Chiranjivis are eight immortals in Hindu religion who are to remain alive on Earth until the end of the current KaliYuga. Hindu scripture contains a mantra about the seven immortals, in which their names are recited for luck and longevity.
अश्वत्थामा बलिव्र्यासो हनूमांश्च विभीषण:। कृप: परशुरामश्च सप्तएतै चिरजीविन:॥ सप्तैतान् संस्मरेन्नित्यं मार्कण्डेयमथाष्टमम्। जीवेद्वर्षशतं सोपि सर्वव्याधिविवर्जित॥
Ashwathaama Balirvyaaso Hanumanshcha Vibheeshanaha
Krupaha Parshuramascha Saptaitey Chiranjivinaha
Saptaitaan Samsmareynnityam Markandeymathaashtamam
Jivedvarshshatam Sopi Sarvavyadhivivarjit
The above lines mean that by daily remembering these 8 immortals (Ashwatthama, King Bali, Ved Vyasa, Hanuman, Vibhishan, Kripacharya, Parashuram, and Rishi Markandaya) one can be free of all ailments and live for 100 years. These are also referred to as the 8 great warriors.
1. Bali –
Bali, also known as Maha Bali was Asura King and the virtuous emperor of the three worlds. During the Vamana avatar, Lord Vishnu blessed him to be a Chiranjivi. Every year on the day of Onam, he descends to earth from the heavens to visit his people, those of the region of Kerala.
2. Markandeya –
3. Parashurama –
He is the 6th avatar of Lord Vishnu, he is known as the master of all astras, shastras and divine weapons. The Kalki Purana writes that he will re-emerge at end time to the martial guru of Kalki. Parashurama will then guide the Kalki avatar to go thorough penance to receive celestial weaponry, needed to save the mankind.
4. Vibhishana –
He was the brother of Ravana. Vibhishana helped Lord Rama in his battle with Ravana. Later, he was crowned king of Lanka after Ravana was killed by Rama. Vibhishana was made a Chiranjeevi so that he can maintain good deeds and righteousness in Lanka and can guide people about paths of Dharma.
5. Lord Hanuman –
Lord Hanuman was a true devotee of Lord Rama and his strength, form, and knowledge characterize him. It is said that Lord Hanuman requested to stay on Earth as long as people worship Lord Rama. It is believed that Lord Hanuman visit the place wherever the name of Lord Ram is taken. Whoever remembers Lord Hanuman from his pure heart and soul will always overcome life’s miseries and obstacles. Chiranjeevi Hanuman is always the one who arrives first and leaves last from a Ram Katha. It is said that Lord Hanuman visits Mathang community in Sri Lanka every 41 years.
6. Vyasa –
The sage who composed the Mahabharata. He represents intellect and wisdom. It is said the Vyasa has seen three Yugas. He was born towards the end of Tretayuga and he was there to witness the complete Dwaparayuga and also saw the initial years of Kali Yuga. It is also said that Ved Vyasa is immortal and he never died. Seeing the widespread violence in today’s times, he is said to have moved back into some remote village in Northern India. Vyasa is considered as one of the many Avatars of Lord Vishnu. Veda Vyasa is a post and there will be a different Vyaasa for every Maha Yuga (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga). The current Vyasa for this Maha Yuga is the son of Paraasara. For the next Maha Yuga, Aswatthama will be the Veda Vyasa.
7. KripaCharya –
Kripa was the Kul Guru of the Kurus during the Mahabharat. After his involvement in Kurukshetra, he worked as teacher and guru for Parikshit who is the grandson of Arjuna. He is known for his impartiality towards carrying out his duties. The reason behind Kripacharya being immortal was that Lord Krishna has offered him a boon that he will be immortal.
8. Ashwatthama –
He was the son of Drona, a great warrior. Drona performed severe penance for many years to please Lord Shiva in order to obtain a son who possessed the same valiance as Lord Shiva. Ashwatthama is the avatar of one of the eleven Rudras. He acted out of cowardice to avenge the killing of his father, resulting in a curse of immortality. Ashwatthama and Kripa are known to be the lone survivors who are still alive and who actually fought in the Kurukshetra War. He might be immortal but Lord Krishna gave him a curse that his body will be covered with sores and ulcers that would never cure.
These are the eight immortals in Hinduism who are still alive. If you liked the story, do share with your friends.