The Eight Immortals

All posts tagged The Eight Immortals

Lu Dongbin: The Third Immortal Who Happens to be the De Facto Chief of the Eight Immortals

Published Abril 21, 2012 by jptan2012

One of the most famous immortal in the 8 Immortals is Lu Dongbin (also spelled as Lu Dongpin, Lu Tong Pin, Dongbin Lu), I believe to some extent he is even more famous than Chung Li-Chuan. In fact, there are more records about Lu Dongbin than Chung Li-Chuan, and some Taoist priest consider Lu Dongbin as the leader or chief of the Eight Immortals. However, if you study the story of the Eight Immortals there are records that states that Lu Dongbin is a student or disciple of Chung Li-Chuan, thus the more common belief is that Chung Li-Chuan is the chief of the 8 Immortals and that Lu Dongbin is the de facto leader of the group. In the official counting of the Eight Immortals he usually comes third, but the chronological line-up of their names is not in any way related to their capabilities and hierarchy.

In my post about the Eight Immortals, I mentioned that they are largely considered as legendary beings this is because it is unclear whether they truly lived in the past or not. However, that is not true about Lu Dongbin. Lu Dongbin is a confirmed historical figure.

Lu Dongbin’s real name is Lu Yan during the Tang Dynasty. Lu is his family name and Yan is his given name.  It is largely believed that when he was born, instead of a pungent smell of blood, the room was filled with a very sweet smelling fragrant aroma. Some records states that he has always been an intelligent student with so many academic achievements.

In his older age it is said that he learned the alchemy and Tao under the guidance of Chung Li-Chuan. Some Taoist scripturess states that Lu Dongbin became a very good exorcist of people who are possessed by bad spirits. He is also able to drive aways bad chi, bad luck cause by evil spirits.

It is because of his life as mortal that when he became an immortal he is largely associated with scholastic luck. More than being an immortal that bestows scholastic luck, he is also an immortal that we can call on when we need protection from unseen forces. His secondary power is his ability to heal illnesses.

His implements are the double edged sword that he uses to slay evil spirits and a flywhisk that he uses to cure illnesses.

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The Eight Immortals

Published Abril 18, 2012 by jptan2012

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.

Each of the Eight Immortal carries a special implement that they use as a tool to help bestow their protection and blessing.

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.

 

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