Saturday October 21, 2017

Chiranjeevis: 8 Immortals of Hindu Mythology

According to the Hindu mythology, there are a group of people who are blessed or cursed with an unusually long life and are known as the Ashta-Chiranjeevis

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Representational Image: Image source: www.jokingree.com
  • According to the Hindu mythology, there are a group of people who are blessed or cursed with an unusually long life
  • Known as the Ashta-Chiranjeevis, they are said to found in flesh and blood, living to see the end of the Kali Yuga
  • Chiranjeevis are not immortals but rather live till the end of this Kalpa

The desire to live forever in this world has always attracted Man. They have looked for answers in every domain to quench their thirst for immortality. In an attempt to cheat death, they have conducted various experiments, but all have ended in failure. Does that mean that there are no immortal beings that are walking this planet for thousands of years?

Representational Image. Image Source: jokingree.com
Representational Image. Image Source: jokingree.com

According to the Hindu mythology, there are a group of people who are blessed or cursed with an unusually long life. Known as the Ashta-Chiranjeevis, they are said to found in flesh and blood, living to see the end of the Kali Yuga. The word ‘chiranjeevi’ is derived from ‘chiran’ which means long and ‘jeevi’ which means lived. Chiranjeevis are not immortals but rather live till the end of this Kalpa. One Kalpa corresponds to 4.32 billion years and the Kali Yuga is said to be a period of 432,000 years, mentioned the boldsky.com Website.

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The 8 immortals (Chiranjeevis) of Hindu Mythology  are:

  •  Ashwathama
  • King Mahabali
  • Vyasa
  • Hanuman
  • Vibhishana
  • Kripacharya
  • Markandeya
  • Parashurama

 

Ashwathama:

Ashwathama. Image source: boldsky.com
Ashwathama. Image source: boldsky.com

Ashwatthama, the son of the great teacher Drona as well as a great friend of Duryodhana who committed three unpardonable sins in Dwapara Yuga. He was one of the warriors who killed Abhimanyu unlawfully, who was only a child; killed the five Upapandavas and Draupadi’s sons after the war was over in their sleep. Therefore, out of fury, Lord Krishna cursed him with immortality. Ashwathama was born with the gem in his forehead that guaranteed protection from disease, weapons and snakebites but Krishna cursed him saying that his wounds would never heal and he will wander in the world and suffer from miseries. This makes him as one of the 8 immortals “Chiranjeevis” in Hindu Mythology.

Also Read: Is Ashwatthama Still Alive?

King Mahabali

Onam. Image source: NewsGram
Onam. Image source: NewsGram

The righteous Asura king, Mahabali gained so much glory that he even made the king of gods feel intimidated. Fearing that the Yagnas conducted by him would grant him powers that would equal that of Indra, he approached Lord Vishnu for help. Disguised as a Brahmin-dwarf, tricked Mahabali and banished him to the underworld. But Mahabali remained humble and stayed righteous to the very end of the trial. Pleased with him, Lord Vishnu blessed him with immortality and let him return to the earth once every year to visit his people. The festival Onam is celebrated in Kerala to mark this occasion. This makes him as one of the 8 immortals “Chiranjeevis” in Hindu Mythology.

 

Sage Vyasa

Vedavyasa and Madhvacharya. Image source: shivallibrahmins.com
Ved Vyasa and Madhvacharya. Image source: shivallibrahmins.com

Ved Vyasa, the author of the epic Mahabharata and the Puranas was blessed with immortality by Lord Ganesha and Maha Vishnu. It is said that he resides wherever the faithful and true exist.

Hanuman

Lord Hanuman. Image source: hanumanji.wordpress.com
Lord Hanuman. Image source: hanumanji.wordpress.com

Vayuputhr or the son of the wind, Hanuman is the dispeller of evil. He is believed to be the symbol of devotion, innocence, strength and knowledge. Instead of going for Moksha, Hanuman decided to stay on earth, wherever Rama’s name was spoken; such was his devotion. He is mentioned in Mahabharata that is believed to have taken place in Dwapara Yuga.

Vibhishana

Vibhishana. Image source: www.hindufaqs.com
Vibhishana. Image source: www.hindufaqs.com

The younger brother of Demon-King Ravanan, Vibhishan, fought on the side of dharma in Ramayana. He was blessed as a Chiranjeevi to upheld righteousness in Lanka and to lead people on the path of Dharma.

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Kripacharya

Kripacharya. Image source: www.mumbairock.com
Kripacharya. Image source: www.mumbairock.com

Kripacharya was the Kul Guru of the Kurus. It is said that his impartiality towards all of his students is the reason for his immortality. He is often revered as the ideal Guru.

Rishi Markandeya

Rishi Markandeya. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Son of the great Sage Mrgandu, Markendeya was blessed with wisdom and godly talents. But when the stipulated period was over, Lord Yama, the God of death came to take his life away, he prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with his devotion, the Lord granted him the boon of immortality.

Parashurama

Parashurama. Image source: dervishnotes.blogspot.com
Parashurama. Image source: dervishnotes.blogspot.com

Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu was born to rid the earth of immoral kings and rulers. He received an axe from Lord Shiva after rigorous penance, learned the art of warfare from him making him the first warrior-saint. It is said that he would appear at the end of Kali Yug to be the Guru of Vishnu’s last avatar, Kalki.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram

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Influence of Indians Upon Western Intellectuals

Book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by SalilGewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea.

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Einstein_and_Tagore Great Minds on India
Einstein and Tagore Berlin 14 July 1930. Wikimedia

-by Bernie David Holt

  • This fabulous book by Salil Gewali demonstrates to us how old Indians impacted present-day science, mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and others.
  • The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians, no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’.

Sitting on the beach, staring at the pale blue sea, wondering, is the world really spherical? I could clearly see the flat, never-ending sea of water and thought to myself, how did we find out the world was actually a spherical shape? Thanks to my Yoga teacher and my association with this ancient discipline that brought me to lay my hand on the amazing book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by Salil Gewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea. I quickly realized the science and the literature of the Modern times far behind when compared to the ideas expounded by the ancient Indians. This book truly demonstrates that India affected the cutting edge world; these are cases of extraordinary individuals that helped society in different ways, who credited India’s disclosures and speculations.

The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’ on the grounds that without the “numeric framework”, that Indians made, it would not have been conceivable.

ALSO READ: A Look Back In History: Contribution of Indian Mathematicians in the field of Mathematics

Dick Teresi recognized that Indians discovered that the earth circles the sun and realized that a planet’s path is elliptical, a great many centuries previously the thought was acknowledged inside Europe and the created areas. Dick Teresi is an exceptionally famous author and columnist, who was best known for authoring ‘Lost Discoveries’.

Archibald Wheeler trusts that the Indians knew “everything” and in the event that it was conceivable to decipher their old dialect, we would have every one of the responses to every one of our inquiries. He was the co-creator of ‘The component of atomic splitting’ by Niels Bohr.  Wheeler is the researcher and coined Black Hole, who is also instrumental in the development of Hydrogen Bomb.

Erwin Schrodinger, a splendid physicist, trusted that blood transmutation from India is an unquestionable requirement as it spared otherworldly pallor. Schrodinger was the designer of Wave Mechanics, which is one of the best logical creations of the twenty-first century.

Great Minds of India Salil Gewali
Great Minds on India is a book written by Salil Gewali. Facebook

One of the best hypotheses, the ‘Hypothesis of relativity’ is a hypothesis made by the old Indians, and is “light years”. Light years are there utilized as a part of room terms right up till today and is educated in science ponders within school foundations. This was said by Alan Watts, who was a logician and a standout amongst the most productive scholars of the previous century.

Indians also investigated the importance of natural laws, (many yet to be discovered by the modern scientists and philosophers) the nature of the soul, the birth of the universe, and what is past the cycle of life, birth, and demise, the connection between body, mind, knowledge, and soul. Their vision addressed the idea of holiness, the preeminent planning power that may underlie normal laws. To put it plainly, they tried to know everything that the psyche can appreciate — from the particle to unendingness, the making of the universe, and its significance. The source of different branches of science, craftsmanship, and theory ascribed to this human advancement are genuinely exceptional results of India’s “Jijnyasa”, or urge to want to know with clear vision.

But, I’ve found shockingly disturbing contrary fact in India and among Indians. Over 90% of Indian origin do not subscribe to their own rich civilization and spiritual culture. Just going over the news media and acclaimed literary works published from India astonish us that how there certain powerful people openly hate their own cultural values.

Even the half-literate love to quote Milton, Eliot; and shake themselves in a musical beat of rock-n-roll. This country’s government has found itself in the tangle of controversies while convincing its people about the practical benefits of Yoga and meditation.

I believe, the excellent publication of Gewali’s book will serve the purpose since Indians will get to know about Indian wisdom and spiritual knowledge from their Western masters. The research-based book of over twenty-five years, which has been translated into eleven languages, has recently been prefaced by a world-famous NASA scientists – Dr.KamleshLulla of Houston. Finally, I choose to invoke a very profound quote from the book by a pioneering philosopher of German romanticism August Schlegel – ‘Even the loftiest philosophy of the European appears like a feeble spark before the Vedanta’.

(Bernie David Holt 36a Slade Gardens, Erith, England)

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Diwali Puja 2017: Everything You Need To Know About Timings, Muhurat

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Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped
Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped by devotees on the day of Diwali. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 18, 2017: Diwali is around the corner and everyone is busy with the preparations. On the eve of Diwali, the most important ritual is to perform Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja during the right muhurat (time) and with the right rituals(vidhi).

Here are some of the things you must take care of:

Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja Rituals

It is important that on the day of Diwali, you wake up early in the morning and pay homage to your ancestors and worship gods of your family. It is advised to observe a day-long-fast until the Ganesh-Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening.

Kalash pujan
Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja kalash. Wikimedia

Preparations For Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja

Families can embellish their home and office with Asoka and Marigold flowers, banana and mango leave on the day of the puja. Mangal Kalash covered with unpeeled coconut should be placed at both side of the main entrance of your house.

For puja preparation, place at the right hand side a red cloth on a hoisted platform and put in idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on it after gracing them with jewellery and clothes. Once this is done, Navgraha gods must be placed on the left hand side on a hoisted platform under white cloth. Prepare carefully nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) for placing Navgraha on white cloth and sixteen slots of wheat must prepared for the red cloth. You should perform puja with all the important rituals.

Idols of Ganesh-lakshmi are being worshipped on the eve of Diwali. Wikimedia

Timings (Muhurat) for Lakshmi Puja

Pradosh Kaal muhurat is the time during which puja needs to be performed. It starts after sunset and lasts for about 2 hours and 24 minutes. Goddess Lakshmi will stay in your home if you perform Lakshmi puja in the Pradosh Kaal when it is Sthir Lagna time. Sthir refers to ‘immovable.’  Before you do the puja, make sure you find out Pradosh Kaal (time) for your city or area. It is important that you know the right time to perform the puja.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar

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Hinduism is Not an Official or Preferred Religion in Any Country of The World, Says a New Report

Though Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world, it is not the official state religion of any country according to a Pew Research Center Report

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Hinduism
Hinduism is not an official religion of any country in the world. Instagram.
  • No country has declared Hinduism as its official state religion – despite India being an influential Hindu political party
  • Hinduism is not an official or preferred religion in any country of the world, according to a Pew Research Center report.
  • 53% of 199 nations considered in the study don’t have an official religion
  • 80 countries are assigned either an “official religion” or “preferred religion”

Nevada, USA, October 16: Hinduism is the primeval and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion followers of moksh (liberation) being its utmost desire of life. India is among the category of nations where the government do not have an official or preferred religion.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank headquartered in Washington DC that aims to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The report states that a country’s official religion is regarded as a legacy of its past and present privileges granted by the state. And a few other countries fall on the other side of the gamut, and propagate their religion as the ‘official religion’, making it a compulsion for all citizens.

It adds up on the context of allocation that more than eight-in-ten countries (86%) provide financial support or resources for religious education programs and religious schools that tend to benefit the official religion.

Hinduism
Islam is the most practiced official religion of the world. Instagram.

Commenting on Hinduism, the report states:

In 2015, Nepal came close to enshrining Hinduism, but got rejected of a constitutional amendment due to a conflict between pro-Hindu protesters and state police.

Although India has no official or preferred religion as mentioned in the Constitution,it was found by PEW that in India the intensity of government constraints and social antagonism involving religion was at a peak. “Nigeria, India, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion among the 25 most populous countries in 2015. All fell into the “very high” hostilities category,” the report added.

As per the 2011 census, it was found that 79.8% of the Indian population idealizes Hinduism and 14.2% practices to Islam, while the rest 6% pursuit other religions.

While Hinduism stands up with the majority, Article 25 of the Constitution of India contributes secularism allowing for religious freedom and allows every Indian to practice his/her religion, without any intervention by the community or the government.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded the Hindu community for their benefaction to the society and advised Hindus to concentrate on inner purity, attract spirituality towards youth and children, stay far from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

According to Pew, these are “places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana