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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?
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:
- King Mahabali
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.
The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.
While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."
"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.
Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.
He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.
The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
Light, airy, and silky, Chanderi silk is to the standards of Indian royals. Some believe it resembles muslin because of its texture, but recently, it has been incorporated with silk threads which adds an additional sheen.
Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi town is where the silk fabric was born. Handwoven sarees were famous here, as it was the primary textile centre in between the 7th and 2nd century BC. Because of its transparency, lightness, and rich look, royals began to patronize this fabric. From the 11th century AD, Chanderi silk became well-known across the country.
The Chanderi weave is a heritage. Long lines of weavers passed this skill to their children, and it is not disclosed to anyone else. It is too delicate to be woven on power looms as the threads are spun until they are as fine as a 300 count. A special root named Kolikanda is used to extract the cotton wool for the silk. These days, gold and silver are embroidered into it. Motifs were created with metal dust.
A weaver working on a Chanderi loom Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Unlike other fabrics, Chanderi silk fibres do not go through a degumming process. They are not crafted to evade breakage and tear easily under high pressure. This is one of the reasons they are so light. It is often called 'woven air' for its breezy, soft texture.These days, the use of cost-effective raw materials spoils the natural beauty of the weave. One of the ways to identify a pure Chanderi saree is from its soft hues. This silk is usually dyed in pastel colours. The motifs are always handwoven and covered in copper dust. The machine weave tends to unwind with time and is not preferred. Original Chanderi can be differentiated from the fake by its glossy shine.
Keywords: Chanderi silk, Royals Silk sarees, Chanderi weave is a heritage.
Each year Diwali is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi, the 14th lunar day of the dark fortnight in the Tamil month of Aippasi. Ancient scriptures of India advise people to worship Yama, the deity of death on the days of Dhantrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Yamadwitiya. People light an oil Diya or 13 oil diyas made of wet wheat flour in the evening. They are kept facing southwards just outside people's residences. These lamps which are traditionally dedicated to Lord Yama are known as Yama Deepam.
It is believed that placing a Yama Deep in the evening of Trayodashi of the dark fortnight of Kartik month prevents any untimely death in the family. The legend of Skanda Purana says that the lighting of Yama Deepams with faith and devotion by the devotees can get the lord to bless them with grace and long and healthy life. Yamadev, the lord of death himself gave assurance to his attendants that even though death is inevitable and cannot be avoided those who perform this Deepdan on Dhantrayodashi will not suffer an early death.
The ritual Yama tarpanam can also be performed early in the morning on Diwali day as a form of worshipping Yama.
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Story of Origin of Yamadeepadana
A 16-year-old son of King Hima was destined to die on the fourth day of his married life due to a snake bride. A girl agreed to marry the unlucky prince despite knowing his ill fate.
She wanted to save her husband; on the fourth day of their marriage, the young bride didn't allow her husband to sleep. She lit the palace with innumerable Deepas, and gathered all her ornaments, jewellery and coins, and placed them in a heap at the entrance. When Lord Yama, guise as a snake reached the palace, his eyes were blinded by the dazzle of deepas, preventing him from entering the room. He waited near the ornament and coins for the prince to approach them. He sat there all night listening to the songs and tales narrated by the young bride. Soon, the sun rose and Lord Yama had to return empty-handed. The wife had saved her husband from the mouth of the death. Since the day of Dhanteras was named Yamadeepdaan and this tradition was celebrated by burning lamps through the night dedicated to Lord Yama.
When Lord Yama, guise as a snake reached the palace, his eyes were blinded by the dazzle of deepas.Unsplash
Elements of Yamadeepadana
To perform the ritual of Yamadeepadan one requires sandalwood paste, turmeric, vermilion, flowers to offer to the god, consecrated rice in the ritualistic pattern. For achaman (purification ritual) a cooper platter, tumbler, and a spoon are required. The lamp is placed in a copper platter to be taken out of the house. Most importantly, you need to prepare 13 lamps made of kneaded wheat flour mixed with turmeric powder.
Significance of wheat flour lamps
On the day of Dhanteras, the Tama-dominant (negative) energy frequencies are active in a higher proportion which causes untimely death. The lamps made of wheat flowers neutralize these energies and protect you from any unfortunate death.
Why "13" lamps?
- 13 lamps are offered to the lord as the frequencies coming from Lord Yama stay only 13 moments of Hell. Hence, 13 Deepas are lit to appeal to the lord this is known as Yama-Tarpan.
- The number '13' has the power to impress Yama; therefore, on the day of Trayodashi, prayer is made to Yama by offering 13 lamps to escape from death.
- The period of death of an embodied soul is 13 days long, during this period a black covering of death occurs around the soul and slowly it succumbs, in the next 13 days the souls penetrate through subtle boundaries of time to go to other 'loka' from earth aka bhoo-Loka. Untimely death occurs by crossing over these 13 wheels of time. To avoid such untimely death in the subtle 13 wheels of time, 13 'Deep-Daan is performed.
Diwali is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in India with utmost dedication, happiness, enthusiasm, and passion by the people. By performing Yamatarpan, the sins of the entire year are cleansed.
Keywords: Diwali, Dhanteras, Lord Yama, prevent untimely death, Yamadeepadan, diyas ritual, wheat flour lamps