INDRA

Indra is the Vedic lord of thunderstorms, rain, and fertility. He is a guardian of humanity, a spirit of justice, killer of Ashuras and Demons.

Indra was the favourite deity of the Vedic Indians. His role was diminished in later Hin duism with the rise of the Trimurtri (Brah ma, Vishnu, Shiva), but he was once India’s preeminent deity. About two hundred fifty hymns are dedicated to him in the Rig Veda.

Indra is the lord of intoxicants. He guzzles soma, the divine drink of the devas, which exhilarates and even further empowers him. Indra lives atop Mount Meru, the mythic world axis of Southern Asian cosmology, where he presides over a court attended by other deities, heroes, and sages. His hall also serves as an afterlife realm for brave, deceased warriors who, blessed with an eternity lacking fear, pain, and sadness, spend their time gambling, gaming, and watching the Apsaras dance to the sublime music of the Gandharvas.

ORIGIN:

India

MANIFESTATION:

Indra is described as red-bearded (although he is usually portrayed as beardless in iconography).

ATTRIBUTE:

Thunderbolt (vajra) with which he blesses and fertilizes Earth and smites Demons and enemies

CONSORT:

Indrani

BIRD:

Owl

ANIMAL:

Elephants: Indra vows to send abundant but appropriate amounts of rain to regions and countries that treat elephants with kindness and respect.

MOUNT:

Airavata, the sacred white elephant

PLANT:

Cannabis sativa, also known as Indrasana: “the food of Indra”

OFFERINGS:

Indra will not object to a drink; also incense and images of elephants.

SEE ALSO:

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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