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Indra
Indra
(/ˈɪndrə/, Sanskrit: इन्द्र) is a Vedic deity in Hinduism,[1] a guardian deity in Buddhism,[2] and the king of the highest heaven called Saudharmakalpa in Jainism.[3] His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical to those of the Indo-European deities such as Zeus, Jupiter, Perun, Thor, and Odin (Wotan).[1][4][5] In the Vedas, Indra
Indra
is the king of Svarga
Svarga
(Heaven) and the Devas. He is the god of the heavens, lightning, thunder, storms, rains and river flows.[6] Indra
Indra
is the most referred to deity in the Rigveda.[7] He is celebrated for his powers, and the one who kills the great symbolic evil (Asura) named Vritra
Vritra
who obstructs human prosperity and happiness. Indra
Indra
destroys Vritra
Vritra
and his "deceiving forces", and thereby brings rains and the sunshine as the friend of mankind.[1][8] 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
Hindu
monks as they meditate because he fears self-realized human beings may become more powerful than him.[1][9] In Buddhism, Indra
Indra
has been a popular deity, referred by many names and particularly Shakra (Pali: Sakka). He is featured in Buddhism somewhat differently than Hinduism, such as being shown as less war oriented and one paying homage to the Buddha.[10] Indra
Indra
rules over the much sought Devas realm of rebirth within the Samsara
Samsara
doctrine of Buddhist traditions.[10] However, like the Hindu
Hindu
texts, Indra
Indra
also is a subject of ridicule and reduced to a figurehead status in Buddhist texts,[11] shown as a god that suffers rebirth and redeath.[10] In the Jainism
Jainism
traditions, like Buddhism
Buddhism
and Hinduism, Indra
Indra
is the king of gods and a part of Jain rebirth cosmology.[12] 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.[13][14] Indra's iconography shows him wielding a lightning thunderbolt known as Vajra, riding on a white elephant known as Airavata.[9][15] 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.[9] Indra's heavenly home is on or near Mount Meru
Mount Meru
(also called Sumeru).[10][16]

Contents

1 Etymology and nomenclature 2 Origins 3 Hinduism

3.1 Vedic texts 3.2 Upanishads 3.3 Post-vedic texts 3.4 Sangam literature
Sangam literature
(300 BCE–300 AD) 3.5 Relations with other gods 3.6 Mythology 3.7 Iconography

4 Buddhism 5 Jainism 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References

8.1 Bibliography

9 External links

Etymology and nomenclature[edit]

Indra
Indra
appears in ancient artworks, and is known by many names. Top: 2nd century CE Kushan Empire
Kushan Empire
Buddhist relief showing Indra
Indra
as paying homage to the Buddha at the Indrasala Cave. Bottom: Hindu
Hindu
gods Surya and Indra
Indra
guarding the entrance of the 1st century BCE Buddhist Cave 19 at Bhaja Caves
Bhaja Caves
(Maharashtra).[17]

The etymological roots of Indra
Indra
are unclear, and it has been a contested topic among scholars since the 19th-century, one with many proposals.[18] 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.[9][18] root ind, or "equipped with great power". This was proposed by Vopadeva.[9] root idh or "kindle", and ina or "strong".[19][20] 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.[21] 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.[9] roots in ancient Indo-European, Indo-Aryan deities.[22] For example, states John Colarusso, as a reflex of proto-Indo-European *ə2n-(ə)r-, Greek anēr, Sabine nerō, Avestan nar-, Umbrian nerus, Old Irish nert, Ossetic nart, and others which all refer to "most manly" or "hero".[22]

Colonial era scholarship proposed that Indra
Indra
shares etymological roots with Zend Andra derived from Old High German Antra, or Jedru of Old Slavonic, but Max Muller
Max Muller
critiqued these proposals as untenable.[18][23] Later scholarship has linked Vedic Indra
Indra
to the European Aynar (the Great One), Abaza, Ubykh and Innara of Hittite mythology.[22][24] Colarusso suggests a Pontic[note 1] origin and that both the phonology and the context of Indra
Indra
in Indian religions is best explained from Indo-Aryan roots and a Circassian etymology (i.e. *inra).[22] Indra
Indra
is also called Śakra frequently in the Vedas
Vedas
and in Buddhism (Pali: Sakka). He is known in Burmese as သိကြားမင်း, pronounced [ðadʑá mɪ́ɴ]; in Thai as พระอินทร์ Phra In, in Khmer as ព្រះឥន្ទ្រា pronounced [preah ʔəntraa], in Malay as Indera, in Javanese as ꦧꦛꦫꦲꦶꦤ꧀ꦢꦿ Bathara Indra, in Kannada as ಇಂದ್ರ Indra, in Telugu as ఇంద్రుడు Indrudu or Indra
Indra
in Malayalam as ഇന്ദ്രന് Indran, in Tamil as இந்திரன் Inthiran, Chinese as 帝释天 Dìshìtiān, and in Japanese as 帝釈天 Taishakuten.[25] Indra
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 cloud is vehicle), Devarāja (देवराज, king of deities), Devendra (देवेन्द्र, the lord of deities),[26] 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). Origins[edit] Indra
Indra
is of ancient but unclear origin. Aspects of Indra
Indra
as a deity are cognate to other Indo-European gods; they are either thunder gods such as Thor, Perun, and Zeus
Zeus
who share parts of his heroic mythologies, act as king of gods, and all are linked to "rain and thunder".[27] The similarities between Indra
Indra
of Hindu
Hindu
mythologies and of Thor
Thor
of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant, states Max Muller. Both Indra
Indra
and Thor
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.[28] Michael Janda suggests that Indra
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").[29] 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.[30] Indra
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
Indra
and Nasatya-Asvin of the Vedic pantheon as revered deities, and these are also found in Avestan pantheon but with Indra
Indra
and Naonhaitya as demons. This at least suggests that Indra
Indra
and his fellow deities were in vogue in South Asia and Asia minor
Asia minor
by about mid 2nd-millennium BCE.[19][31] Indra
Indra
is praised as the highest god in 250 hymns of the Rigveda
Rigveda
– a Hindu
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.[19] He is also mentioned in ancient Indo-Iranian literature, but with a major inconsistency when contrasted with the Vedas. In the Vedic literature, Indra
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
Indra
– or accurately Andra[32] – is a gigantic demon who opposes truth.[22][note 2] In the Vedic texts, Indra
Indra
kills the archenemy and demon Vritra
Vritra
who threatens mankind. In the Avestan texts, Vritra
Vritra
is not found.[32] Indra
Indra
is called vrtrahan- (literally, "slayer of Vritra
Vritra
demon") 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
Zeravshan River
(present-day Uzbekistan) and (present-day) Iran.[33] It was "a syncretic mixture of old Central Asian and new Indo-European elements",[33] which borrowed "distinctive religious beliefs and practices"[34] from the Bactria–Margiana Culture.[34] At least 383 non-Indo-European words were borrowed from this culture, including the god Indra
Indra
and the ritual drink Soma.[35] According to Anthony,

Many of the qualities of Indo-Iranian god of might/victory, Verethraghna, were transferred to the adopted god Indra, who became the central deity of the developing Old Indic culture. Indra
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.[36]

Hinduism[edit]

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

Indra
Indra
was a prominent deity in the Vedic era of Hinduism.[19] Vedic texts[edit] Over a quarter of the 1,208 hymns of the Rigveda
Rigveda
mention Indra, making him the most referred to deity than any other.[19][37] These hymns present a complex picture of Indra, but some aspects of Indra
Indra
are oft repeated. Of these, the most common theme is where he as the god with thunderbolt kills the evil serpent Vritra
Vritra
that held back rains, and thus released rains and land nourishing rivers.[18] For example, the Rigvedic hymn 1.32 dedicated to Indra
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।।[38]

—Rigveda, 1.32.1–2[39]

The hymns of Rigveda
Rigveda
declare him to be the "king that moves and moves not", the friend of mankind who holds the different tribes on earth together.[40] In one interpretation by Oldenberg, the hymns are referring to the snaking thunderstorm clouds that gather with bellowing winds (Vritra), Indra
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.[41] In another interpretation by Hillebrandt, Indra
Indra
is a symbolic sun god (Surya) and Vritra
Vritra
is a symbolic winter-giant (historic mini cycles of ice age, cold) in the earliest, not the later, hymns of Rigveda. The Vritra
Vritra
is an ice-demon of colder central Asia and northern latitudes, who holds back the water. Indra
Indra
is the one who releases the water from the winter demon, an idea that later metamorphosed into his role as storm god.[41] According to Griswold, this is not a completely convincing interpretation, because Indra
Indra
is simultaneously a lightning god, a rain god and a river-helping god in the Vedas. Further, the Vritra
Vritra
demon that Indra
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.[41] Even though Indra
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
Rudra
and others when the situation arises. Further, Indra
Indra
also accepts and follows the instructions of Savitr (sun-god).[42] Indra, like all Vedic deities, is a part of henotheistic theology of ancient India.[43] Indra
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.[44] 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.[45] The Vedic prayers to Indra, states Jan Gonda, generally ask "produce success of this rite, throw down those who hate the materialized Brahman".[46] Indra
Indra
is often presented as the twin brother of Agni
Agni
(fire) – another major Vedic deity.[47] 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, (...)."[48] He is also part of one of many Vedic trinities as "Agni, Indra
Indra
and Surya", representing the "creator-maintainer-destroyer" aspects of existence in Hindu
Hindu
thought.[37][note 3] Upanishads[edit] The ancient Aitareya Upanishad
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".[52][53] This soul, which the text refers to as Brahman
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
Agni
and other divinities become active cooperative organs of the body.[53][54][55] 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".[53] 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.[56] The passing mention of Indra
Indra
in this Upanishad, states Alain Daniélou, is a symbolic folk etymology.[9] The section 3.9 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
connects Indra
Indra
to thunder, thunderbolt and release of waters.[57] In section 5.1 of the Avyakta Upanishad, Indra
Indra
is praised as he who is embodies the qualities of all gods.[37] Post-vedic texts[edit]

Krishna
Krishna
holding Govardhan hill
Govardhan hill
from Smithsonian Institution’s collections

In post-Vedic texts, Indra
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
Hindu
pantheon, such as Shiva, Vishnu, or Devi. In medieval Hindu
Hindu
texts, Indra
Indra
is an aspect of Shiva.[37] He is depicted as the father of Vali in the Ramayana
Ramayana
and Arjuna
Arjuna
in the Mahabharata.[11] He becomes a source of nuisance rains in the Puranas, out of anger and with an intent to hurt mankind. But, Krishna
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
Indra
exhausts his anger and relents.[11] Also, according to Mahabharata
Mahabharata
Indra, disguised himself as a Brahmin
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
Indra
gifted Karna a dart called vasavi shakthi. There are some more versions where Indra in the form of a bee bit Karna's thigh, thus managing him to get cursed, since he was afraid of Karna's superiority over his son Arjuna. Sangam literature
Sangam literature
(300 BCE–300 AD)[edit] Sangam literature
Sangam literature
of the Tamil language
Tamil language
contains more stories about Indra
Indra
by various authors. In Silapathikaram
Silapathikaram
Indra
Indra
is described as Maalai venkudai mannavan (மாலைவெண் குடை மன்னவன்), literally meaning Indra
Indra
with the pearl-garland and white umbrella.[58] The Sangam literature
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
Cilapatikaram
in detail.[59] Relations with other gods[edit] In the Hindu
Hindu
religion, he is married to Shachi, also known as Indrani or Pulomaja.[60] Indra
Indra
and Shachi
Shachi
have a son, Jayanta, and daughters called Jayanti and Devasena. Goddess Jayanti is the spouse of Shukra, while goddess Devasena
Devasena
marries the war-god Kartikeya.[61] Mythology[edit] In the Brahmavaivarta Purana,[62] Indra
Indra
defeats Vṛtrá and releases the waters. Indra
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
Shachi
asks the priest Brihaspati to change her husband's mind. He teaches Indra
Indra
to see the virtues of both the spiritual life and the worldly life. Thus, at the end of the story, Indra
Indra
learns how to pursue wisdom while still fulfilling his kingly duties.[citation needed] Iconography[edit]

Indra
Indra
icon shows him armed with weapons, and riding an elephant (left). In Jainism
Jainism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
artworks, he is sometimes shown as riding an elephant with multiple heads (right).

In Rigveda, Indra
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[63]

Indra's weapon, which he used to kill evil Vritra, is the Vajra
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.[64] The thunderbolt of Indra
Indra
is called Bhaudhara.[65] In the post-Vedic period, he rides a large, four-tusked white elephant called Airavata.[9] 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
Vajra
and a bow.[66] In the Shatapatha Brahmana
Shatapatha Brahmana
and in Shaktism traditions, Indra
Indra
is stated to be same as goddess Shodashi
Shodashi
(Tripura Sundari), and her iconography is described similar to those of Indra.[67] The rainbow is called Indra's Bow (Sanskrit: indradhanusha इन्द्रधनुष).[64] Buddhism[edit] Main article: Śakra (Buddhism)

Left: A Buddhist statue of Thagyamin
Thagyamin
in Myanmar, or Sakka-Indra. Right: Indra
Indra
at the Buddhist Ajanta Caves.

Indra
Indra
is a popular guardian deity in Buddhism, who protects Buddhist teachings and believers.[2] He is commonly found in the Buddhist art works in both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions all over South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia.[68][69] He also appears extensively in ancient and medieval Buddhist literature such as the Buddhacarita
Buddhacarita
and the Mahavamsa.[2][68] Indra
Indra
is the god who urges the Buddha to go teach mankind, after he had achieved his enlightenment under a bodhi tree but had doubts whether he should share his knowledge.[2] Other texts depict Indra
Indra
as the most devoted of divine disciples of the Buddha, who listens and follows the Buddha, and the deity who renders assistance to the Buddha and his followers on numerous occasions.[10] The Buddhist cosmology places Indra
Indra
above Mount Sumeru, in Trayastrimsha heaven.[2] 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.[70][note 4] Rebirth in the realm of Indra
Indra
is a consequence of very good Karma
Karma
(Pali: kamma) and accumulated merit during a human life.[73] In Buddhism, Indra
Indra
is commonly called by his other name, Śakra or Sakka, ruler of the Trāyastriṃśa
Trāyastriṃśa
heaven.[68] Śakra is sometimes referred to as Devānām Indra
Indra
or "Lord of the Devas". Buddhist texts also refer to Indra
Indra
by numerous names and epithets, as is the case with Hindu
Hindu
and Jain texts. For example, Asvaghosha's Buddhacarita
Buddhacarita
in different sections refers to Indra
Indra
with terms such as "the thousand eyed",[74] Puramdara,[75] Lekharshabha,[76] Mahendra, Marutvat, Valabhid and Maghavat.[77] Elsewhere, he is known as Devarajan (literally, "the king of gods"). These names reflect a large overlap between Hinduism
Hinduism
and Buddhism, and the adoption of many Vedic terminology and concepts into Buddhist thought.[78] Even the term Śakra, which means "mighty", appears in the Vedic texts such as in hymn 5.34 of the Rigveda.[9][79]

The Buddha (middle) is flanked by Brahma
Brahma
(left) and Indra, possibly the oldest surviving Buddhist artwork.[80]

The Bimaran Casket
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
Indra
in Buddhist mythology. The artwork shows the Buddha flanked by gods Brahma
Brahma
and Indra.[80][81] 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
Indra
always appears opposite Brahma
Brahma
(梵天, Japanese: "Bonten") in Buddhist art. Brahma
Brahma
and Indra
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
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.[citation needed]

Many official seals in southeast Asia feature Indra.[82] Above: seal of Bangkok, Thailand.

In the Huayan school
Huayan school
of Buddhism
Buddhism
and elsewhere, the image of Indra's net is a metaphor for the emptiness of all things.[citation needed] In Bali, the legend of Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple
origin is related to Indra. The sacred spring was created by the Indra, whose soldiers were poisoned at one time by Mayadanawa. Indra
Indra
pierced the earth to create a fountain of immortality to revive them.[citation needed] In Japan, Indra
Indra
is one of the twelve Devas, as guardian deities, who are found in or around Buddhist temples (Jūni-ten, 十二天).[83] In Japan, Indra
Indra
has been called "Taishaku-ten".[84] He joins these other eleven Devas of Buddhism, found in Japan
Japan
and other parts of southeast Asia: Indra
Indra
(Taishaku-ten), Agni
Agni
(Ka-ten), Yama (Enma-ten), Nirrti (Rasetsu-ten), Vayu
Vayu
(Fu-ten), Ishana (Ishana-ten), Kubera (Tamon-ten), Varuna
Varuna
(Sui-ten), Brahma
Brahma
(Bon-ten), Prithvi
Prithvi
(Chi-ten), Surya (Nit-ten), Chandra (Gat-ten).[84][85][86] The ceremonial name of Bangkok
Bangkok
claims that the city was "given by Indra
Indra
and built by Vishvakarman." The provincial seal of Surin Province, Thailand
Thailand
is an image of Indra
Indra
atop Airavata.[citation needed] Jainism[edit]

Left: Indra
Indra
as a guardian deity sitting on elephant in Jain cave temple at Ellora

Right: Indra, Indrani with elephant at the 9th-century Mirpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan (rebuilt 15th-century).

Indra
Indra
in Jain mythology always serves the Tirthankara
Tirthankara
teachers. Indra most commonly appears in stories related to Tirthankaras, in which Indra
Indra
himself manages and celebrates the five auspicious events in that Tirthankara's life, such as Chavan kalyanak, Janma kalyanak, Diksha
Diksha
kalyanak, Kevala Jnana
Kevala Jnana
kalyanak, and moksha kalyanak.[87] 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.[13][88] Among these many Indras, the ruler of the first Kalpa heaven is the Indra
Indra
who is known as Saudharma in Digambara, and Sakra in Śvētāmbara
Śvētāmbara
tradition. He is most preferred, discussed and often depicted in Jaina caves and marble temples, often with his wife Indrani.[88][89] 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.[13] These Indra-related stories are enacted by laypeople in Jainism
Jainism
tradition during special Puja (worship) or festive remembrances.[13] In Jaina iconography for Indra, he is sometimes represented to be dancing, just like the Nataraja
Nataraja
– the classic Hindu
Hindu
icon for a dancing Shiva. Some symbolic overlaps between Jainism
Jainism
and Hinduism
Hinduism
are widespread with regards to Indra
Indra
mythologies and iconography.[90] In south Indian Digambara
Digambara
Jaina community, Indra
Indra
is also the title of hereditary priests who preside over Jain temple functions.[13] See also[edit]

Rigvedic deities Deva Nahusha Aditya Lokapala Dikpala Indraloka Astra Astra of Indrajit Indra
Indra
Dhwaja Indrajāla Vajra, also Bhaudhara Vijaya Dhanush Trāyastriṃśa Nat Ten-bu Dharmapala Sakra or Sakka Indranama Saman Taishakuten Thagyamin Vajrapani Yuanshi Tianzun Jade Emperor Hwanin

Notes[edit]

^ near Black Sea. ^ In deities that are similar to Indra
Indra
in the Hittite and European mythologies, he is also heroic.[22] ^ The Trimurti
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".[49] Other trinities, beyond the more common "Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva", mentioned in ancient and medieval Hindu texts
Hindu texts
include: "Indra, Vishnu, Brahmanaspati", "Agni, Indra, Surya", "Agni, Vayu, Aditya", "Mahalakshmi, Mahasarasvati, and Mahakali", and others.[50][51] ^ Scholars[71][72] 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.

References[edit]

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Hinduism
Omnibus. Oxford University Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-19-566411-9.  ^ Sukumari Bhattacharji (2015). The Indian Theogony. Cambridge University Press. pp. 280–281.  ^ Edward Delavan Perry, Indra
Indra
in the Rig-Veda. Journal of the American Oriental Society vol. 11.1885. p. 121. JSTOR 592191.  ^ Jan Gonda (1989). The Indra
Indra
Hymns of the Ṛgveda. Brill Archive. p. 3. ISBN 90-04-09139-4.  ^ Hervey De Witt Griswold (1971). The Religion of the Ṛigveda. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 177–180. ISBN 978-81-208-0745-7.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Alain Daniélou (1991). The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu
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and Rebirth: Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories. Cambridge University Press. pp. 50, 98. ISBN 978-1-139-91640-0.  ^ a b c d e Kristi L. Wiley (2009). The A to Z of Jainism. Scarecrow Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-8108-6821-2.  ^ John E. Cort (22 March 2001). Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford University Press. pp. 161–162. ISBN 978-0-19-803037-9.  ^ T. A. Gopinatha Rao (1993). Elements of Hindu
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Polytheism from the Princeton Bollingen Series. Inner Traditions. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-0-89281-354-4.  ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 75.  ^ (Masson-Oursel and Morin, 326). ^ Alain Daniélou (1991). The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu
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Goswamy, B.N. (2014), The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 100 Great Works 1100-1900, Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-670-08657-3  Anthony, David W. (2007), The Horse The Wheel And Language. How Bronze-Age Riders From the Eurasian Steppes Shaped The Modern World, Princeton University Press  Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009), Empires of the Silk Road, Princeton University Press  E. B. Cowell; Francis A. Davis (1969). Buddhist Mahayana Texts. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-25552-1.  Wilkings, W.J. (1882), Hindu
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External links[edit]

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Indra
Indra
and Skanda deities in Korean Buddhism, Phil Lee, Chicago Divinity School Indra, Lord of Storms and King of the Gods' Realm, Philadelphia Museum of Art Indra
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wood idol – 13th century, Kamakura period, Japan

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