The God of Rain and Thunder, Indra is also known to be the king of the gods. Illustrated as the protector of Cows and priests as per the Vedic period, Indra was once revered as one of the main Gods like Brahma and Rudra.
He is also the director of the skies and had the powers to bring forth thunder and rain at his will. Most farmers pray to him for his blessings especially during droughts so that he would grant them ample rain which would save their crops.
Some of the lesser known facts of Indra
- Indra was once revered as one of the main Gods like Brahma and Rudra.
- It was in the post-Vedic period during the age of the Purana, when Indra fell from the front rank of Gods and was given a status lower in all respects.
- Lord Indra was the father of Arjuna from Mahabharata. Arjuna, therefore, was a great archer due to his lineage.
- Like many other deities, Indra has four hands. He holds a thunderbolt in one hand, conch-shell in another, a bow and arrows, a hook and a net in the rest. Indra, however, is shown as having two hands.
- He was cursed by Sage Gautam for his indecent behavior with his wife, Ahalya. Gautam cursed Indra to have female marks on all his body which later became eyes. Hence, Indra came to be known as ‘the thousand-eyed one’.
- Indra was a great warrior. As mentioned earlier, Indra had thunderbolts in one of his hands that were his strongest weapon. His six-trunked white elephant Airavata and his seven-headed horse Uchchaihshravas were known to be two of the greatest Vahana, that were invincible in battle.
- Indra killed the demon Vritra who was wreaking havoc on earth by causing droughts. No God could kill him but Indra did with his lightning bolt.
- Indra is also described as the ruler of Swarga (Heaven) where the gods live.
- Other religions like the Cham religion of Cambodia, Buddhism, and in China also revere and commemorate the greatness of this ancient deity.