God of the Day: Indra

I'll be focusing on the gods and goddesses who come up in the class readings, and one of the first gods who appears is in the Week 2 Anthology for the Myth-Folklore class: Indra, king of the gods (Devas) in the Vedic Indian tradition, who also appears as a god in Buddhism, under the name Shakra (Shakka). You can read more about Indra at Wikipedia.

Indra is a god of lightning and thunder and storms. He defeats the drought-demon known as Vritra, saving the world by bringing the rains. As his weapon, he wields the thunderbolt (vajra), and his vehicle (vahana) is the celestial elephant Airavata.

In the epics, Indra is the father of the monkey-king Vali in the Ramayana, and in the Mahabharata he is the father of the hero Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers.

Here is Indra and his consort Shachi riding on the elephant Airavata:


You will see a reference to Indra by the name Sakka (Shakka, Shakra) in the Myth-Folklore Anthology for Week 2: The Hare that Was not Afraid to Die.

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