One of the most revered and considered superior beings of Taoist legend are the Paht Tai Shien Cho or the Eight Immortals. It is unclear whether they have really lived at various times because no official record of them has been ever found. Most of the documents found that refers to the Eight Immortals are mostly religious texts and/or oral transmissions of their story.
The 8 Immortals is comprised of six men and two women. They are said to have attained immortality under various and different circumstances, but some Taoist texts states that they all received immortality when they bite into the Peach of Immortality, which is maintained by the Queen Mother of the South, or the mother of the Jade Emperor.
Collectively, they are considered to bring various luck and protection. To some extent they can be compared to the 18 Arhats of Buddhism and/or to the 12 Disciples of Jesus Christ in Christianity. Only the Arhats and the Eight Immortals are much older than the disciples of Jesus Christ.
Both the The Eight Immortals and the 18 Arhats (more on the Arhats on a later post) are said to possess magical and supernatural powers.
Having the image of the Eight Immortals in our homes will deliver protection from negative energies, and they will also bestow good health, good fortune, wonderful opportunities, and various blessings, especially to those who honor them by offering incense, fruits, and flowers.
The Eight Immortals are Chung-Li Chuan, which is said to be the chief of the Eight Immortals, Kuo-Lao Chang, Lu Dongpin, Guo-Chiu Tsao, Tieh-Guai Li, Hsian-Tzu Han, , Tsai-Ho Lan, , Hsien-Ku Ho.
I’ll talk about the different immortals in my succeeding posts.