42 Facts About Indra


Indra is the king of the devas and Svarga in Hindu mythology.

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Indra is associated with the sky, lightning, weather, thunder, storms, rains, river flows, and war.

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Indra is celebrated for his powers, and as the one who killed the great evil named Vritra, who obstructed human prosperity and happiness.

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Indra destroys Vritra and his "deceiving forces", and thereby brings rains and sunshine as the saviour of mankind.

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Indra is an important deity worshipped by the Kalash people, indicating his prominence in ancient Hinduism.

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However, like the post-Vedic Hindu texts, Indra is a subject of ridicule and reduced to a figurehead status in Buddhist texts, shown as a god that suffers rebirth.

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In Jain traditions, unlike Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra is not the king of gods, but the king of superhumans residing in Svarga-Loka, and very much a part of Jain rebirth cosmology.

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Indra's abode exists in the capital city of Svarga, Amaravati, though he is associated with Mount Meru .

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Etymological roots of Indra are unclear, and it has been a contested topic among scholars since the 19th-century, one with many proposals.

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Indra has many epithets in the Indian religions, notably Sakra,.

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Michael Janda suggests that Indra has origins in the Indo-European *trigw-welumos [or rather *trigw-t-welumos] "smasher of the enclosure" and diye-snutyos "impeller of streams" .

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Brave and heroic Innara or Inra, which sounds like Indra, is mentioned among the gods of the Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking people of Hittite region.

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Indra is mentioned in ancient Indo-Iranian literature, but with a major inconsistency when contrasted with the Vedas.

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Indra is called vrtrag?na- in the Vedas, which corresponds to Verethragna of the Zoroastrian noun verethragna-.

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Indra was associated more than any other deity with Soma, a stimulant drug probably borrowed from the BMAC religion.

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Indra's rise to prominence was a peculiar trait of the Old Indic speakers.

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In Rigveda, Indra is described as strong willed, armed with a thunderbolt, riding a chariot:.

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Indra was a prominent deity in the Vedic era of Hinduism.

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Indra smashed the serpent resting on the mountain—for him Tvastar had fashioned the resounding [sunlike] mace.

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Indra uses his vajra, a mace, to kill Vritra and smash open the mountains to release the waters.

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In one interpretation by Oldenberg, the hymns are referring to the snaking thunderstorm clouds that gather with bellowing winds, Indra is then seen as the storm god who intervenes in these clouds with his thunderbolts, which then release the rains nourishing the parched land, crops and thus humanity.

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Indra is the one who releases the water from the winter demon, an idea that later metamorphosed into his role as storm god.

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Further, the Vritra demon that Indra slew is best understood as any obstruction, whether it be clouds that refuse to release rain or mountains or snow that hold back the water.

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Indra, like all Vedic deities, is a part of henotheistic theology of ancient India.

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Indra is not a visible object of nature in the Vedic texts, nor is he a personification of any object, but that agent which causes the lightning, the rains and the rivers to flow.

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Indra is often presented as the twin brother of Agni – another major Vedic deity.

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Parentage of Indra is inconsistent in Vedic texts, and in fact Rigveda 4.

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Some verses of Vedic texts state that Indra's father is Tvashtr or sometimes the couple Dyaush and Prithvi are mentioned as his parents.

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Indra is found in many other myths that are poorly understood.

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Indra's chariot is pulled by fallow bay horses described as hari.

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The passing mention of Indra in this Upanishad, states Alain Danielou, is a symbolic folk etymology.

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In post-Vedic texts, Indra is depicted as an intoxicated hedonistic god, his importance declines, and he evolves into a minor deity in comparison to others in the Hindu pantheon, such as Shiva, Vishnu, or Devi.

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Indra becomes a source of nuisance rains in the Puranas, out of anger and with an intent to hurt mankind.

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Also, according to Mahabharata Indra, disguised himself as a Brahmin approached Karna and asked for his kavach and kundal as charity.

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In Silapathikaram Indra is described as Maalai venkudai mannavan, literally meaning Indra with the pearl-garland and white umbrella.

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Rebirth in the realm of Indra is a consequence of very good Karma and accumulated merit during a human life.

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In Buddhism, Indra is commonly called by his other name, Sakra or Sakka, ruler of the heaven.

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Brahma and Indra are revered together as protectors of the historical Buddha, and are frequently shown giving the infant Buddha his first bath.

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In some schools of Buddhism and in Hinduism, the image of Indra's net is a metaphor for the emptiness of all things, and at the same time a metaphor for the understanding of the universe as a web of connections and interdependences.

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In China, Indra is regarded as one of the twenty-four protective devas of Buddhism.

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In Japan, Indra is one of the twelve Devas, as guardian deities, who are found in or around Buddhist temples .

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In south Indian Digambara Jaina community, Indra is the title of hereditary priests who preside over Jain temple functions.

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