In Hindu mythology, it is said to be a group of Ashta-Chiranjeevis (Eight ‘Immortals’, Chiran- Long, and Jeevi- Lived). These are the eight immortals that are said to still live on Earth in flesh and blood today, for various different and unique reasons. Specifically the term Chiranjeevis is used for those who are born human, but are blessed or cursed with extremely long life. Here is the list of 4 Chiranjeevis.
Markendeya is one of the devotees of the Lord Shiva, and was granted by immortality when Shiva and Yama (the God of death) fought against each other to decide the Rishi’s destiny. This came from a tale from the Bhagavata Purana states that once sage Narayana went to visit Markandeya and asked him for a boon. Markandeya requested and prayed to sage Narayana to show him his illusory power or maya since sages Nara-Narayana are incarnation of Supereme Lord Narayana. To fulfill the wish, Vishnu appeared in the form of a child, and declared to the sage that he was Time and Death. Sage Markandeya entered into his mouth to save himself from the surging water and discovered all the worlds, the seven regions and the seven oceans.
The Asura King Mahabali, who conquered all the three worlds, had to be subdued by lord Vishnu on the request of Indra for developing arrogance. Vishnu banished Bali to the underworld, but due to his pious deeds on Earth granted him the boon of being able to visit his subjects once a year which is now celebrated as Onam in state of Kerala.
Lord Hanuman does not need any introduction, his devotion, strength and knowledge characterised him. It is said that whilst other characters from the Ramayan achieved their sought-after Moksha, Hanuman ji was the one who shunned the heavens and requested to stay on Earth as long as Lord Ram is venerated by people.
Kripa was the Kul Guru of the Kurus during the time of Mahabharata, and whilst his status as a Chiranjeevi is disputed, his love towards all of his students is the most commonly documented reason for his immortality.
By: Prerana Sharma