratitude for the knowledge they had acquired and revealing their intention to depart. Acknowledging their inability to offer traditional guru dakshina (teaching fees), they instead presented him with a divine book containing profound remedies. Emphasizing that only those from their lineage should peruse its contents, they handed the book to Nambi as he dined. Despite being in the midst of his meal, he accepted the book with his left hand. 

Escorting them to the gate to bid farewell, Nambi implored them to unveil their true identities. Moved by his devotion, the twin gods Ashwini Devathas, associated with Ayurveda, disclosed their divine nature. Bestowing blessings upon him, they assured that his medicinal efforts would never be in vain. 

They further divulged that receiving the book with the left hand would enhance the efficacy of the remedies when administered with the same hand. Additionally, they prophesied a hereditary trait of squint eyes, a phenomenon continuing in the family to this day.

Story Of Thakshaka Naga And Alathur Nambi

Another legend surrounds the tradition of administering medicines with the left hand. Once, Nambi sat in the portico when an elderly Brahmin with a stomach ailment sought his help. Nambi invited the Brahmin to stay for treatment, and though the Brahmin agreed, the ailment persisted despite various medications. Nambi then resorted to using a tube, inserting it into the patient's throat, and administering liquid medicine through it. Interestingly, he held the tube with his right hand while applying the medicine with his left hand. Miraculously, after three days of this unique treatment, the patient was completely cured.

As the Brahmin prepared to depart, Nambi urged him to disclose his identity. To Nambi's astonishment, the Brahmin revealed himself as Thakshak, one of the Ashta Nagas, the eight serpentine gods in Hindu religion. Thakshaka blessed Nambi, stating that his treatments would be more potent if he applied medicines with his left hand. This tradition endures, and even today, succeeding generations in the family continue to administer medicines with their left hand as a nod to this divine blessing.