Sunday April 22, 2018

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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  • 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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Big reforms made India fastest growing major economies globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs big reform.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise. www.mapsofindia.com

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS