Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Chiranjivi : The 8 Immortals in Hinduism

Chiranjivi are the eight immortals who are to remain alive on Earth until the end of the current Kali Yuga, according to Hinduism. The Sanskrit term Chiranjivi means “immortal”, even though it does not correspond with “eternal”.

Mahabali :- The ruler of demons or asuras who existed somewhere around present day Kerala. His son was Banasura. He was the virtuous emperor of the three worlds and Son of Virochana and grandson of Prahlada who were of Asura descent. He was sent into Paatal Loka (The underworld) by the Vamana Avatar of Vishnu. Every year on the day of Onam (official festival of Kerala), he descends to Earth from the heavens to visit his people, who live in region of Kerala.

Veda Vyasa :- The sage who composed the Mahabharata. Ved Vyas represents erudition and wisdom. He was the son of sage Parashara and his intimate partner Satyawati, a fisherwoman. and great-grandson of the sage Vashishtha. He was born towards the end of Treta Yuga, lived to see the complete Dvapara Yuga, and saw the initial phase of Kali Yuga.

Hanuman :- One of the greatest brahmachari, served Rama. Hanuman is the Rudra avatar. He is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. He stands for selflessness, courage, devotion, intelligence, strength, celibacy and righteous conduct.

Parashurama :- The sixth avatar of Vishnu. He is knowledgeable of all astras, sastras and divine weapons. The Kalki Purana writes that he will reemerge at the end of time to be the martial guru of Kalki. He will then instruct the final Avatar to undertake penance to receive celestial weaponry, required to save mankind at the end time.

Vibhishan :- The brother of Ravana. Vibhishana surrendered to Rama before his battle with Ravana. He was later crowned king of Lanka after Ravana was killed by Rama. He stands for righteousness. Vibhishana is not a true Chiranjivi, as his boon of longevity is to remain on the earth only until the end of the Maha Yuga.

Ashwatthama :- The son of Drona. Drona did many years of severe penance to please Lord Shiva in order to obtain a son who possessed the same valor as Lord Shiva. Ashwatthama is the avatar of one of the eleven Rudras. Ashwatthama and Kripa are believed to be the lone survivors still living who had fought in the Kurukshetra War. He might be immortal but Krishna bestowed upon him a curse that, he would live forever but with his body covered with painful sores and ulcers that would never be cured. There were many references that he was seen in Burhanpur (M.P) and Gujarat.

Kripa :- The royal guru of the princes in the Mahabharata. He was adopted by King Shantanu. His sister was Kripi, who married Dronacharya. Together they gave birth to Ashwatthama. He is known for long life because of impartiality among his students and treated them as his own kids. He along with his nephew Ashwatthama are the lone survivors of all warriors who actually fought in Kurukshetra War.

Markandeya :- Markandeya is an ancient rishi born in the clan of Bhrigu Rishi. The Markandeya Purana especially, comprises a dialogue between Markandeya and a sage called Jaimini, and a number of chapters in the Bhagavata Purana are dedicated to his conversations and prayers. He is also mentioned in the Mahabharata.

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