Hindu mythology has laid a foundation for righteous living. The basic principle behind every human’s life is Karma.
Hinduism is a strong believer of you reap, what you sow. If you take a deep look at the mythology, every character’s life is an interconnected web of actions and reactions.
And everyone got a position based on theirs. In that, immortality is the highest reaction that one has earned.
Hinduism describes immortality as walking the world in blood and flesh till the end of the Kalpa that is the Kali Yuga. There are about 8 immortals that span the earth to date.
Immortality is either a blessing or a curse based on their actions.
Let us take a look at the eight immortals described in the Puranas, The Ramayana, and the Mahabharata.
Ashwatthama was the warrior son of Guru Dhronacharya and a dear friend of Duryodhan.
He was given the curse of immortality for performing three unpardonable sins during the Dwapara yuga.
He killed the Upapandavas (five sons of Pandavas) while they were asleep, was one of the six warriors who murdered Abhimanyu on the battlefield in an unrighteous way.
Finally, he launched, the Bhramastra at Uttara’s womb to kill the unborn child of Abhimanyu. Furious by his actions, lord Krishna cursed him that will he will wander in the world till its end with all kinds of diseases.
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Bali was the grandson of Prahalad and a famous Asura king known for his valor over all three worlds.
Feared by Mahabali’s reign, Indra requested Lord Vishnu to protect the Devas. Lord Vishnu took Vamana Avatar and requested the Asura king for 3 portions of land covered by his feet.
The king known for his charity and looking at the dwarf agreed to the request. Vamana grew in size and for 2 steps he covered all three worlds and he placed the third step on Bali’s head and sent him to Pathal Lok.
Delighted by King’s sacrifice, Lord Vishnu blessed him that Mahabali will manifest his actual form and visit his people.
The day is celebrated as flower festival, Onam in Kerala.
Vyasa, the great sage and the author of Mahabharata was blessed to be immortal by Lord Ganesha for writing the greatest epic.
He is the rishi who composed four Vedas (Rigveda, Atharvaveda, Samveda, and Yajurveda) and the Puranas.
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Hanuman, the ardent devotee of Lord Rama is a dispeller of the evil forces. Lord Hanuman worshipped his idol every second in his life and followed him everywhere.
Once in the court of Lord Rama after Ravan Vata, everyone showered the king and queen with gifts. Sita gave Hanuman a pearl necklace that was originally a gift from Vibishan.
Hanuman broke the necklace and started looking for something. When everyone questioned, he said none of the pearls had His Lord Rama and Sita Ma.
And when everyone started laughing at him, he cleaved his chest and showed Lord Rama and Devi Sita.
Lord Rama pleased by his devotion blessed that Hanuman will stay On the earth forever and will be present wherever Ram’s name is spoken.
Vibhishana was the younger sibling of the Demon king Ravana. In the battle between Ravan and Ram, Vibhishan joined the side of dharma and went against his brother.
Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Avatar was born to destroy the immoral rulers and Kshatriyas.
He was born to the sage Jamadagni and the Kshatriya princess Renuka. He was ardent Shiv Bhakt and received an ax through rigorous penance.
He mastered the art of warfare from Lord Shiva and became the first Warrior saint.
The Puranas tell that Parashurama will appear at the end of Kali Yug and be the Guru of Kalki.
Kripacharya was the royal or the Kul Guru of the Kuru Dynasty. The sage remained neutral and impartial to all his subjects.
He was born to Shardwana and Janapadi and was adopted by King Shantanu.
Later he became the teacher of Shantanu’s generations. He gained immortality because of his impartial and neutral nature.
Most scriptures identify only seven immortals in the world but some also mention Markandeya as an immortal.
He was stipulated to live only for 8 years. As his end came, lord Yama came to take his life but as a boy, Markanday hugged a Shiva Linga and prayed to Lord shiva.
Lord Shiva pleased by the boy’s devotion kicked Yama and blessed Markanday with immortality
People believe that the immortals stroll the earth even now.
Immortality has been a boon and a curse explaining to people everything they gain or lose is the work of their Karma.