In Hindu mythology, the concept of Chiranjeevi refers to beings who are immortal. “Chiranjeevi” translates to ‘living forever’ in Sanskrit. According to various Hindu scriptures, there are eight individuals who are considered to be Chiranjeevis. These figures are revered across different texts and are believed to live through the Kali Yuga until the next creation cycle. Here are the eight Chiranjeevis:
- Ashwatthama: The son of Dronacharya, who fought in the Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharata. He was cursed by Lord Krishna to roam the earth for 3,000 years with wounds that would never heal.
- King Mahabali: The benevolent Asura king who was sent to the netherworld by Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu. It is believed he would return to rule the earth as per the boon given by Vishnu.
- Hanuman: The devotee of Lord Rama who played a crucial role in the Ramayana. His devotion granted him immortality, and he is believed to be present wherever the Ramayana is read.
- Vibhishana: The brother of Ravana who sided with Lord Rama during the Ramayana. He was granted immortality by Rama and is believed to be the ruler of Lanka.
- Kripacharya: The teacher of the Kuru princes in the Mahabharata. He was granted immortality by the sages for his impartiality towards all of his students, irrespective of their lineage.
- Parashurama: The sixth avatar of Vishnu, known for his axe given to him by Shiva. His mission was to rid the world of corrupt kshatriyas twenty-one times over.
- Vyasa: Also known as Veda Vyasa, the sage who composed the Mahabharata and the Puranas and categorized the Vedas into four parts. He is considered immortal due to his immense knowledge and contribution to Hindu scriptures.
- Lord Rama’s Twin Sons, Lava and Kusha: In some traditions, Lava and Kusha, the twin sons of Lord Rama and Sita, are also considered to be part of the list of Chiranjeevis, although they are not universally accepted as such.