By Swami Harshananda
Cirajivins literally means ‘those who live eternally’.
The epics and purāṇas have listed seven persons as ‘cirajivins’ or ever-living. Due to various reasons as depicted in the mythological stories, they obtained the boon of living for ever on this earth, though in a subtle body. They are:
- Aśvatthāma - the son of preceptor Droṇa
- Bali - the king of pātāla or the nether world
- Hanumān - the monkey-devotee of Rāma
- Kṛpa - a brāhmaṇa warrior mentioned in the Mahābhārata
- Paraśurāma - the sage who killed the evil kṣattriyas
- Vibhīṣaṇa - youngest brother of Rāvaṇa, the king of Laṅkā
- Vyāsa - the sage and author of the epic Mahābhārata and the purāṇas
Mārkaṇḍeya, the sage who conquered death through his devotion to Śiva, should be added to this list.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore