(Last Updated on : 16/04/2015)
Lord Indra, the Indian god of rain, is believed to be the leader of all the Devas. He is also the god of war and the greatest of all warriors. Lord Indra is looked upon as the strongest of all beings and ruled thunder and storms. He is the defender of the good against all evils. Earlier he was considered as the sun-god, who rides a golden chariot across the heaven. Later, in Hinduism
, he is recognized as the thunder god and storms as he owns a celestial weapon called Vajra. As he brings water to the earth thereby causing fertility he is also regarded as the creator god.
Lord Indra is depicted as a fair-reddish complexion with either two or four very long arms. From his mother's womb he was born as a full grown four armed young man. Indrani is his wife and his attendants are called Maruts. Jayanta, Midhusa, Nilambara, Rbhus, Rsabha, Sitragupta were his sons. When he is not using chariot he rides the divine elephant Airavata, who has four tusks and looks like a mountain. Indra is known by se
veral names like Sakra, Vajri, Purandara, Meghavahana and Swargapati.
One of his most important deeds is the slaying of the demon Vritra. As per the legend Vritra took the form of a dragon and took all the water from the world. When Indra heard this he vowed to give back water. Before the battle begun he drank Soma in order to attain power. Indra chased Vritra and after a fierce battle he was able to destroy him. Water fell from the sky when Indra split him open. This made Indra the king of the Gods.
Lord Indra was no more interested in wealth and honour. Indra decided to lead a simple life and became a hermit in order to attain wisdom. His wife was helpless and asked Brihaspati the priest to change her husband's mind. Brihaspati taught Indra the qualities of spiritual and worldly life. Indra learned to pursue wisdom while fulfilling his duty as a king.
It is believed that Indra's weapon, Vajra, is made from the bones of a sage Dadhichi.
According to the concept in the Vedas each 'Manu' ruled during a longest geographical period is called 'Manwantara'. Fourteen Manvantaras make up a 'Kalpa', which was ruled by different Indras. The Svayambhuva was ruled by Yajna, who was an incarnation of Vishnu; in Swarochis the ruler Indra was Vipaschit; in Uttam Sushaanti; in Taamas Shibi; in Raivat Vibhu; in Chaakshush Manojav; in Shraaddhdev Purandar or the present Indra; in Saavarni Bali; in Daksha Saavarni Adbhut; in Brahma Saavarni Shanti; in Dharma Saavarni Vish; in Rudraputra Saavarni Ritudhaama;in Ruchi or Deva Saavarni Devaspati; in Bhaum or Indra Saavarni Suchi.