Yajnavaraha (10th century) : Royal Physician and Priest

Yajnavaraha (10th century) was a priest-doctor and royal physician at King Rajendravarman’s court in Angkor, Cambodia, where he practised traditional Cambodian medicine and Ayurveda.

He was the grandson of King Harshavarman I and a royal Brahmin. The majority of his knowledge came from his father Damodara, a vedic scholar. He was well-known for his religious contributions and charitable services to the underprivileged. He was given a peacock feather parasol as a reward for his work.

At the royal court, he was also a musician and astronomer. He commissioned the construction of a Shaivite temple called Isvarapura or Banteay Srei, 15 miles north of Angkor Wat, with his younger brother Vishnukumara. He eventually became King Jayavarman V’s guru and practised ayurveda medicine in the royal court.

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