The Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras are twin brothers who are physicians or doctors to the devas. They are divine horsemen. The name of the first twin is Nastaya and the other’s name is Dasra. They are sons of Vivasvata (Suryadeva). They know lots about Ayurvedic medicine and relieve men of sickness. They have the responsibility of healing. They also come forth at the first rays of sunlight every morning.
- Father: Surya
- Mother: Sanjana (Saranyu)
- Brothers: Vaivasvata Manu, Yama, Revanta
- Sister: Yami
- Half-Brothers: Shani, Savarni Manu
- Half-Sisters: Tapti, Vishti
- They are the godly fathers of the Pandava twins, Nakula and Sahadeva
Sanjana was the wife of Surya. They had a son named Satyavrata, who is Vaivasvata Manu. Sanjana could not bear the heat that Surya emitted. Her complexion became dark and she no longer liked her husband. She decided to create a clone called Chhaya and secretly leave to go to Vishwakarma, her father’s house. She instructed Chhaya to dutifully act as Surya’s wife. Sanjana then left for her father’s house. Surya didn’t notice the difference. During this time, Chhaya had two sons and two daughters. The daughters’ names were Tapti and Vishti and the sons’ names were Savarni Manu and Shani. When Vishwakarma heard about the birth of these children births, he asked for the truth from Sanjana, who tells him about the clone. Vishwakarma ordered her to return to Suryaloka.
At Suryaloka, Sanjana got mad at Chhaya and destroyed her. Surya again did not notice the exchange of his wives. Sanjana then gave birth to two children- Yama and Yami. As they grew older Surya gave them jobs. Yama is the god of death and dharma and Yami becomes the goddess of the river Yamuna. Sanjana poisoned Surya’s mind about Shani’s capabilities so he was not given a job.
Shani became extremely angry and feels insulted. He kicked Sanjana who in return cursed Shani to lose the leg he kicked her with. Surya who watches this was unable to understand the curse. He asked Sanjana for the truth. She told him and Shani the entire story of Chhaya. Surya was enraged and immediately installed Shani’s leg back and appointed him the god of the planet Saturn.
Sanjana once again left Suryaloka. Since she couldn’t go to her father’s house she hid in a Himalayan forest in the disguise of a mare. After some time, Surya started to miss his wife. He went to Vishwakarma for her whereabouts, who said he does not know. Vishwakarma requested Surya to reduce the glare of his rays. Surya said he cannot, so Vishwakarma with his skill reduced the glare.
Surya, after looking for a long time found Sanjana. He took the form of a male stallion and approached her. Sanjana recognized him and they mated, producing the Ashwini Kumaras. The youngest son Revanta was also born. The Ashwini Kumaras were given the responsibility of healing. They studied lots about Ayurveda and become the physicians of the gods.