Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Indra: The Most Powerful Vedic God

Going by the number of hymns addressed to the deities in the Vedic period, the atmospheric god Indra is the clear winner. Apart from weather god, he was also war god. Sharing several characteristics of the Greek Zeus and the Germanic Thor, Indra has been variously described as a winner (jitendra), efficient car warrior (rathestha), Shatakratu (possessing a hundred powers) and meghavahana (rider of cloud), and  a Somadrinker (Somapa). 

Indra’s father is Dyaus (heaven). Indrani or Sachi (energy) is his wife.  He destroyed the forts (pura) of his enemies, and was accordingly known as Purandara (the breaker of forts). He killed the evil cloud demon Vritra and therefore, is called varitrahan (slayer of Vrita). Indra is called by the name Ĺšakra in Buddhist scriptures.

Indra is associated with thunderstorms. Like Zeus and Thor, his hand bore the thunderbolt (Vajra), which was used by him to destroy his enemies.

Another interesting facet to Indra’s personality is his fondness for feasting and drinking. This has earned him the epithet of Somapa (a Soma drinker).

By the end of the Middle ages, Indra’s importance began to wane and there were few temples dedicated to him. 

1 comment:

  1. neverknow so much about indra...i used to watch different gods related serials in my childhood but no such serials given priority to god indra



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