Meet a God: Indra

Indra is the king of the Gods and in the same tier as Agni. I look at it as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are tier one, then there is a tier of Gods below them that are the ancient Vedic Gods like Agni and Indra. I’m not sure where Ganesha falls in, though, since he is probably the most worshiped of any God, yet is not part of the trinity! Maybe he is tier 1.5.

Indra was very important in ancient times as a war God and also as a God of weather. He controls thunder and lightning, and bears some resemblance to Zeus.

These days he is most often referenced for being the father of Arjuna, the great archer whose conversation with Krishna is the Hindu holy book The Bhagavad Gita.

In the Rig Veda, Indra is the king of the gods and ruler of the heavens. Indra is the god of thunder and rain and a great warrior, a symbol of courage and strength. He leads the Deva (the gods who form and maintain Heaven) and the elements, such as Agni (Fire), Varuna (Water) and Surya (Sun), and constantly wages war against the opponents of the gods, the demon-like Asuras. -Wikipedia

There are lots of stories of the exploits and battles of Indra!

I think in the current age we have less need for Him, since our societies are no longer based on war and conquest.

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About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • HARRY

    I’m going to add another perspective to your article, so don’t take this personally. I like the way you raise the topics, because without it, there would not be a discussion. Where can I start from……

    Indra and Agni are not GOD ( according to Purans ) , They are Dev’s. Therefore the first sentence is kind of wrong, if what I know holds true. You want to know what’s the difference, I will tell you later.

    The position of Indra is to run primary Haven. He is the lord of the Dev’s not the god. He runs the office of primary Haven. You are going to ask what’s the difference between primary haven and others ( veykunth and Golok ). Primary haven is a haven that a soul goes to who does not believe in any Lord, but has a good heart, and does great deed on the planet for the humanity, then you qualify to go to this haven, even if you are an Atheist. When you have spent all your great and good deed you fall back on earth again ( reincarnation ) until you are liberated ( Moksa ). I will explain about Agni next time when we are discussing this topic.

    There have been many Indras in the past he is not the only one according to the purans because this position is given to a Dev with the highest good Deeds at the time. Therefore Arjuns father Indra is not the same Indra originally and prime minister is not a king likewise.

    There is only one trinity in the Hinduism and you know which one it is, there are no others that I know of.

    Dev’s are not worshiped, they are acknowledged at the time when we need their help. You can worship them if you like, but most Hindu’s won’t.

    Only Ishvar, Bhagvan, Parmahatama and Lords are worshiped and the temples are dedicated to them, not Dev’s.

    The word Avatar only applies when the term liberation ( Moksa ) is used. The word Tar means swim, but it’s not only swim, it’s special kind of swim. It’s to swim Bhowsaagar ( ocean of ignorance ) and be liberated. The one who helps you swim across the ocean of ignorance and liberates you on the other side is real Bhagvan ( Vishnu ) . Bramha is not worshiped because he is only a creator not the liberator and He only creates opportunity for liberation and not real liberation, that is the real reason why he is not worshiped in Hinduism, he is worshiped in certain section of society but not in the main structure.

    I can write more on this subject but I think this post is already big enough for you to digest the issues I’ve thrown at you. I am only throwing this stuff at you because I want you to become better hindu then me, so don’t take this as an offence, it’s only Information. :) Have a good day.

    • 5w_haul

      exactly he and other devtas are demigod not god, the closest to term angel in christainity

    • Ambaa

      That’s a very interesting perspective! Thanks for adding your thoughts :)

      I think from looking at history that Indra used to be a considered a God and his importance and role has changed a lot. And that’s a good thing. It means we continue to grow and beliefs morph according to what each age needs.

  • Guest

    good news rajiv malhotra is on this site
    here is wonderful explanation of karma in christian sense
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/beingdifferent/2012/03/is-karma-reincarnation-compatible-with-christianity/

    • Ambaa

      Yes, I’ve enjoyed all his articles very much and that one is particularly interesting. My parents interpret Christianity in such a way that it is compatible with reincarnation and karma, etc. But they’re way of looking at Christianity is different from just about any Christian I’ve ever met!


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