According to Chinese mythology, a group of eight individuals known as the Eight Immortals acquired immortality. They play a crucial role in Chinese culture and may be seen in many classic works of Chinese art and literature.
It is thought that the Eight Immortals symbolise many facets of existence and the natural world. The ancient Chinese system of divination known as the I Ching uses the same eight trigrams. All of the immortals are distinguished by one or more unique qualities, such as the ability to heal, live forever, or amass vast fortunes.
what are the eight immortals?
According to Chinese mythology, there is a group of legendary figures known as the Eight Immortals who are thought to have attained immortality. These figures are also referred to as the Eight Immortal Ones. They have a significant role in Chinese tradition and can be found frequently portrayed in the country’s art, literature, and other types of media. There are many facets of life, and the Eight Immortals each have their own unique set of powers and characteristics that they symbolise.
what do the eight immortals represent?
The Queen Mother of the West, an important figure in Chinese mythology, is rumoured to have chosen the Eight Immortals as her own personal candidates for immortality. There is some unique ability or trait that each of them possesses.
Here are the eight immortals:
Li Tieguai, also known as “Li Tieguai,” is a famous healer. He frequently has a gourd of healing elixir and a crutch in art depictions of him.
Han Xiangzi is frequently pictured playing the flute, which is a nod to his musical legacy. His alchemical prowess has also been attested to.
Lan Caihe – Lan Caihe is typically portrayed as a beggar and is linked to inebriation and hysteria. It is reported that he can switch between genders at will.
When it comes to transportation, many people think of Zhang Guolao, who is pictured riding a donkey backwards. They say he can call upon enchanted beasts to carry him wherever he goes.
Zhongli Quan, also known as the Healing Fan or Peach, is a deity in Chinese medicine. It is said that he has the power to bring the dead back to life.
For those unfamiliar, Lu Dongbin is a legendary Chinese swordsman who is frequently represented in art wielding a blade. He has a reputation for driving out evil spirits and demons.
It is claimed that the Eight Immortals share a particular kinship, as they are frequently shown in groups. Additionally, they are thought to bestow wealth and benefits upon those who worship them, and they are linked to specific times of the year, cardinal directions, and colors.
eight immortals crossing the sea story(ba xian guo hai)
One of the most well-known stories in all of Chinese mythology is that of the Eight Immortals and their journey across the sea. The eight immortal protagonists in this Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) tale travel across the ocean to celebrate the Queen Mother of the West’s birthday.
Li Tieguai, Han Xiangzi, Lan Caihe, He Xiangu, Cao Guojiu, Zhang Guolao, Zhongli Quan, and Lu Dongbin are the Eight Immortals. Together, the Immortals symbolise the harmony and balance of the cosmos because each possesses a special talent or ability.
We open on the Eight Immortals making plans to travel across the ocean to celebrate the Queen Mother’s birthday. They choose to embark on their journey aboard a magical vessel that is immune to the effects of water. The Dragon King of the East Sea is credited with designing the “Floating on the Waves Without Turning Over” watercraft.
Just as the Immortals are about to set sail, they are met by a storm that may easily cause the ship to capsize. But with the help of their special abilities, they weather the storm and press on with their journey.
While Han Xiangzi uses his flute to still the winds and waves, Li Tieguai uses his crutch to secure the boat to the seabed. Magician Lan Caihe turns into a fish and swims beside the boat, while He Xiangu uses the lotus to keep them afloat.
Cao Guojiu calls upon the dragon he has summoned from his jade tablet to help steer the ship over the turbulent seas, while Zhang Guolao uses his donkey to help propel the vessel forward. A blast of wind created by Zhongli Quan’s fan helps to move the boat ahead, while Lu Dongbin’s sword slices through the clouds.
As a group, the Eight Immortals are able to weather the storm and make it to the Queen Mother’s palace without incident. In celebration of the Queen Mother’s birthday, they are given a warm welcome and a spectacular feast.
The Immortals got back aboard their enchanted ship and headed out to sea after the party. Yet, a new sort of difficulty has presented itself this time around. Sea demons, on the hunt for their immortality, ambush the heroes as they sail through the ocean.
The sea demons are vanquished thanks to the Immortals’ special abilities, and the adventure continues. They arrive at the coast and say their goodbyes before going their separate ways.
The journey of the Eight Immortals across the sea is a narrative of tenacity, teamwork, and the strength of one’s unique abilities. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Immortals and the utilisation of each one’s special talent, they are able to make it to the Queen Mother’s birthday party.
Because of its significance in Chinese culture, the story is frequently represented in art, literature, and other types of media. In Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortals represent ideals of harmony, prosperity, and good fortune.
Overall, the Eight Immortals represent a significant component of Chinese mythology and culture. They are thought to provide fortune and favours on those who worship them since they symbolise various facets of life and the natural environment. The narrative of the “Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea” is a well-known example of Chinese folklore that demonstrates their might and wisdom.