Hsien The Immortals

Definition: Hsien
(Chinese, "fluttering") The Immortals, who are described in the Chuang-tzu. Perhaps originally intended to be allegorical, the nature and abilities of these beings became a practical goal for later Taoists.

The spiritual beings of primary importance in religious Taoism are the Immortals (Chinese Xian or Hsien).

First introduced in the Chuang-Tzu and perhaps intended by the author to be allegorical, these super-humans or "perfected persons" (chen jen) came to be worshipped and emulated by Taoists. Some even seek to locate them, in the hope of asking them their secret of immortality.

In the Chuang-Tzu, the Immortals dwell far away in an untroubled place, where they experience an effortless existence of physical freedom. They are ageless, eat nothing but air, drink nothing but dew, and enjoy the power of flight. They exemplify the Taoist virtue of spontaneity - they are nothing other than their essential nature.


Article Info

Title Hsien
Last UpdatedJanuary 29, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/hsien
Short URLrlft.co/4040
MLA Citation “Hsien.” ReligionFacts.com. 29 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021. <religionfacts.com/hsien>