Indra
   Indra is the king of the gods in the VEDIC pan-theon. He is a symbol of strength and has the character of a warrior. He is associated with the thunderstorm and is said to hold a lightning bolt in his hand. Many early Vedic hymns tell of his battle with the snake demon, Vritra, in the course of which Indra splits a mountain to release the terrestrial waters that Vritra has held back. Indra also fights a demon named Vala in order to release the “cows of the dawn,” perhaps indicating that he was the creator of daylight.
   Indra’s enemies are the Dasas and Dasyus; these have often been taken to refer to the indig-enous tribes of India, but the context is not at all clear. At times the terms can best be translated as “enemy,” and at times they are seen to be mytho-logical beings. In the Vedas Indra is also known as a great drinker of Soma, an intoxicant used in the Vedic ritual. SOMA itself is seen as a god.
   Indra is frequently invoked ritually in Vedic ritual. There are more hymns to him in RIG VEDA than to any other god. Sometimes he is invoked along with AGNI (the god of fire), probably link-ing the main divinity of the heavens, Indra, with a primary terrestrial deity, Agni, who is also the messenger of the gods.
   The Vedic tradition often mentions Indra’s wife, Indrani. Post-Vedic mythology gives Indra the white elephant AIRAVATA as a mount to ride. Eventually Indra loses his supremacy and begins to be challenged and even ridiculed. KRISHNA pro-tects his village from Indra by holding a mountain up as an umbrella to keep away his rains. Indra is cursed for consorting with a sage’s wife (AHALYA) and is afflicted, in one version of the story, with 1,000 vaginas, which are then changed into 1,000 eyes to justify his common Vedic epithet “thou-sand-eyed one.”
   Further reading: Jan Gonda, trans., The Indra Hymns of the Rig Veda (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990); Alfred Hil-lebrandt, Vedic Mythology. Translated from the German by Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma, Vol. I (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990); W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic. 2d ed. (Bombay: Rupa, 1973).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • INDRA — Nom d’un dieu puissant qui domine le panthéon védique, porte le titre de roi et exerce sa souveraineté, au moins théoriquement, sur l’ensemble de la création. Cette dernière est d’ailleurs son œuvre: alors que les autres dieux ne parvenaient pas… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Indra — Indra, ind. Gott, in der vedischen Zeit der gefeiertste von allen, vorwiegend ein Kampfesgott, der im Kampf mit dem schlangengestaltigen Dämon Vritra (ursprünglich Personifikation der Trockenheit) siegt und auch in der Männerschlacht Sieg gewinnt …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Indra — era el dios principal de la cultura védica en la India. Aparece como héroe y figura central en el libro Rig Veda. Es considerado el dios de la atmósfera y el cielo visible. También es el rey de todos los semidioses o dioses inferiores Su arma es… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Indra — (Dewa I., Dewandren), bei den Indern Gott des Himmels, der erste der acht Beherrscher des östlichen Theiles; er war Sohn des Kasyapa u. der Aditi. Seine Gemahlin heißt Indrani (Satschi); sein Paradies Indraloga befindet sich in der Luft u. in… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Indra — Indra, der höchste Gott der Inder in ältester Zeit, der später hinter Çiva und Vishnu zurücktritt …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Indra — Ȉndra ž DEFINICIJA mit. 1. u Vedama vrhovni bog, ubio zmaja Vrtru, otac Arjune 2. u kasnijem hinduizmu samo bog kiše i oluje, namjesnik nebesa i čuvar istoka; oružje su mu grom i munja, pije somu za snagu …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Indra — [in′drə] n. [Sans] the chief god of the early Hindu religion, associated with rain and thunderbolts …   English World dictionary

  • Indra — Hdeity infobox| Caption = Name = Indra Devanagari = इन्द्र or इंद्र Sanskrit Transliteration = Indra Pali Transliteration = Tamil script = Affiliation = Deva God of = weather and war, king of the gods Abode = Amarāvati in Svarga Mantra = Weapon …   Wikipedia

  • Indra — Para otros usos de este término, véase Indra (desambiguación). Indra y su esposa Sachi sobre su vehículo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Indra — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Indra (homonymie). Indra Monture …   Wikipédia en Français

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