The Celebration of Ibn Sina’s Birthday: Happy National Doctor’s Day
Today is the blessed day of Khordad Amshaspand and the month of Shahrivar, the sixth of Shahrivar in the year 3759 Zoroastrian calendar, Monday, the first day of Shahruvar, 1400 solar, August 23, 2021 AD.
Shahrivar 1st, coinciding with Pour Sina’s birthday and the commemoration of this famous Iranian physician, has been named National Doctor Day. This year has been one of the most hectic and challenging years for medical and health staff all over the world, due to the spread of coronavirus and the sacrifices made by this group of professionals.
Doctor’s day is meant to celebrate the services of doctors. The day assigned to honoring doctors’ services varies in each country, depending on a specific event that has occurred in this relation. In Iran, 1st of Shahrivar is named as the national day for physicians and for commemorating their services, because this day coincides with the birthday of Pour Sina, for his writings, medical experiences and innovations and his services towards medical science. The special attention that Iranians pay to health and wellbeing of body and mind is evident from not only religious traditions and medicinal reports, but also from historic documents.
For example, in the Achaemenid and Parthian eras the root of many diseases was considered to be water. In Avesta, too, the first Aryan physician is named as “Ciriteh” (I couldn’t read this name), who would cure his patients with medicinal herbs and also surgery. The Persian word for physician (pezeshk) is derived from the Avestan word “baesaza” and Pahlavi language “bejeshk” or “becheshk”, meaning “the one who cures”.
There is no information as to when Pour Sina’s birthday was designated as doctor’s day in Iran. The first doctor’s day in history is recorded in Winder, Georgia, on March 28, 1933. Of course, in the United States, March 30 is designated as Physician’s Day, which the US Congress has approved since 1958. On this day in 1842, Dr. Long first used the anesthetic drug “ether” in surgery as an anesthetic, and the patient confirmed after regaining consciousness that he did not feel any pain. So, with all the ancient history of medical science, doctor’s day is a new event in history, and in Iran the doctor’s day was introduced in 1958.
Pour Sina, a physician and philosopher, was born in Bukhara, and his tomb is in one of the historical cities of Iran, Hamedan, and is one of the most famous and influential Iranian philosophers and scientists. His works regarding Aristotelian philosophy and medical science are commonly used. He wrote 450 books in various fields; one of the most famous is “Shafa”, a comprehensive scientific and philosophical encyclopedia. The Law is one of Pour Sina’s leading books in medical science. From childhood, he had a special attachment to nature, plants and animals, and in his free time, he would go into the plains and deserts to explore and gain knowledge. Thus, from childhood he was interested in the properties of medicinal plants and also medical science. Ibn Sina was a strong man physically, and there did not get tired of working; he also had great mental power and the power of thinking so that at the age of eighteen, he was able to learn all the sciences of his time.
In Cuba: December 3, which commemorates the birthday of Carlos Juan Finlay, is Cuba’s national doctor’s day. A Cuban physician and scientist, he is a world-renowned pioneer of yellow fever.
In India: Doctor’s Day is July 1, named in honor of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the legendary physician and second minister of West Bengal. He was born on July 1, 1882, and died on the same day in 1962 at 80.
In Vietnam: For the first time, Doctor’s Day was celebrated on February 27, 1955, the same day dedicated to honoring doctors.
Khordad is the name of the sixth day of each month in the Zoroastrian calendar. It is the fifth Amshaspand and the guardian of water and greenery. Khordad in Avesta is pronounced “Heurvatat”, and in Pahlavi is “Khordat” or “Hordat” meaning ordinance and perfection, which in the Gathas is one of the characters of Ahura Mazda and in the New Avesta it is the name of one of the seven Amshaspands and the symbol of Ahura Mazda. The first part of the word “heurva” is an adjective meaning ordinant, full, right and complete. The second part “tat” is a suffix for noun. “Heurvatat” represents ordinance and perfection of Ahura Mazda.
Khordad Amshaspand is a lady who is responsible for protecting all waters on earth and she helps the thirsty to overcome their thirst. Therefore, as a custom, she is remembered in goodness when drinking water. On this earth she is a guardian of waters. Baad Izad, Tir Izad and Farvardin Izad are Khordad’s associates.
In Yasna, verse 47, it is stated that Ahura Mazda will reach out and give immortality of Amordad to the one whose thoughts, words and deeds are in accordance with the religion of truth and honesty.
In the Gathas, Khordad and Amordad are constantly mentioned together. In the New Avesta, these two Amshaspands are the guardians of the waters and plants that come to the aid of the people to defeat their thirst and hunger.
In the ancient texts of Amshaspand Khordad: The fourth Yasht of the twenty-one yasht of Avesta is dedicated to the praise and worship of Amshaspand Lady Khordad, in which Yasht Ahura Mazda speaks about creating Khordad to help the pure people achieve salvation, peace and prosperity”. And then, it is emphasized that whoever praises Khordad is like one who has honored all Amshaspandans. In Bundahishn it is also mentioned about Khordad: “From all the creations in the universe she accepted the responsibility of the waters and says that life, birth and the growth of all living being on earth is from water, and therefore the earth’s prosperity is because of her.”