Why are these seven characters called immortal in religion?

Ashvathma, Bli, Vyasa, Vibhishan, Hanuman, Parshuram and Markandeay. What are some of the characteristics they have in common. How many of these could rise above the genetic relationships to support the truth. Vibhishan and Vyas(Pandavs where not his own but spiritual sons) I know.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I think there are eight chiranjivis

    The Astha-Chiranjivins ("Eight Immortals"):

    Mahabali, a righteous demon king who conquered heaven, earth, and the underworld, but was forced to give it back by Vamana.

    Parashurama, an avatar of Vishnu.

    Vibhishana, Ravana's brother who was made King of Lanka by Rama.

    Hanuman, who served Rama.

    Vyasa, a sage who narrated the Mahabharata, he was also a sage in the epic.

    Markandeya, a famous devotee of Lord Shiva

    Ashwathama, a man cursed to immortality and eternal suffering without love from anybody for his role in the murder of the five sons of the Pandavas and his attempted murder of Arjuna's grandson.

    Kripacharya, a teacher of the princes in the Mahabharata. (This is widely debated whether or not was Kripacharya a Chiranjivin)

    Narad Muni, He is the kulguru of Vishnu darbar and he is the creator of many slokas and strotras

    Out of these Kripacharya is debated and Ashwatthama is the odd man out. Because, except Ashttama, all others are Rishis or enlightened souls.

    Ashwattham was rather cursed to live for ever. It was not a boon for him but a big tradegy that he will live for ever wounded and away from human settlement

  • 4 years ago

    Vibhishana Still Alive

  • 1 decade ago

    All the others except Aswathama:

    These immortals exemplify certain basic truths, laws and standards of ethical behaviour which transcend time, locale and generation. They are universal and immutable. Their immortality is therefore not mere deathlessness — it is more the immortalising of each divine principle they stood for and upheld even in the face of adversity and pressure.

    1) Chiranjivins (Sanskrit nominative sing. ciranjivi, चिरंजीवी):

    The word is a combination of "chiram" (long) and jivi (lived).

    "Aswathama Balir Vyaso Hanumanash cha Vibhishana Krupacharya cha Parashuramam Saptatah Chirjeevanam"

    Which means that Aswathama, King Mahabali, Veda Vyasa, Hanuman Ji, Vibhishana , Krupacharya and Lord Parashuram are death-defying or imperishable personalities.

    Markandeya, a great rishi and Jambavan are also considered as Chiranjivins.

    In Hinduism, "immortal" does not mean eternal. Even immortal things are dissolved at the end of the universe (Pralaya) and at Maha Pralaya the creator Brahma. The only eternal being is Shiva (according to Saivism), or Vishnu (according to Vaishnavism).

    2) Brief note on Chiranjivins:

    (i) Aswathama:

    Aswathama did not attain the so called Chiranjitvam due to any noble deed. It was a curse from Lord krishna after Aswathama killed all the sons of Pandavas with his Brahmastra.

    Mahabharata, Book 10: Sauptika Parva, Chapters, 15 & 16 :

    Aswathama could not take back Brahmastra and with that killed the sons of the Pandavas. But Lord Krishna gave rebirth to the foetus, that of Parikshit.

    Lord Krishna cursed Aswathama as follows;

    "Always engaged in sinful acts, thou art the slayer of children. For this reason, thou must have to bear the fruit of these thy sins. For 3,000 years thou shalt wander over this earth, without a companion and without being able to talk with anyone. Alone and without anybody by thy side, thou shalt wander through diverse countries, O wretch, thou shalt have no place in the midst of men. The stench of pus and blood shall emanate from thee, and inaccessible forests and dreary moors shall be thy abode! Thou shalt wander over the Earth, O thou of sinful soul, with the weight of all diseases on thee."

    ii) King Bali is immortalised because even Vishnu had to humble himself as Vamana to conquer him. He stands out for his valour and charity — two great eternal qualities. Bali knew fully well who Vamana was. Yet, he prepared to surrender all he had, to his Lord. So this man of grace is still revered.

    iii) Vyas, the great scholar and writer, the author of Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam, is another immortal, a shining beacon of erudition and wisdom. A katha-wachak reading from the holy texts, is said to ascend the Vyaspeeth — blessed by the immortal Vyas. He comes to represent the continuity of erudition, scholarship and the apotheosis of the writer as the ultimate visionary.

    iv) Hanuman exemplifies selflessness, courage, devotion, energy, strength and righteous conduct. He stands for the potential that is inherent in all of us. He also represents the air, the atmosphere and thus the life-breath — the prana. Sita is believed to have bestowed on him the boon which made Hanuman ever-youthful, energetic and immortal.

    v) Vibhisana had unshakable faith in what he believed. He was a fearless counsellor of righteousness even when all around him were given to sycophancy and peer pressure. As a follower of right conduct, Vibhisana survived unscathed while tragedy befell the unrighteous king and his followers.

    vi) Kripacharya was an extraordinary teacher. To him, all pupils were equal. A guru like Dronacharya favoured Arjuna and sacrificed an equally if not more promising student — he asked Ekalavya for his right thumb. Kripacharya, on the other hand, upheld the highest standards expected of a teacher: He was impartial.

    vii) Parashuram was master of martial arts. No one could beat him — whether the tools were astras , sastras or divine weapons. He had no temporal ambition. Had he so wished, he would have been the greatest Chakravarti Samrat India had ever known. But he lived a hermit's life. He was also one who never hesitated to admit a mistake.

    During Sita's swayamvar, after Ram had broken the divine bow of Shiva, Parashuram asked both Ram and Lakshman for forgiveness. Despite his excellent qualifications, he did not hesitate to apologise in all humility that he had lost his reason in anger. Parashuram symbolises excellence and strength, tempered by humility.

    3) (i) Markandeya:

    Markandeya, an exemplary son of Mrikandu rishi and Marudmati, destined to die at the age of 16. Markandeya grew up to be a great devotee of Shiva and on the day of his destined death he continued his worship of Shiva in his form of Shivalingam.

    After defeating Yama in battle to the point of death, Shiva then revived Markandeya, under the condition that the devout youth would live forever. For this act, Shiva was thereafter known also as Kaalakalaya, meaning 'one who brought death, to death himself'.

    ii) Jambavan:

    He was created by Vishnu, to assist Rama in his struggle against Ravana. Jambavan was present at the churning of the ocean, and is supposed to have circled Vamana seven times when he was acquiring the three worlds from Mahabali. He was the King of the Himalayas who had incarnated as a bear in order to serve Rama. He had received a boon from Lord Rama that he would have a long life, be handsome and would have the strength of ten million lions.

    Jambavantha had killed a lion, who had acquired a gem called Syamantaka from Prasena after killing him. Krishna was suspected of killing Prasena for the jewel. So Krishna tracked Jambavantha to his cave and a fight ensued. After twenty-eight days, realizing who Krishna was, Jambavantha submitted. He gave Krishna the gem and also presented him his daughter Jambavati, who became one of Krishna's wives.

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