(Other names: Asvinikumar, Asvinide)
In the Puranas, Ashvini kumar are mentioned in the Vedas of the honourable deities as the twin brothers. In the Atharvaveda, their greatness is described as the “Disease preventing deities”. According to the Vedic belief the Jupiter God had presented them with a divine gem with which Ashvini kumar used to protect the agriculture. Ashvni kumar were the physician of the deities who relieved them from diseases, got them their sight and gave energy to the weak bodies.
According to the Puranas, Vishwakarma’s daughter and Suryadev (sun) wife Sangya was their mother. Sangna could not bear the lustre of the Suryadev (Sun) and so she left her shadow in the service of Suryadev and went for devout austerity. When Lord Surya came to know about the originality of Sangya’s shadow so he went in search of Sangya. In the north
Kurwa regions jungle, he found Sangya in the form of a mare in devout austerity. Suryadev also changed himself into a horse. This Sangna, in the form of a mare and Suryadev in the form of a horse gave birth to twin children named Ashvini kumar. Their real names were Dasra and Nasatya.
The Ashvins are described as being handsome twins, one light and the other dark in colour and on a horse back. They are depicted as the drivers and the horses for the Suryadev’s chariot. They are symbolized by two circles, two mountain peaks, two eyes or two wheels. In astrology, they represent the zodiac sign Gemini.
With great efforts Ashvini kumar gained expertise in medical science and become famous as physician of the deities.
Ashvini kumar got fame because they granted manhood to Sage Chyavan. Chyavan, one of the Rigveda’s Sages with mystic knowledge, in his old age got married to Sukanya who was the daughter of the King Sharyati. But due to the old age he was not capable to enjoy the pleasure of a married man.
Ashvini kumar gave him a divine medicine with which Chyavan attained permanent youth. ‘Chyavanprash’, the nutritious Ayurvedic medicine which is very famous today is named after Sage Chyavan.
Other patients of the Ashvinidev were Vispala (the racing mare), for whom they fitted an iron leg and Upamanyu (Vedic Rishi of Kamboja lineage) who had his eyesight restored.
From the times of Mahabharata, the two brother Nakul and Sahadev of the five Pandavas born to Madri are said to be sons of Ashvini kumar. According to the Ramayana, Ashvinidev were the fathers of the monkeys, Dvivida and Mainda.