Who are the immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hinduism
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Today let us know about the “Who are the immortals (Chiranjivi) of Hinduism” as given below.
Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is existing since the ‘aadi kalam’ (Unknown time frame) and will last long until the ‘ananta kalam’ (Infinite time frame).
No one is aware about, when Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) started, except Lord Vishnu.
There is a tradition saying about sapta chiranjivi (7 immortals) in Hinduism with a shloka as given below:
7 Chiranjivi shloka is as given below:
आश्वत्थामो बलिव्यास: हनुमांश्च विभीशन: | कृप: परशुरामश्च सप्तैते चिरंजीविन: ||
ಆಶ್ವತ್ಥಾಮೋ ಬಲಿವ್ಯಾಸ: ಹನುಮಾಂಶ್ಚ ವಿಭೀಶನ: | ಕೃಪ: ಪರಶುರಾಮಶ್ಚ ಸಪ್ತೈತೇ ಚಿರಂಜೀವಿನ: ||
āśvat’thāmō balivyāsah hanumānśca vibhīśanah | kr̥pah paraśurāmaśca saptaitē ciran̄jīvinah ||
Meaning of the above shloka : Ashwatthama, Bali Chakravarti, Lord Vyasa (Veda Vyasa), Lord Hanuman, Vibhishana, Kripa (Kripacharya) and Lord Parashurama –
These are the seven eternal, ageless, immortal souls according to our Hindu (Sanatana Dharma) tradition.
Someone who remembers and chants this shloka of seven chiranjivis (immortals) everyday, will be blessed with a long and healthy life.
Apart from the above seven, even Rishi Markandeya is considered as immortal (chiranjivi).
Now let us take one by one of the above immortals (chiranjivi) and let us have a brief information about all of them.
List of the immortals (chiranjivi) of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is as given below:
Ashwatthama – He is an avatar of Lord Shiva
Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) – He is the grand son of Prahlada
Veda Vyasa – He is an avatar of Lord Vishnu
Hanuman – He is an avatar of Lord Vayu Deva
Vibhishana – He is the brother of Ravana and Kumbhakarna
Kripacharya – He is the son of Sharadvan and brother-in-law of Dronacharya
Parashurama – He is an avatar of Lord Vishnu
Markandeya – Apart from the above, even Markandeya is considered as an immortal (chiranjivi).
Brief explanation of the immortals (chiranjivi) of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is as given below:
Ashwatthama : He is an avatar of Lord Shiva. There is no difference between Ashwatthama and Lord Shiva, as he is an avatar of Lord Shiva.
In Mahabharata, Ashwatthama was born as the son of Dronacharya and Kripi. (Kripi is the sister of Kripacharya).
Ashwatthama takes birth in cave in a forest.
(In today’s time this place is called as Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple at Dehradun in Uttarakhand state).
Dronacharya does many years of tapas (penance) to please Lord Shiva in order to obtain a son who possesses the same valiance as Lord Shiva.
As said above, Ashwatthama is an immortal (Chiranjivi).
Ashwatthama was born with a gemstone (mani) on his forehead.
This highly potent jewel, had the power to a ward off death, disease, old-age, hunger, thirst, darkness, ignorance etc.
Gemstone (mani) was one of the main sources of Ashwatthama’s strength.
Lord Veda Vyasa at the end of the war of Mahabharata asks Ashwatthama to give his gemstone (mani) to Bhima as atonement for firing ‘Brahmastra‘ at him and for his inability to withdraw it.
Ashwatthama immediately complies Lord Veda Vyasa’s order.
Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) : Bali Chakravarti is the grand son of Prahlada and the son of Virochana.
Bali Chakravarti (Mahabai) real name is Indrasena.
He was born in the daitya (demon) family of Hiranyakashipu and he was the king of all the daityas (demons).
But, even though Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) was a daitya (demon), he ruled with proper dharmanista (As per Sanatana Dharma).
Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) was a great daani (donor).
Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) led the daitya (demon) team during Samudra manthan (Amrit Manthan).
Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) will become Lord Indra Deva in ‘Savarni Manvantara‘.
During Deepawali, all the Indian Hindus celebrate a festival (Part of Deepawali) called as ‘Bali Padyami‘.
Bali Padyami falls on Kartika Shukla Paksha on Padya day.
This day is reserved for Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali).
It is the day on which Bali Chakravarti will be the Chakravarti (divine emperor) for the entire world.
It is the day on which Lord Vamana (Lord Vishnu avatar) pushed Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali) to Sutala Loka (One of the Patala Loka / Underworld).
Lord Vamana gave the boon that ‘Kartika Shukla Paksha’ on Padya day, it will be reserved for Bali Chakravarti (Mahabali).
On this day whatever danas (donations) done like Godaana (Donation of cow), Vastra daana (Donation of clothes),
Bhu daana (Donation of land) or any Dharmic daanas (donations) will please Lord Vamana (Lord Vishnu).
‘Deepa Prajvalana‘ (Lighting the deepa / lamp) on this day will make Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi to stay in their house”
Veda Vyasa : Vaishakha Shukla Paksha Trayodashi is the birth date of Lord of Sri Veda Vyasa.
It is called as ‘Veda Vyasa Jayanti‘.
Lord Sri Veda Vyasa has born on five occasions as given below:
Vaishakha Shukla Paksha Trayodashi
Lord Sri Veda Vyasa was born on five occasions in different periods as given below:
Vaivaswata Manvantara’s 3rd Dwapara Yuga,
7th Dwdapara Yuga,
16th Dwapara Yuga,
25th Dwapara Yuga,
28th Dwapara Yuga.
Different names of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa are as given below:
Satyavati Suta and
Why Lord Sri Veda Vyasa has the above names:
Lord Sri Veda Vyasa was called as ‘Krishna Dwaipayana‘, when he was born, his complexion was dark and therefore he was referred as Krishna.
His mother gave birth to his child on one of an island (dweepa) of Yamuna River.
That’s why he got the name ‘Krishna Dwaipayana‘.
The island was covered by Badara (Indian jujube) trees, so he was also known as Badarayana.
Lord Sri Veda Vyasa is called as ‘Veda Vyasa‘, as he divided the Vedas into four different Vedas called ‘Rig Veda‘, ‘Yajur Veda‘, ‘Sama Veda‘ and ‘Atharva Veda‘.
Here Veda Vyasa = Veda + Vyasa = Four Vedas + Divider. He divided one single Veda into four Vedas.
Lord Sri Veda Vyasa is called as Vashishtha Krishna, as he was born in the family of Maharishi Vashishtha (Great grand father of Lord Sri Veda Vyasa).
Hanuman : Lord Hanuman, the greatest bhakta (devotee) of Lord Rama.
Lord Hanuman was born on Chaitra Shukla Paksha Purnima day. Lord Hanuman is an avatar of Lord Vayu Deva.
Lord Hanuman parents names are Kesari (father) and Anjana (mother).
He was born in Meru Parvata as per Moola Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayana.
But we people have given commentary that, Hanuman was born in Kishkinda.
Kishkinda today is known as Hampi (in Karnataka). Earlier, Hampi was known as Pampa.
Lord Hanuman even today is doing seva (serving) Lord Rama in a place called ‘Kimpurusha Khanda‘.
Different names of Lord Hanuman is as given below:
Mukhya Prana Deva : Lord Hanuman is the main Prana, that is, he is the main life giver (After Lord Vishnu and Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi).
Vayuputra (Pavanputra) : Lord Hanuman son of the Lord Vayu Deva (Wind god) and also he is an avatar of Lord Vayu Deva.
Anjaneya (Anjana Suta) : Lord Hanuman is the son of Anjana Devi.
Kesari Nandana (Kesari Suta) : Lord Hanuman is the son of the King Kesari.
Maruti : Lord Hanuman is the son of Maruta (Another name of Vayu deva).
Kapeeshwara : Lord Hanuman is the Lord of all the Monkeys.
Panchavaktra : Lord Hanuman is five headed (Panchavaktra = Pancha + Vaktra = Five + Heads).
Vajranga Bali (Bajranga Bali) : Lord Hanuman body is highly strong and can be compared to vajra (diamond). Bajranga is a mispronounced word of Vajranga.
Mahabala (Mahabali) : Lord Hanuman is super strong and thus the name Mahabala (Mahabala = Maha + Bala = Super + Strong).
Mahakaya : Lord Hanuman body is very very very… gigantic and thus the name Mahakaya (Maha + Kaya = Gigantic + Body).
Rama Doota : Lord Hanuman is the greatest and best messenger (doota) of Lord Rama.
Vira (Mahavira) : Lord Hanuman is the most valiant (Only after Lord Vishnu / Rama and Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi / Sita Devi).
Sankata Mochana : Lord Hanuman is the remover of problems, hardships, hurdles, etc. of his devotees.
Lord Vayu Deva (Hanuman) different avatars are as given below:
Lord Vayu Deva : He stays in higher planets and serves Lord Vishnu and Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi.
Lord Hanuman : Took avatar in Treta Yuga to serve Lord Rama and Goddess Sri Sita Devi.
Bhimasena : Took avatar in Dwapara Yuga to serve Lord Krishna and Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi.
Sri Madhwacharya Ji : Took avatar in Kali Yuga and even today he is serving Lord Veda Vyasa in ‘Maha Badrinath’.
Vibhishana : Vibhishana was the youngest brother of Ravana, the second brother name is Kumbhakarna.
Vibhishana parents names are Vishrava (father) and Kaikesi (mother).
Vibhishana siblings are Ravana (eldest), Kumbhakarna (second brother) and Shurpanakha (sister).
Vibhishana wife name is Sarama and daughter name is Trijata.
(Trijata is again born as Subhadra as the sister of Lord Krishna during Dwapara Yuga period).
Even though Vibhishana was born in the daityas (demons) family, he was a great Vaishnava.
Vibhishana was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu (Lord Rama).
After the Lanka war and later after Lord Rama becomes the King of Ayodhya, Lord Rama gifts Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy deity to Vibhishana.
At this time, Lord Rama instructed Vibhishana to stay on earth and serve the people and guide them to the path of truth and dharma.
Hence, Vibhishana is considered one of the sapta chiranjivi (seven immortals).
Lord Vishnu (Lord Rama) also ordered Vibhishana to pray to the family deity of Solar Dynasty, Lord Ranganatha Swamy (Now this deity is in Srirangam).
This same Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy is installed in today’s Srirangam in Tamil Nadu.
We can see Vibhishana’s deity doing pooja of Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy in Srirangam temple in Tamil Nadu even today.
Vibhishana in his earlier was born as Kanva Rishi.
It is said that, Vibhishana is staying in Srirangam in disguised (invisible) form and serving Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy even today in Srirangam.
Kripacharya : In Sanskrit this name is pronounced as Krupacharya (कृपाचार्य / ಕೃಪಾಚಾರ್ಯ / kr̥pācārya).
Kripacharya is also called as Kripa (Krupa) in simple way.
Kripacharya father name is Sharadvana, Kripi is his sister, Dronacharya was his brother-in-law and Ashwatthama was his nephew.
Shantanu and Satyavati Devi were Kripacharya foster parents.
In Mahabharata, Kripacharya was known by few other names as given below:
Gautama : Kripacharya was a descendant of Gautama.
Sharadvata : Kripacharya was a son of Sharadvana,
Sharadvanputra : Kripacharya was a son of Sharadvana, and
Bharatacharya : Kripacharya was a teacher of the descendants of King Bharat (Bharata).
The Mahabharata’s Adi Parva narrates that, Kripacharya taught the Pandavas, Kauravas, Vrishnis and Yadavas about Dhanur vidya (archery).
(Later all the Pandavas, Kauravas, etc. went to Dronacharya to get higher knowledge).
The Mahabharata’s Sabha Parva explains that, Kripacharya participated in the Rajasuya ritual of Yudhishthira.
During this time, Kripacharya distributed dakshina to all the Brahamanas.
In the Mahabharata’s Virata Parva, Kripacharya helped Duryodhana, by sending spies to find the Pandavas during their incognito period of exile.
According to the Srimad Bhagavatam (Vishnu Purana), Kripacharya will become one of the Saptarishi, that is –
One among the seven most revered sages in the next Manvantara.
Parashurama : Lord Parashurama is the direct avatar Lord Vishnu and there is no difference between Lord Vishnu and Lord Parashurama.
Lord Parashurama is also called as ‘Bhargavarama’ (Bhargava Rama)‘.
Since Lord Parashurama childhood, he used to move around with his formidable weapon called ‘Parashu‘ (axe) and thus he was called Parashurama..
Lord Parashurama was born to Maharishi Jamadagni (father) and Renuka Devi (mother).
Where Maharishi Jamadagni is the son of Satyavati Devi (mother) and Rishi Rucheeka (father).
Lord Parashurama disciples names are as given below:
Bhishma : The great Bhishma (Also called as Pitamaha) learned for nearly 500 years from Lord Parashurama.
Dronacharya : He was also a student of Lord Parashurama. Later Dronacharya became Guru of Pandavas and Kauravas.
Karna : Karna had earlier not informed about his varna (As he himself was not aware of his varna).
Lord Parashurama had taught Karna all the lessons.
Subsequently Lord Parashurama came to know that Karna is a Kshatriya by birth.
And Lord Parashurama cursed Karna that, he will not remember the ‘Vital Mantras‘ in the war field.
Thus, when Karna and Arjuna were in the battle field in Kurukshetra, Karna was not able to remember the ‘Vital Mantras’ to invoke Brahmastra.
After touring 21 times to kill the vile Kshatriya, Lord Parashurama made the daana (donated) his entire possession to brahmanas.
Thus Lord Parashurama was not left with any place to stay on earth.
For this reason, at the time of making any daana (donation) one should say ‘Parashuramaaya namaha‘.
Then Lord Parashurama threw his axe on the western ocean and moved the sea for some distance, and converted the sea-land into land (bhoomi).
This area is called as ‘Parashurama Kshetra‘. This Parashurama Kshetra starts from today’s Gokarna upto Kanyakumari.
Even today, Lord Parashurama is physically present in a place called ‘Mahendra Parvata‘.
It is said in our Puranas that, Lord Parashurama is still doing tapas (penance) at Mahendra parvata, for the peace and happiness of the whole world.
Markandeya : He was born to Rishi Mrikanda (father) and Marudmati (mother).
Even today, there is tirtha (pilgrimage site) called as ‘Markandeya Tirtha‘.
Here the Rishi Markandeya wrote the great ‘Markandeya Purana’.
And this place is situated on a trekking route to the Yamunotri Shrine in today’s Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand state and it is called as Tungnath.
How Markandeya became chiranjivi (immortal) story is as given below:
Lord Shiva has more power than the ‘Mrityu Devata‘ Lord Yama Deva.
Rishi Markandeya had a very short life of only 16 years.
Rishi Markandeya was known that, his life is very short and thus he started worshipping Lord Shiva with utmost devotion.
After the completion of 16th year, Lord Yama Deva came to take Rishi Markandeya by pulling him with arrows.
Lord Shiva came and rescued Rishi Markandeya and blessed him to be Chiranjivi (immortal).
For this reason Rishi Markandeya is considered as one of the Chiranjivi (immortal).
Other chiranjivi (immortals) of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) are as given below:
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