The Chiranjeevins Of Hindu Mythology 

Along the course of the hindu mythology, a group of people were blessed or cursed with an unusually long life. The word chiranjeevi is derived from ‘chiran’ which means long and ‘jeevi’ means lived. The word is often confused with immortality. The chiranjeevins are belived to have a long life which means that they would live to see the end of Kali Yuga but will not live on to the next Kalpa. Is Hanuman Alive Today? There are thought to be seven chiranjeevins but some belive the number to be eight. As the shloka goes- “Ashwatthama Balir Vyaso Hanumanash cha Vibhishana Krupacharya cha Parashuramam Saptaita Chiranjeevanam” – ‘Ashwathama, King Mahabali, Vyasa, Hanuman, Vibhishana, Kripacharya and Parashurama are the seven death-defying or imperishable personalities ‘. Thirukadavur-The Grace That Lengthens Your Longevity Markandeya is often included as the eighth chiranjeevi even though his name is not included in the shloka. Read on to know more about the chiranjeevins.


Ashwathama was the son of Guru Dronacharya and a great friend of Duryodhana. He is the only one among the eight chiranjeevins to be cursed into the state. He commited 3 great sins during his lifetime in Dwapara Yuga. He was one among the warriors who unlawfully killed Abhimanyu, who was only a child. He killed the five Upapandavas, the sons of Draupadi after the war was over and that too in their sleep. Lastly, he used the Bramhastra to kill the unborn son of Abhimanyu in Uttara’s womb. The last sin especially infuriated Krishna. He ordered the gem in Ashwathama’s forehead to be cut out (the legend has it that Ashwathama was born with the gem which protected him from afflictions and sickness) . Krishna proceeded to curse him that the wound would never heal and and that he would roam about in the world, suffering in miseries. There have been cases when people claim to have seen Ashwathama. He would often be seen asking for butter to sooth the wound in his forehead. The Temple of Asirghar is the hotbed of many claimed sightings. Image Courtesy


King Mahabali

King Mahabali was a righteous asura king who is thought to have ruled the area comprising the present Kerala. He began conducting Yagnas that would grant him powers that would equal that of Indra, the King of Gods. To keep his position as the lord of the heavens safe, he approached Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu, as his fifth avatar- Vamana, tricked Mahabali and banished him to the underworld. Seeing that Mahabali was still the humble devotee, Vishnu blessed him with immortality and let him return to the earth once every year to visit his beloved subjects. The festival Onam is celebrated to mark this occasion.


Vyasa Ved

Vyasa was the author of the epic Mahabharata. He is also credited as the person who split the Vedas into four to make it simpler for people to understand. He was blessed by Lord Ganesha and Maha Vishnu to be a chiranjeevi. It is said that he resides where ever the righteous and true live.



There would hardly be anyone who is not familiar with Hanuman. He is what defines devotion, innocence, strength and knowledge. He is belived to destroy evil and protect the righteous. Any person who calls upon him is freed from the effects of Kali Yuga. So great was his devotion to Rama that instead of chosing moksha, he prefered staying on earth, residing where ever Rama’s name was spoken. He was mentioned in the Mahabharata, which took place in the Dwapara Yuga. Many people have claimed to have seen him in flesh and blood. It is said that when ever Ram Katha is conducted, the person who arrives first and leaves last is Hanuman.



Vibhishana was the third brother of Ravana. He counseled Ravana to give Rama his wife back. When Ravana paid no heed, he fought against him as Rama’s ally. He was blessed with long life to reward his righteousness. He is belived to watch over people and guide them with morals, righteousness and dharma.



Kripacharya was the Kulguru of the Pandavas and Kauravas. His righteousness and impartiality to his students are cited as the reasons behind his chiranjeevi status. He is often revered above Guru Dronacharya as the ideal Guru.



Parashurama is the sixth avatar of Vishnu. He was born to rid the earth of immoral kings and rulers. It is said that he would re-emerge at the end of Kali Yuga to be the Guru of Vishnu’s last avatar, Kalki.



Markandeya was a great saint and a staunch devotee. It is said that on his 16th birthday, Yama, the God of death came to snatch him away but his devotion was so great that Lord Shiva himself appeared to save him from the clutches of death. Lord shiva blessed Markandeya with immortality.



Kakbhushundi was an arrogant pupil of the Sage Lomash. Inspite of his ill manners, arrogance and habit of lying, He was Sage Lomash’s favorite. Once when Kakbhushundi insulted Sage Lomash, Shiva cursed him to be born as the lowest form of creation and be trapped by immortality. Shiva was forced to modify his curse on Sage Lomash’s insistence. He was turned into a crow but was blessed that he can be present every where like God, he could transcend dimensions of time and space. He was given the Ashta-siddhi and the boon of true bhakti. KakBhushundi is the only true immortal as he can live beyond the confines of Kalpas.