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From left to right: Sơn Tinh, Thánh Gióng, Chử Đồng Tử, and Liễu Hạnh. Art by SSEN DOLL

We Vietnamese don't really have many named immortals. We worship nature and the world around us, in the spirit residing in the water and the wind and the moutains. We worship the celestials beyond our understanding in the heavens above. We worship heroes whose deeds had saved us and our country from invaders. These gods are no exceptions.
Matt Wright

The Four Immortals, also known as Tứ Bất Tử (Hanzi: 四不死), are the four deities of Vietnamese mythology.

Summary

The Four Immortals is the collective name for the four principal deities of the Vietnamese Pantheon, serving directly underneath the Vietnamese God-King Lạc Long Quân.

Each of the Four Immortals symbolize a certain dream and virtue of the Vietnamese people.

  • Tản Viên Sơn Thánh: Symbolize the people's dream of conquering nature and defeat natural disasters.
  • Phù Đổng Thiên Vương: Symbolize the patriotic spirit and the strength of youth.
  • Chử Đồng Tử: Symbolize filial piety, love, marriage, wealth, and success.
  • Princess Liễu Hạnh: Symbolize the spiritual life, virtues, wisdom, prosperity, and poetry.

The group have been known and worshipped by the Vietnamese people since ancient times, with the three male deities (Tản Viên Sơn Thánh, Phù Đổng Thiên Vương, and Chử Đồng Tử) were worshipped since the ages of the Hùng Vương - mytholical first kings of the Vietnamese, estimated to be around 3000 BC.

Princess Liễu Hạnh is the exception to this as she only became recognized as a member of the Four Immortals during the Later Le dynasty in Viet Nam (1428–1789) as the tales of her reincarnation only became more popular during this time. Prior to her initiation, the group consisted of five members - three original three and two other males, Từ Đạo Hạnh and Lý Quốc Sư, both of whom symbolize humanity's true potential if rightfully cultivated, as well as personification of the Ly-Tran dynasties' culture, which heavily based on Buddhism.

Members

  • Sơn Tinh
  • Thánh Gióng
  • Chử Đồng Tử
  • Liễu Hạnh
  • Từ Đạo Hạnh (formerly, retired)
  • Lý Quốc Sư (formerly, retired)
  • Tiên Dung (unofficial; Chử Đồng Tử's first wife)
  • Mỵ Nương (unofficial; Sơn Tinh's wife)

Extra Information

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