Dhruv K. Age 20 M
Student, Gamer, Musician, Game Developer.
In way to many fandoms to handle.
Classpect: Prince of Light.
Immortality and the origin of death is one of the most popular topics of stories from around the world, actually. Often immortality is or can be conferred on average humans by eating or drinking a rare and special kind of food or beverage.
In the Islamic world you have the four immortals, including Khidir, the Green Man, who drank from the water of life and became immortal. Khidir’s tale shares some factors in common with the story of The Wandering Jew. You can read more about him and the other immortals here.
In China you have the Covert Eight Immortals:
- Immortal Woman He (He Xiangu),
- Royal Uncle Cao (Cao Guojiu),
- Iron-Crutch Li (Tieguai Li),
- Lan Caihe,
- Lü Dongbin, leader;
- Philosopher Han Xiang (Han Xiang Zi),
- Elder Zhang Guo (Zhang Guo Lao), and
- Han Zhongli (Zhongli Quan).
whose power can be transferred to tools an used to destroy evil ro bestow life; as well as the Eight Immortal Scholars of Huainan, or the Eight Gentlemen, who aren’t deified or made supernatural in any way, as their “immortality” is a metaphor but I think that’s a fun play for fiction. As well as Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who famously spent much of his life searching for an elixir of immortality.
There are a fair amount of Native American tales that deal with this topic, too. The Boy Who Would Be Immortal is a Hočąk story, with analogues in Macmac, Menominee, and Potawotami, with their theme of fasting. If you plan to include immortals that blend with supernatural tales, Wendigo are certainly immortal (humans become Wendigo by breaking taboos or committing terrible crimes), as are Skin Walkers in Navajo legend.
In Vietnam, Hang Nga and Hau Nghe are made immortal by eating a special type of grass. Separate from this, you have the Vietnamese Four Immortals: the giant boy Thánh Gióng, mountain god Tản Viên Sơn Thánh,Chử Đồng Tử the marsh boy, and the princess Liễu Hạnh.
In both Hindu and Buddhist tales, the elixir of immortality is guarded jealously by the gods and Garuda, the mythological bird person, plays a very important role in these kind of stories in Southeast Asia.
There’s a Yoruban tale about Oba Koso or Shango, who was forced to commit suicide by political intrigue but did not hang; The demigod Maui has many stories his quests involving immortality for himself and others in Tonga, New Zealand, Samoa, and many other Pacific Islands.
Also keep in mind, even if you’re going to allow Greek or Roman immortals to dominate your story-not all Greek or Roman immortals were white people. A notable exception is Memnon, an African (Ethiopian and/or Sudanese) king, who was killed by Achilles and mourned so deeply by Eos, his mother, that Zeus was moved to grant him immortality.
I highly encourage anyone else to add their favorite stories about immortality to this post!!!
For Hinduism, immortality is much more complex. Garuda, the bird person, does not necessarily guard the secret to immortality. He is instead the closest servant and confidant of Vishnu, one of the main trinity alongside Shiva and Brahma.
In many ways the trinity is held separate from the Devas - who are essentially the Hindu version of the Greek and Roman pantheon. In fact. Indra, king of Devas, controls weather and lightning similar to Zeus.
So with immortality, there are many interesting stories. One story concerns an Asura king (demon but not necessarily evil) who was a devotee of one of the trinity. His devotion pleased one of the gods who granted him the boon that he could not be killed by “man or beast, inside or outside, or during day and night.” With this boon he used it generally for evil. He was defeated by an embodiment of Vishnu, Narasimha, that was half man half beast, who killed him during the hour of twilight in the courtyard of his palace (neither outside or inside). Needless to say his son was a much better ruler.
That’s one example. For humans, gaining immortality is equivalent to attaining Moksha - a very similar state to Nirvana. To attain Moksha is to be free from the cycle of death and rebirth and gain infinite knowledge. This is generally granted to those who are devout, humble, or righteous. One example concerns a king, who was performing a Puja (ritual.) He was known as a very honorable king so he was tested. One of the gods appeared to him as a dove seeking protection while the other a falcon. Because both of them were right in a way (dove wanting to survive, falcon needing to feed himself and family), the long offered to sacrifice his flesh equal to the weight of the dove. At the end he offered to sacrifice himself - and this gesture proved the depth of his self sacrifice, for which he attained Moksha after death.
There’s another good story about a king generally a good king but grew old and desired to live a luxurious life for more. He asked his sons to sacrifice their youth for 1000 years, and only the youngest and wisest son offered his youth. He spent the next 1000 years enjoying kingly pursuits and once his time was up and he had enjoyed life to its fullest, gave his youth and kingship to the youngest son and became a ascetic.
So I’ve written a lot here and there’s a lot of research you could do as well! Ideas for Hindu immortals could follow themes such as:
I hope this helps!
fuck ‘it’s all in their head’ headcanons
fuck anything that reduces everything fantastic and wonderful and strange into delusion
fuck stereotypes of mental illness, images of people in padded rooms unable to face reality
fuck destroying wonder and replacing it with sheer ableism
fuck ruining the magic
and fuck anyone who thinks destroying dreams is ‘new’ and ‘creative’
OK so why do people wear beanies? I dont get it.
Does this actually work?
Mother of Gods…
that CAN’t be right
THIS IS THE WRONG HAT!
i’m kinda skeptical about this, but i guess i’ll try it out…
WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK
what about a snap back?
JEGUS FUCKING GRIST ALMIGHTY WHAT HAPPENED
IT’S TRUE IT MAKES YOU CUTE <3
WAIT FUCK GUYS WOLF HATS GIVE YOU WOLF TAILS