Indra (/ˈɪndrə/, Sanskrit: इन्द्र) is a Vedic deity in Hinduism,[2] a guardian deity (Indā[3], Pālī) in Buddhism,[4] and the king of the highest heaven called Saudharmakalpa in Jainism.[5] His mythologies and powers are similar to other Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perun, Perkūnas, Taranis, Zeus, and Thor.[2][6][7]

In the Vedas, Indra is the king of Svarga (Heaven) and the Devas. He is the god of the heavens, lightning, thunder, storms, rains, river flows, and war.[8][9] Indra is the most referred to deity in the Rigveda.[10] He is celebrated for his powers, and the one who kills the great symbolic evil (malevolent type of Asura) named Vritra who obstructs human prosperity and happiness. Indra destroys Vritra and his "deceiving forces", and thereby brings rains and the sunshine as the friend of mankind.[2][11] His importance diminishes in the post-Vedic Indian literature where he is depicted as a powerful hero but one who is getting in trouble with his drunken, hedonistic and adulterous ways, and the god who disturbs Hindu monks as they meditate because he fears self-realized human beings may become more powerful than him.[2][12]

Indra rules over the much sought Devas realm of rebirth within the Samsara doctrine of Buddhist traditions.[13] However, like the Hindu texts, Indra also is a subject of ridicule and reduced to a figurehead status in Buddhist texts,[14] shown as a god that suffers rebirth and redeath.[13] In the Jainism traditions, like Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra is the king of gods and a part of Jain rebirth cosmology.[15] He is also the god who appears with his wife Indrani to celebrate the auspicious moments in the life of a Jain Tirthankara, an iconography that suggests the king and queen of gods reverentially marking the spiritual journey of a Jina.[16][17]

Indra's iconography shows him wielding a lightning thunderbolt known as Vajra, riding on a white elephant known as Airavata.[12][18] In Buddhist iconography the elephant sometimes features three heads, while Jaina icons sometimes show the elephant with five heads. Sometimes a single elephant is shown with four symbolic tusks.[12] Indra's heavenly home is on or near Mount Meru (also called Sumeru).[13][19]

King of the Gods
God of Lightning, Thunder, Rains and River flows
King of Heaven
Indra, Parjanya
Painting of Indra on his elephant mount, Airavata.
AffiliationDeva (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism)
AbodeAmarāvati, the capital of Indraloka (Indra's world) in Svarga[1], Trāyastriṃśa (Heaven of the 33), Mount Meru
WeaponVajra (Thunderbolt), Astras, Vasavi Shakthi
SymbolsVajra, Indra's net
MountAiravata (White elephant), Uchchaihshravas (White horse)
TextsVedas, Puranas, Jātakas, Hindu Epics
Personal information
ConsortShachi (Indrani), Sujā (Buddhism)
ChildrenJayanta, Jayanti, Devasena, Vali, Arjuna and others
ParentsKashyapa and Aditi

Etymology and nomenclature

Indra appears in ancient works or art, and is known by many names. Top: 2nd century CE Buddhist relief from Loriyan Tangai, Gandhara, showing Indra paying homage to the Buddha at the Indrasala Cave. Bottom: Hindu gods Surya and Indra guarding the entrance of the 1st century BCE Buddhist Cave 19 at Bhaja Caves (Maharashtra).[20]

Indras Visit to Indrasala Cave - Schist - ca 2nd Century CE - Kushana Period - Loriyan Tangai - ACCN 5100-A23290 - Indian Museum - Kolkata 2016-03-06 1519
Close view of sculpture round doorway at rightside of verandah of the small Buddhist Vihara, Bhaja Caves, a photo by Henry Cousens

The etymological roots of Indra are unclear, and it has been a contested topic among scholars since the 19th-century, one with many proposals.[21] The significant proposals have been:

  • root ind-u, or "rain drop", based on the Vedic mythology that he conquered rain and brought it down to earth.[12][21]
  • root ind, or "equipped with great power". This was proposed by Vopadeva.[12]
  • root idh or "kindle", and ina or "strong".[22][23]
  • root indha, or "igniter", for his ability to bring light and power (indriya) that ignites the vital forces of life (prana). This is based on Shatapatha Brahmana.[24]
  • root idam-dra, or "It seeing" which is a reference to the one who first perceived the self-sufficient metaphysical Brahman. This is based on Aitareya Upanishad.[12]
  • roots in ancient Indo-European, Indo-Aryan deities.[25] For example, states John Colarusso, as a reflex of proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr-, Greek anēr, Sabine nerō, Avestan nar-, Umbrian nerus, Old Irish nert, Ossetic nart, and others which all refer to "most manly" or "hero".[25]

Colonial era scholarship proposed that Indra shares etymological roots with Zend Andra derived from Old High German Antra, or Jedru of Old Slavonic, but Max Muller critiqued these proposals as untenable.[21][26] Later scholarship has linked Vedic Indra to the European Aynar (the Great One), Abaza, Ubykh and Innara of Hittite mythology.[25][27] Colarusso suggests a Pontic[note 1] origin and that both the phonology and the context of Indra in Indian religions is best explained from Indo-Aryan roots and a Circassian etymology (i.e. *inra).[25]

Other languages

For other languages, he is also known as

  • Bengali: ইন্দ্র (Indra)
  • Burmese: သိကြားမင်း (pronounced [ðadʑá mɪ́ɴ])
  • Chinese: 帝释天 (Dìshìtiān)
  • Japanese: 帝釈天 (Taishakuten).[28]
  • Javanese: ꦧꦛꦫꦲꦶꦤ꧀ꦢꦿ (Bathara Indra)
  • Kannada: ಇಂದ್ರ (Indra)
  • Khmer: ព្រះឥន្ទ្រ (ព្រះឥន្ទ) (pronounced [preah ʔən])
  • Malay: (Indera)
  • Malayalam: ഇന്ദ്രൻ (Indran)
  • Tamil: இந்திரன் (Inthiran)
  • Telugu: ఇంద్రుడు (Indrudu or Indra)
  • Thai: พระอินทร์ (Phra In)

Indra has many epithets in the Indian religions, notably Śakra (शक्र, powerful one), Vṛṣan (वृषन्, mighty), Vṛtrahan (वृत्रहन्, slayer of Vṛtra), Meghavāhana (मेघवाहन, he whose vehicle is cloud), Devarāja (देवराज, king of deities), Devendra (देवेन्द्र, the lord of deities),[29] Surendra (सुरेन्द्र, chief of deities), Svargapati (स्वर्गपति, the lord of heaven), Vajrapāṇī (वज्रपाणि, he who has thunderbolt (Vajra) in his hand) and Vāsava (वासव, lord of Vasus).


Banteay Srei - 032 Indra on Airavata (8581494845)
Banteay Srei temple's pediment carvings depict Indra mounts on Airavata, Cambodia.

Indra is of ancient but unclear origin. Aspects of Indra as a deity are cognate to other Indo-European gods; they are either thunder gods such as Thor, Perun, and Zeus who share parts of his heroic mythologies, act as king of gods, and all are linked to "rain and thunder".[30] The similarities between Indra of Hindu mythologies and of Thor of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant, states Max Muller. Both Indra and Thor are storm gods, with powers over lightning and thunder, both carry hammer or equivalent, for both the weapon returns to their hand after they hurl it, both are associated with bulls in the earliest layer of respective texts, both use thunder as a battle-cry, both are heroic leaders, both protectors of mankind, both are described with legends about "milking the cloud-cows", both are benevolent giants, gods of strength, of life, of marriage and the healing gods, both are worshipped in respective texts on mountains and in forests.[31]

Michael Janda suggests that Indra has origins in the Indo-European *trigw-welumos [or rather *trigw-t-welumos] "smasher of the enclosure" (of Vritra, Vala) and diye-snūtyos "impeller of streams" (the liberated rivers, corresponding to Vedic apam ajas "agitator of the waters").[32] 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.[33]

Indra as a deity had a presence in northeastern Asia minor, as evidenced by the inscriptions on the Boghaz-köi clay tablets dated to about 1400 BCE. This tablet mentions a treaty, but its significance is in four names it includes reverentially as Mi-it-ra, U-ru-w-na, In-da-ra and Na-sa-at-ti-ia. These are respectively, Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatya-Asvin of the Vedic pantheon as revered deities, and these are also found in Avestan pantheon but with Indra and Naonhaitya as demons. This at least suggests that Indra and his fellow deities were in vogue in South Asia and Asia minor by about mid 2nd-millennium BCE.[22][34]

Indra is praised as the highest god in 250 hymns of the Rigveda – a Hindu scripture dated to have been composed sometime between 1700 and 1100 BCE. He is co-praised as the supreme in another 50 hymns, thus making him one of the most celebrated Vedic deities.[22] He is also mentioned in ancient Indo-Iranian literature, but with a major inconsistency when contrasted with the Vedas. In the Vedic literature, Indra is a heroic god. In the Avestan (ancient, pre-Islamic Iranian) texts such as Vd. 10.9, Dk. 9.3 and Gbd 27.6-34.27, Indra – or accurately Andra[35] – is a gigantic demon who opposes truth.[25][note 2] In the Vedic texts, Indra kills the archenemy and demon Vritra who threatens mankind. In the Avestan texts, Vritra is not found.[35]

Indra is called vr̥tragʰná- (literally, "slayer of obstacles") in the Vedas, which corresponds to Verethragna of the Zoroastrian noun verethragna-. According to David Anthony, the Old Indic religion probably emerged among Indo-European immigrants in the contact zone between the Zeravshan River (present-day Uzbekistan) and (present-day) Iran.[36] It was "a syncretic mixture of old Central Asian and new Indo-European elements",[36] which borrowed "distinctive religious beliefs and practices"[37] from the Bactria–Margiana Culture.[37] At least 383 non-Indo-European words were found in this culture, including the god Indra and the ritual drink Soma.[38] According to Anthony,

Many of the qualities of Indo-Iranian god of might/victory, Verethraghna, were transferred to the god Indra, who became the central deity of the developing Old Indic culture. Indra was the subject of 250 hymns, a quarter of the Rig Veda. He was associated more than any other deity with Soma, a stimulant drug (perhaps derived from Ephedra) probably borrowed from the BMAC religion. His rise to prominence was a peculiar trait of the Old Indic speakers.[39]


Guardians of the eight directions 02
Indra is typically featured as a guardian deity on the east side of a Hindu temple.

Indra was a prominent deity in the Vedic era of Hinduism.[22]

Vedic texts

Over a quarter of the 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda mention Indra, making him the most referred to deity than any other.[22][40] These hymns present a complex picture of Indra, but some aspects of Indra are oft repeated. Of these, the most common theme is where he as the god with thunderbolt kills the evil serpent Vritra that held back rains, and thus released rains and land nourishing rivers.[21] For example, the Rigvedic hymn 1.32 dedicated to Indra reads:

इन्द्रस्य नु वीर्याणि प्र वोचं यानि चकार प्रथमानि वज्री ।
अहन्नहिमन्वपस्ततर्द प्र वक्षणा अभिनत्पर्वतानाम् ॥१।।
अहन्नहिं पर्वते शिश्रियाणं त्वष्टास्मै वज्रं स्वर्यं ततक्ष ।
वाश्रा इव धेनवः स्यन्दमाना अञ्जः समुद्रमव जग्मुरापः ॥२।।

Let me tell you the manly deeds of Indra, which he first accomplished, bolt-weaponed,
He slew the serpent, opened up waters, cleft in twain the belly of mountains, ॥1।।
He slew the serpent on the mountain, with heavenly bolt made by Tvastar,
Like lowing cattle downward sped the waters, then flowed to the ocean. ॥2।।[41]

—Rigveda, 1.32.1–2[42]

The hymns of Rigveda declare him to be the "king that moves and moves not", the friend of mankind who holds the different tribes on earth together.[43] In one interpretation by Oldenberg, the hymns are referring to the snaking thunderstorm clouds that gather with bellowing winds (Vritra), 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.[44] In another interpretation by Hillebrandt, Indra is a symbolic sun god (Surya) and Vritra is a symbolic winter-giant (historic mini cycles of ice age, cold) in the earliest, not the later, hymns of Rigveda. The Vritra is an ice-demon of colder central Asia and northern latitudes, who holds back the water. Indra is the one who releases the water from the winter demon, an idea that later metamorphosed into his role as storm god.[44] According to Griswold, this is not a completely convincing interpretation, because Indra is simultaneously a lightning god, a rain god and a river-helping god in the Vedas. 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.[44]

Even though Indra is declared as the king of gods in some verses, there is no consistent subordination of other gods to Indra. In Vedic thought, all gods and goddesses are equivalent and aspects of the same eternal abstract Brahman, none consistently superior, none consistently inferior. All gods obey Indra, but all gods also obey Varuna, Vishnu, Rudra and others when the situation arises. Further, Indra also accepts and follows the instructions of Savitr (solar deity).[45] Indra, like all Vedic deities, is a part of henotheistic theology of ancient India.[46]

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.[47] His myths and adventures in the Vedic literature are numerous, ranging from harnessing the rains, cutting through mountains to help rivers flow, helping land becoming fertile, unleashing sun by defeating the clouds, warming the land by overcoming the winter forces, winning the light and dawn for mankind, putting milk in the cows, rejuvenating the immobile into something mobile and prosperous, and in general, he is depicted as removing any and all sorts of obstacles to human progress.[48] The Vedic prayers to Indra, states Jan Gonda, generally ask "produce success of this rite, throw down those who hate the materialized Brahman".[49]

Indra is often presented as the twin brother of Agni (fire) – another major Vedic deity.[50] Yet, he is also presented to be the same, states Max Muller, as in Rigvedic hymn 2.1.3, which states, "Thou Agni, art Indra, a bull among all beings; thou art the wide-ruling Vishnu, worthy of adoration. Thou art the Brahman, (...)."[51] He is also part of one of many Vedic trinities as "Agni, Indra and Surya", representing the "creator-maintainer-destroyer" aspects of existence in Hindu thought.[40][note 3]


The ancient Aitareya Upanishad equates Indra, along with other deities, with Atman (soul, self) in the Vedanta's spirit of internalization of rituals and gods. It begins with its cosmological theory in verse 1.1.1 by stating that, "in the beginning, Atman, verily one only, was here - no other blinking thing whatever; he bethought himself: let me now create worlds".[55][56] This soul, which the text refers to as Brahman as well, then proceeds to create the worlds and beings in those worlds wherein all Vedic gods and goddesses such as sun-god, moon-god, Agni and other divinities become active cooperative organs of the body.[56][57][58] The Atman thereafter creates food, and thus emerges a sustainable non-sentient universe, according to the Upanishad. The eternal Atman then enters each living being making the universe full of sentient beings, but these living beings fail to perceive their Atman. The first one to see the Atman as Brahman, asserts the Upanishad, said, "idam adarsha or "I have seen It".[56] Others then called this first seer as Idam-dra or "It-seeing", which over time came to be cryptically known as "Indra", because, claims Aitareya Upanishad, everyone including the gods like short nicknames.[59] The passing mention of Indra in this Upanishad, states Alain Daniélou, is a symbolic folk etymology.[12]

The section 3.9 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad connects Indra to thunder, thunderbolt and release of waters.[60] In section 5.1 of the Avyakta Upanishad, Indra is praised as he who embodies the qualities of all gods.[40]

Post-Vedic texts

Krishna Holding Mount Govardhan - Crop
Krishna holding Govardhan hill from Smithsonian Institution’s collections

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. In Hindu texts, Indra is some times known as an aspect (avatar) of Shiva.[40]

He is depicted as the father of Vali in the Ramayana and Arjuna in the Mahabharata.[14] He becomes a source of nuisance rains in the Puranas, out of anger and with an intent to hurt mankind. But, Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu, comes to the rescue by lifting Mount Govardhana on his fingertip, and letting mankind shelter under the mountain till Indra exhausts his anger and relents.[14] Also, according to Mahabharata Indra, disguised himself as a Brahmin approached Karna and asked for his kavach and kundal as a charity. Although being aware of his true identity, Karna peeled off his kavach and kundal and fulfilled the wish of Indra. Pleased by this act Indra gifted Karna a dart called Vasavi Shakthi.

Sangam literature (300 BCE–300 AD)

Sangam literature of the Tamil language contains more stories about Indra by various authors. In Silapathikaram Indra is described as Maalai venkudai mannavan (மாலைவெண் குடை மன்னவன்), literally meaning Indra with the pearl-garland and white umbrella.[61]

The Sangam literature also describes Indhira Vizha (festival for Indra), the festival for want of rain, celebrated for one full month starting from the full moon in Ootrai (later name – Cittirai) and completed on the full moon in Puyaazhi (Vaikaasi) (which coincides with Buddhapurnima). It is described in the epic Cilapatikaram in detail.[62]

Relations with other gods

In the Hindu religion, he is married to Shachi, also known as Indrani or Pulomaja.[63]

Indra and Shachi have two sons: Chitragupta and Jayanta; and two daughters: Jayanti and Devasena. Goddess Jayanti is the spouse of Shukra, while Goddess Devasena marries the war-god Kartikeya.[64]


In the Brahmavaivarta Purana,[65] Indra defeats Vṛtrá and releases the waters. Indra asks Vishvakarma to build him a palace, but ultimately decides to leave his life of luxury to become a hermit and seek wisdom. Horrified, Indra's wife Shachi asks the priest Brihaspati to change her husband's mind. He teaches Indra to see the virtues of both the spiritual life and the worldly life. Thus, at the end of the story, Indra learns how to pursue wisdom while still fulfilling his kingly duties.


Indra's iconography shows him holding a thunderbolt or Vajra and a sword. In addition he is shown on top of his elephant Airavata, which reinforces his characteristic of King of the Gods.

Tiruchchirappalli painting Indra (cropped)

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

May the strong Heaven make thee the Strong wax stronger: Strong, for thou art borne by thy two strong Bay Horses. So, fair of cheek, with mighty chariot, mighty, uphold us, strong-willed, thunder armed, in battle.

— RigVeda, Book 5, Hymn XXXVI: Griffith[66]

Indra's weapon, which he used to kill evil Vritra, is the Vajra or thunderbolt. Other alternate iconographic symbolism for him includes a bow (sometimes as a colorful rainbow), a sword, a net, a noose, a hook, or a conch.[67] The thunderbolt of Indra is called Bhaudhara.[68]

In the post-Vedic period, he rides a large, four-tusked white elephant called Airavata.[12] In sculpture and relief artworks in temples, he typically sits on an elephant or is near one. When he is shown to have two, he holds the Vajra and a bow.[69]

In the Shatapatha Brahmana and in Shaktism traditions, Indra is stated to be same as goddess Shodashi (Tripura Sundari), and her iconography is described similar to those of Indra.[70]

The rainbow is called Indra's Bow (Sanskrit: indradhanus इन्द्रधनुस्).[67]


The Buddhist cosmology places Indra above Mount Sumeru, in Trayastrimsha heaven.[4] He resides and rules over one of the six realms of rebirth, the Devas realm of Saṃsāra, that is widely sought in the Buddhist tradition.[71][note 4] Rebirth in the realm of Indra is a consequence of very good Karma (Pali: kamma) and accumulated merit during a human life.[74]

In Buddhism, Indra is commonly called by his other name, Śakra or Sakka, ruler of the Trāyastriṃśa heaven.[75] Śakra is sometimes referred to as Devānām Indra or "Lord of the Devas". Buddhist texts also refer to Indra by numerous names and epithets, as is the case with Hindu and Jain texts. For example, Asvaghosha's Buddhacarita in different sections refers to Indra with terms such as "the thousand eyed",[76] Puramdara,[77] Lekharshabha,[78] Mahendra, Marutvat, Valabhid and Maghavat.[79] Elsewhere, he is known as Devarajan (literally, "the king of gods"). These names reflect a large overlap between Hinduism and Buddhism, and the adoption of many Vedic terminology and concepts into Buddhist thought.[80] Even the term Śakra, which means "mighty", appears in the Vedic texts such as in hymn 5.34 of the Rigveda.[12][81]

In Theravada Buddhism Indra is referred to as Indā in Evening Chanting such as the Udissanādiṭṭhānagāthā (Iminā)[82].

The Buddha (middle) is flanked by Brahma (left) and Indra, possibly the oldest surviving Buddhist artwork.[83]

The Bimaran Casket made of gold inset with garnet, dated to be around 60 CE, but some proposals dating it to the 1st century BCE, is among the earliest archaeological evidences available that establish the importance of Indra in Buddhist mythology. The artwork shows the Buddha flanked by gods Brahma and Indra.[83][84]

In China, Korea, and Japan, he is known by the characters 帝釋天 (Chinese: 釋提桓因, pinyin: shì dī huán yīn, Korean: "Je-seok-cheon" or 桓因 Hwan-in, Japanese: "Tai-shaku-ten", kanji: 帝釈天). In Japan, Indra always appears opposite Brahma (梵天, Japanese: "Bonten") in Buddhist art. Brahma and Indra are revered together as protectors of the historical Buddha (Chinese: 釋迦, kanji: 釈迦, also known as Shakyamuni), and are frequently shown giving the infant Buddha his first bath. Although Indra is often depicted like a bodhisattva in the Far East, typically in Tang dynasty costume, his iconography also includes a martial aspect, wielding a thunderbolt from atop his elephant mount.

Seal Bangkok Metropolitan Admin (green)
Many official seals in southeast Asia feature Indra.[85] Above: seal of Bangkok, Thailand.

In the Huayan school of Buddhism and elsewhere, the image of Indra's net is a metaphor for the emptiness of all things.

In Japan, Indra is one of the twelve Devas, as guardian deities, who are found in or around Buddhist temples (Jūni-ten, 十二天).[86] In Japan, Indra has been called "Taishaku-ten".[87] He joins these other eleven Devas of Buddhism, found in Japan and other parts of southeast Asia: Agni (Ka-ten), Yama (Enma-ten), Nirrti (Rasetsu-ten), Vayu (Fu-ten), Ishana (Ishana-ten), Kubera (Tamon-ten), Varuna (Sui-ten), Brahma (Bon-ten), Prithvi (Chi-ten), Surya (Nit-ten), and Chandra (Gat-ten).[87][88][89]

The ceremonial name of Bangkok claims that the city was "given by Indra and built by Vishvakarman."[90]}


Indra Ellora
Left: Indra as a guardian deity sitting on elephant in Jain cave temple at Ellora
Bhagvan Indra
Right: Indra, Indrani with elephant at the 9th-century Mirpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan (rebuilt 15th-century).

Indra in Jain mythology always serves the Tirthankara teachers. Indra most commonly appears in stories related to Tirthankaras, in which Indra himself manages and celebrates the five auspicious events in that Tirthankara's life, such as Chavan kalyanak, Janma kalyanak, Diksha kalyanak, Kevala Jnana kalyanak, and moksha kalyanak.[91]

There are sixty-four Indras in Jaina literature, each ruling over different heavenly realms where heavenly souls who have not yet gained Kaivalya (moksha) are reborn according to Jainism.[16][92] Among these many Indras, the ruler of the first Kalpa heaven is the Indra who is known as Saudharma in Digambara, and Sakra in Śvētāmbara tradition. He is most preferred, discussed and often depicted in Jaina caves and marble temples, often with his wife Indrani.[92][93] They greet the devotee as he or she walks in, flank the entrance to an idol of Jina (conqueror), and lead the gods as they are shown celebrating the five auspicious moments in a Jina's life, including his birth.[16] These Indra-related stories are enacted by laypeople in Jainism tradition during special Puja (worship) or festive remembrances.[16] ref>Lisa Owen (2012). Carving Devotion in the Jain Caves at Ellora. BRILL Academic. pp. 29–33. ISBN 90-04-20629-9.</ref>

In south Indian Digambara Jaina community, Indra is also the title of hereditary priests who preside over Jain temple functions.[16]

See also


  1. ^ near Black Sea.
  2. ^ In deities that are similar to Indra in the Hittite and European mythologies, he is also heroic.[25]
  3. ^ The Trimurti idea of Hinduism, states Jan Gonda, "seems to have developed from ancient cosmological and ritualistic speculations about the triple character of an individual god, in the first place of Agni, whose births are three or threefold, and who is threefold light, has three bodies and three stations".[52] Other trinities, beyond the more common "Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva", mentioned in ancient and medieval Hindu texts include: "Indra, Vishnu, Brahmanaspati", "Agni, Indra, Surya", "Agni, Vayu, Aditya", "Mahalakshmi, Mahasarasvati, and Mahakali", and others.[53][54]
  4. ^ Scholars[72][73] note that better rebirth, not nirvana, has been the primary focus of a vast majority of lay Buddhists. This is sought in the Buddhist traditions through merit accumulation and good kamma.


  1. ^ Dalal, Roshen. Hinduism: an Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books, 2014,
  2. ^ a b c d Thomas Berry (1996). Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism. Columbia University Press. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-231-10781-5.
  3. ^ "Dictionary | Buddhistdoor". Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Helen Josephine Baroni (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-8239-2240-6.
  5. ^ Lisa Owen (2012). Carving Devotion in the Jain Caves at Ellora. BRILL Academic. p. 25. ISBN 90-04-20629-9.
  6. ^ T. N. Madan (2003). The Hinduism Omnibus. Oxford University Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-19-566411-9.
  7. ^ Sukumari Bhattacharji (2015). The Indian Theogony. Cambridge University Press. pp. 280–281.
  8. ^ "War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict [3 volumes] - Google Książki".
  9. ^ Edward Delavan Perry, "Indra in the Rig-Veda". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 11.1885: 121. JSTOR 592191.
  10. ^ Jan Gonda (1989). The Indra Hymns of the Ṛgveda. Brill Archive. p. 3. ISBN 90-04-09139-4.
  11. ^ Hervey De Witt Griswold (1971). The Religion of the Ṛigveda. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 177–180. ISBN 978-81-208-0745-7.
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External links


In Hindu mythology, Ahalya (Sanskrit: अहल्या, IAST: Ahalyā) also known as Ahilya, is the wife of the sage Gautama Maharishi. Many Hindu scriptures say that she was seduced by Indra (the king of gods), cursed by her husband for infidelity, and liberated from the curse by Rama (an avatar of the god Vishnu).

Created by the god Brahma as the most beautiful of all women, Ahalya was married to the much older Gautama. In the earliest full narrative, when Indra comes disguised as her husband, Ahalya sees through his disguise but nevertheless accepts his advances. Later sources often absolve her of all guilt, describing how she falls prey to Indra's trickery. In all narratives, Ahalya and Indra are cursed by Gautama. The curse varies from text to text, but almost all versions describe Rama as the eventual agent of her liberation and redemption. Although early texts describe how Ahalya must atone by undergoing severe penance while remaining invisible to the world and how she is purified by offering Rama hospitality, in the popular retelling developed over time, Ahalya is cursed to become a stone and regains her human form after she is brushed by Rama's foot.

Ahalya's seduction by Indra and its repercussions form the central narrative of her story in all scriptural sources for her life. Although the Brahmanas (9th to 6th centuries BCE) are the earliest scriptures to hint at her relationship with Indra, the 5th- to 4th-century BCE Hindu epic Ramayana – whose hero is Rama – is the first to explicitly mention her extra-marital affair in detail. Medieval story-tellers often focus on Ahalya's deliverance by Rama, which is seen as proof of the saving grace of God. Her story has been retold numerous times in the scriptures and lives on in modern-age poetry and short stories, as well as in dance and drama. While ancient narratives are Rama-centric, contemporary ones focus on Ahalya, telling the story from her perspective. Other traditions deal with her children.

In traditional Hinduism, Ahalya is extolled as the first of the panchakanya ("five virgins"), archetypes of female chastity whose names are believed to dispel sin when recited. While some praise her loyalty to her husband and her undaunted acceptance of the curse and gender norms, others condemn her adultery.


Asuras (Sanskrit: असुर) are a class of divine beings or power-seeking deities related to the more benevolent Devas (also known as Suras) in Hinduism.

Asuras are sometimes considered nature spirits. They battle constantly with the devas. Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with good or bad qualities. The good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra.

In the earliest layer of Vedic texts Agni, Indra and other gods are also called Asuras, in the sense of them being "lords" of their respective domains, knowledge and abilities. In later Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered "enemy of the gods".Asuras are part of Indian mythology along with Devas, Yakshas (nature spirits) and Rakshasas (ghosts, ogres). Asuras feature in many cosmological theories in Hinduism.

Delhi Airport metro station

The Airport Metro Station is located on the Delhi Airport Express Line of the Delhi Metro. This station is linked to the Indira Gandhi International Airport terminal 2 and 3. The station was inaugurated on 23 February 2011, after numerous delays.

Indra Devi

Eugenie Peterson (Latvian: Eiženija Pētersone, Russian: Евгения Васильевна Петерсон; May 12, 1899 – April 25, 2002), known as Indra Devi, was a teacher of yoga as exercise who was an early disciple of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.

Indra Gunawan (badminton)

Indra Gunawan (September 23, 1947 in Surakarta – June 7, 2009 in Jakarta) was an Indonesian badminton player and coach.

As a player from Indonesia he specialized in men's doubles. As a coach he was the National coach from both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indra Kumar

Indra Kumar is an Indian film director and producer. He has also appeared in number of Gujarati films playing the comedian or second lead to the protagonist.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi (née Krishnamurthy; born 28 October 1955) is an Indian American business executive, serving on the board of directors of Amazon, the largest eCommerce business in the world by net revenue. She has consistently ranked among the world's 100 most powerful women. In 2014, she was ranked at number 13 on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women, and was ranked the 2nd most powerful woman on the Fortune list in 2015.In February 2018, the International Cricket Council announced that Nooyi would join the ICC Board as its first independent female director in June.

Indra Putra Mahayuddin

Indra Putra Bin Mahayuddin, P.B. (born 2 September 1981) is a Malaysian footballer who plays for Malaysia Super League side Kuala Lumpur and also a player in the Malaysia national team. He is the highest goalscorer of the Malaysia Super League. He is a versatile forward, who can operate as a striker or a winger.

Indra Sahdan Daud

Indra Sahdan bin Daud (born 5 March 1979) is a former Singapore international footballer who currently plays for Eunos Crescent as a forward .He previously played for S.League clubs Geylang United, Home United, Sengkang Punggol and Singapore Armed Forces. He is known for his knack for scoring goals in big matches as well as being a pacy player in his earlier years.

Indra Sistemas

Indra Sistemas, S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈindɾa sisˈtemas]) is a Spanish information technology and defense systems company. Indra is listed on the Bolsa de Madrid and is a constituent of the IBEX 35 index.

Indra is organized around three business areas: information technologies, simulation & automatic test equipment, and defense electronic equipment.

Indra's portfolio ranges from consultancy, project development, and systems and applications integration to outsourcing of IT systems and business processes. This offer is structured into two primary segments: solutions and services.

Indra claims to focus on systems and solutions (including outsourcing and application maintenance), and business processes where technology is a strategic and differentiating element (BPO).

Approximately a third of the company's annual revenues come from international markets. By geographical areas, Europe and the United States are the two international markets with the greatest weight and growth for Indra. Latin America is also a geographical area in which Indra is operating.

The following are among Indra's main business areas:

Air traffic control systems – where it is one of the world's largest suppliers; Indra claims that a third of the world's air traffic is managed by systems developed by the company

Ticketing systems developed for underground railway systems – such as those in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Shanghai, Athens, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile

Financial services


Electoral technology and processes

Aircraft simulators


Health information systems


Indraprastha ("Plain of Indra" or "City of Indra") is mentioned in ancient Indian literature as a city of the Kuru Kingdom. It was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandavas in the Mahabharata epic. Under the Pali form of its name, Indapatta, it is also mentioned in Buddhist texts as the capital of the Kuru mahajanapada. It is often thought to have been located in the region of present-day New Delhi, particularly the Old Fort (Purana Qila), although this has not been conclusively confirmed. The city is sometimes also known as Khandavaprastha, the name of a forest region on the banks of Yamuna river which (according to the Mahabharata) had been cleared to build the city.

Manu (Hinduism)

Manu (Sanskrit: मनु) is a term found with various meanings in Hinduism. In early texts, it refers to the archetypal man, or to the first man (progenitor of humanity).The Sanskrit term for 'human', मानव (IAST: mānava) means 'of Manu' or 'children of Manu'. In later texts, Manu is the title or name of fourteen mystical Kshatriya rulers of earth, or alternatively as the head of mythical dynasties that begin with each cyclic kalpa (aeon) when the universe is born anew. The title of the text Manusmriti uses this term as a prefix, but refers to the first Manu – Svayambhuva, the spiritual son of Brahma.In some Puranic mythology, each kalpa consists of fourteen Manvantaras, and each Manvantara is headed by a different Manu. The current universe, in this mythology, is asserted to be ruled by the 7th Manu named Vaivasvata.In Vishnu Purana, Vaivasvata, also known as Sraddhadeva or Satyavrata, was the king of Dravida before the great flood. He was warned of the flood by the Matsya (fish) avatar of Vishnu, and built a boat that carried the Vedas, Manu's family and the seven sages to safety, helped by Matsya. The myth is repeated with variations in other texts, including the Mahabharata and a few other Puranas. It is similar to other flood myths such as that of Gilgamesh and Noah.

Rigvedic deities

There are 1000 hymns in the Rigveda, most of them dedicated to specific deities.

Indra, a heroic god, slayer of Vritra and destroyer of the Vala, liberator of the cows and the rivers; Agni the sacrificial fire and messenger of the gods; and Soma, the ritual drink dedicated to Indra, are the most prominent deities.

Invoked in groups are the Vishvedevas (the "all-gods"), the Maruts, violent storm gods in Indra's train and the Ashvins, the twin horsemen.

There are two major groups of gods: the Devas and the Asuras. Unlike in later Vedic texts and in Hinduism, the Asuras are not yet demonized, Mitra and Varuna being their most prominent members.

Aditi is the mother both of Agni and of the Adityas or Asuras, led by Mitra and Varuna, with Aryaman, Bhaga, Ansa and Daksha.

Surya is the personification of the Sun, but Savitr, Vivasvant, the Ashvins and the Rbhus, semi-divine craftsmen, also have aspects of solar deities. Other natural phenomena deified include Vayu, (the wind), Dyaus and Prithivi (Heaven and Earth), Dyaus continuing Dyeus, the chief god of the Proto-Indo-European religion, and Ushas (the dawn), the most prominent goddess of the Rigveda, and Apas (the waters).

Rivers play an important role, deified as goddesses, most prominently the Ganges Sapta Sindhu and the Sarasvati River.

Yama is the first ancestor, also worshipped as a deity, and the god of the underworld and death.

Vishnu and Rudra, the prominent deities of later Hinduism (Rudra being an early form of Shiva), are present as marginal gods.

The names of Indra, Mitra, Varuna and the Nasatyas have also attested in a Mitanni treaty, suggesting that some of the religion of the Mitannis was very close to that of the Rigveda.

Total Dhamaal

Total Dhamaal (also known as Dhamaal 3) (transl. Total fun) is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language adventure-action comedy film directed and co-produced by Indra Kumar. It is the third installment of the Dhamaal film series. It is a sequel to 2011's Double Dhamaal. The film stars Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffrey in leading roles, and Esha Gupta in a guest appearance. The film was released on 22 February 2019. The film is a slapstick comedy loosely borrowed from 1963 Hollywood film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The film grossed ₹2,282,752,234 (US$33 million) worldwide, thus becoming the 4th highest grossing Bollywood film of 2019.

USS Indra (ARL-37)

USS Indra (ARL-37) was one of 39 Achelous-class landing craft repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Indra (the god of weather and war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism), she was the only US Naval vessel to bear the name, and only one of three ships (along with USS Krishna and the Civil War era gunboat USS Varuna) to be named after a Hindu deity.


Uncharted is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform video game series developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles. The main games in the series follow Nathan Drake, a charismatic yet obsessive treasure hunter, who journeys across the world to uncover various historical mysteries.

The main series began with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, released on the PlayStation 3 in 2007, followed by its sequels Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009), Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (2011), with the final installment, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, released on the PlayStation 4 in 2016. A prequel, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, was released for Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld system in 2011, followed by the card game spin-off Uncharted: Fight for Fortune in 2012. A standalone expansion to the series, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, was released in 2017, with Chloe Frazer as the game's playable protagonist.

The series has been universally acclaimed and commercially successful, having shipped more than 41 million units, making it the one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. The main series has been widely credited by critics and video game publications for raising the standards of single-player video games, praising it for high production values, quality in storytelling, character design and animation, voice acting, realistic graphics, technical innovation, musical score, gameplay mechanics, and delivering an enjoyable cinematic gaming experience to players. The series has often been likened to Hollywood-produced action adventure films.

The critical and commercial success of the Uncharted games have been pivotal to the success of PlayStation during the seventh and eighth generation of video game consoles, and has helped elevate Naughty Dog's reputation to a highly respected video game developer in the industry.


A vajra is a weapon used as a ritual object to symbolize both the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force); the Sanskrit word has both these meanings.The vajra is essentially a type of club with a ribbed spherical head. The ribs may meet in a ball-shaped top, or they may be separate and end in sharp points with which to stab. The vajra is the weapon of the Indian Vedic rain and thunder-deity Indra, and is used symbolically by the dharma traditions of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, often to represent firmness of spirit and spiritual power. According to the Indian mythology, vajra is considered as one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. The use of the vajra as a symbolic and ritual tool spread from the Hindu religion to other religions in India and other parts of Asia..


Varuna (; Sanskrit: वरुण, IAST: Varuṇa, Malay: Baruna) is a Vedic deity associated initially with the sky, later also with the seas as well as Ṛta (justice) and Satya (truth). He is found in the oldest layer of Vedic literature of Hinduism, such as hymn 7.86 of the Rigveda. He is also mentioned in the Tamil grammar work Tolkāppiyam, as the god of sea and rain.In the Hindu Puranas, Varuna is the god of oceans, his vehicle is a Makara (part fish, part land creature) and his weapon is a Pasha (noose, rope loop). He is the guardian deity of the western direction. In some texts, he is the father of the Vedic sage Vasishtha.Varuna is found in Japanese Buddhist mythology as Suiten. He is also found in Jainism..


In the early Vedic religion, Vritra (Sanskrit: वृत्र, vṛtra; Pali: वत्र, vatra lit. 'enveloper') is a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and adversary of Indra. He identified as an Asura. Vritra was also known in the Vedas as Ahi (Sanskrit: अहि ahi, lit. 'snake'). He appears as a dragon blocking the course of the rivers and is heroically slain by Indra.

Other deities
Official pantheon
Hindu nats
Other nats


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