There are many instances of dead reanimated in Hinduism. Satyavan seems to be the most prominent example.

But are there any instances of a dead corpse reanimated while losing its earlier personality?

  • No. Not yet any zombie concept in any religion Jun 26 '15 at 7:01

Yes and no. No in the sense of what you think of in the Western concept of the term. However, Patanjali says in his Yoga Aphorisms (III. 39):

When the cause of bondage of the Chitta has become loosened, the Yogi, by his knowledge of its channels of activity (the nerves), enters another's body.

And Swami Vivekananda's comment on this verse is:

The Yogi can enter a dead body and make it get up and move, even while he himself is working in another body. Or he can enter a living body and hold that man's mind and organs in check, and for the time being act through the body of that man. That is done by the Yogi coming to this discrimination of the Purusha and nature. If he wants to enter another's body, he makes a Samyama on that body and enters it, because not only is his soul omnipresent, but his mind also, as the Yogi teaches. It is one bit of the universal mind. Now, however, it can only work through the nerve currents in this body, but when the Yogi has loosened himself from the nerve currents, he can work through other things.


If by Satayavan you mean dead coming to life again then yes there are many examples. Following are some of them:

  1. According to Shiva Purana, Daksha Prajapati, father of Devi Sati, was killed by Veerbhadra. Later on request of his wife and other Devtas, Lord Shiva placed the head of a Goat on Daksha's body and made him alive again.

  2. Lord Ganesha's head was cut by Lord Shiva and he was dead but then he was brought to life again by Lord Shiva by placing an elephant's head on his body.

  3. In the story of Ghushmeshwara Jyotirling, Ghushma's son was killed by her sister but he was again brought back to life by Lord Shiva. See this text from the wiki article:

It is by its worshippers hailed as 12th Jyotirlinga of lord Shiva on the basis of a plethora of evidence deducated from location, folk tales and architectural and geographical facts enshired in ' puranas' legend has it that a Brahmin, by name Sudharma lived in distant past in vicinity of Devagiri hills, whose wife Sudeha, had not been blessed with offspring. She is therefore, got her younger sister Ghushma married to her husband. Ghusma was a devotee of lord Shiv, whose devotion to Great Loard mahadeva got her the birth of a son from her husband. Sudeha, her elder sister, got envious of Ghusma's honour and happiness, which unlitmately resulted in assassination of newly married son of Ghusma whose used to dispose the parthiva Shiv Lingas everyday after worshipping. By the next morning when the bride found the bed os her mother-in-law. On information Ghusma did not lose her temper and she kept worshipping as usual. The following day Lord shiva gave his 'Darshan' by appearing before Ghushma when she was immersing idols of Lord Shiva after worship. pleased by her devotion Lord Shiva not only resurrected her son but also granted a boon to her that he would always abide in this place as 'Ghushmeshwar' after the name of Ghushma. This Legend is in Shivpuran kotirudra sahinta adhyay 32–33

  1. According to Bhagwat Purana, Lord Krishna and Balarama once brought back their Guru Sandipani's dead son from Yamlok. Here is the text from wiki article that confirms this:

According to the Bhāgavata-Purāṇa , Śaṅkhāsura inhabited a beautiful conch named, "pāñca-jana":2 (literally, "Five-People," mentioned in the Aitireya Brāhmaṇa as the name of a group of inimical tribes, but which may also be connected with the constellation, Boötes, which resembles a conch shell), lived under the waters in the shape of a conch. Not finding the son within the conch, Sri Krishna and Balarama took the conch and went to Yama (who is also likely associated with Boötes), and blew the conch. Yama worshipped both of them saying, ‘O Viṣṇu (One Who Pervades the Universe), disguised as a human being by way of līlā Lila (Hinduism) (play), what can we do for you both?’

Kṛṣṇa replied: ‘Impelled by My command, O great ruler, fetch my guru's son, who was brought here as a result of his own karma.’ Being brought back to life, they returned Saṁdīpanī's son. It was thus in the process of rescuing his guru's disciple from the clutches of Death-personified (Yama) that Śrī Kṛṣṇa acquired his famous conch, Pañca-Jana, from Śaṅkhāsura.

  1. Asura King Bali and his army was killed in a battle with Devas. He and Asura army was brought back to life by Shukracharya.

  2. In Mahabharat, according to a story, Arjun was killed by his son Babhruvahan/Vabhruvahan. He was later brought back to life.

  3. In Mahabharat again, head of Barbareek, son of Ghatotkach and grandson of Bheem, was chopped before the battle so that he couldnot participate and later rejoined after the battle. However, his head was still said to be conscious even after being chopped.

  4. In Mahabharat, yet again, Bheem was killed in his childhood by giving him poison and drowning him in a river. But he was taken to the Snake kingdom and was brought back to life by the Snake King.

There might be several other examples which I might not recall now but if I would then I will add here.

EDIT: Sorry, read your question more clearly now, so if you want instances of a person changing personality after being brought back to life then examples of Daksha and Lord Ganesha seems to be kind of matching that. Prior to being dead they had a different mindset(enmity) towards Lord Shiva but after coming back to life they were changed.

  • 1
    @Pradyumna, It depends what pretext Zombie is used for. In reality there are no zombies so the definition is because of what is shown till now for them in movies, TV serials, novels or comic books. May be tomorrow if they show a zombie has feelings so wiki text may also change. Btw, the question says 'is there any instances of a dead corpse reanimated while losing is earlier personality', so that's what I have tried to kind of (not exact) relate in Hindu mythology.
    – Aby
    Jun 26 '15 at 8:52
  • I think the OP is asking whether a body can be reanimated with no personality at all. Jun 26 '15 at 15:24

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