Svargalok is considered as a place where good people reside. From the wiki -

Svarga is seen as a transitory place for righteous souls who have performed good deeds in their lives.

However, many stories/references on Indra's character do not support him to be king of swarga, e.g.,

  1. Indra seduced Ahalya
  2. He once stood against lord Krishna(Govardhana Parvat incident)
  3. Always in doubt for his throne
  4. He struck Hanuman's jaw during his childhood

Do not forget serials by Ramanand Sagar

Then what makes him the king of demi gods despite of having such loose character in various incidents.

  • Do not go at all with serials. Serials have to make way to money hoarding, so they show any unrelated thing to increase viewers. Only rely on Scriptures.
    – user9392
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 20:01

4 Answers 4


Indra is not the name of a person, its the name of a post, same with all other Lords and Gods.

Same is with Trishanku, who is considered as a future candidate for Indra padavi, Hanuma is awarded as a future Brahma for his countless Rama Nama Japam.

The person holding Indra's post will be changed after his term is completed. Until then he can do whatever he wants to. If he does anything bad, he will be punished but his post will not be taken back. But one can challenge him in battle and conquer his post.

  1. Consider the case of Ahalya, he got a Shrapa (curse) and all trees in the world shared that Shrapa and released Indra from it.
  2. In Govardhana Parvat incident, Lord Krishna also gave him a Shrapa that no one in this world will worship Indra separately (but he should be given share in all Yagnas/Yagas)
  3. Always in doubt for his throne, Yes thats the fear of his position, whoever is eligible for that post can claim it. Or need to wait until his turn completes.
  4. He struck Hanuma's jaw during his childhood, this is what the actual job of Indra's post is, whoever person he is. Indra needs to maintain balance and peace all over in his territory. So he arrived there to protect Surya deva by listening to the complaint of Rahu, unknowingly hurting Hanuma.
  • 2
    What is name of present Indra: Maghavaa, Shakra, Vaasava or what?
    – user9392
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 20:04
  • @user9392 Purandara. Shakra, Vasava is his other names.
    – Boovanaes
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 11:32


Arjuna described how his father Indra obtained the chiefship of the gods.

Having by the exercise of Kshatriya duties vanquished thy foes and acquired empire without a thorn in its side, conquer thy soul, O ruler of men, and be engaged in the performance of sacrifices and the practice of charity. Indra himself, though a Brahmana, became a Kshatriya in his acts, and battled with his sinful kinsfolk for eight hundred and ten times. Those acts of his, O monarch, are adorable and worthy of praise. Through them he obtained, as we have heard, the chiefship of the gods.

Indra also described how he became the chief of celestials.


Having slain in battle Jambha, Vritra, Vala, Paka, Satamaya, Virochana, the irresistible Namuchi, Samvara of innumerable illusions, Viprachitti,--all these sons of Diti and Danu, as also Prahlada, I myself have become the chief of the celestials.'


Lord Vishnu made Indra the king of Swarga -

"In the past, the three worlds were occupied by you in your three strides, after binding the exceptionally formidable Bali (the ruler of the three worlds) and Indra was made the king (by you)."

Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, sarga 117.

"it was through Hari’s grace that the three worlds were obtained by the gods headed by Sakra."

Bhagavat Gita Parva, Mahabharata


Testing of Devtas according to Kena Upanishad and Sri Shiva Mahapuran.:

After Khseera sagara madanam, the Devas got Amrutam. The devas became very strong and easily defeated the Asuras. The Devas thought that it was their own strength which was responsible for the Victory over Asuras. They forgot altogether that it was only by the grace of Lord Shiva, the absolute brahman. The Devas started feeling very proud about their strength. They said to themselves.:

"vijayo'smakamevayam mahimeti "

"Verily, this victory is ours; verily, this glory is ours only."

Lord Shiva who's in Yaksha form, asked him: "Who are you?"

Agni deva said : "I am known as Agni; I am also called Jataveda."

tasmimstvayi kim viryamityapidam sarvam daheyam yadidam prithivyamiti

Yaksha said: "What power is in you, who are so well known?"

Agni deva replied: "I can burn all— whatever there is on earth."

tasmai trinam nidadhavetaddaheti | tadupapreyaya sarvajavena tanna shashaka dagdhum sa tata eva nivavrite naitadashakam vijnatum yadetadyakshamiti

Iswara put a straw before him and said: "Burn this."

Agnideva rushed toward it with all his ardour but could not burn it. Then he returned from the Spirit and said to the gods: "I could not find out who this Spirit is,"

atha vayumabruvanvayavetadvijanihi kimetadyakshamiti tatheti

Then the devas said to Vayu : "O Vayu! Find out who this great Spirit is."

Vayu deva said : "Yes," , then he hastened to It.

tadabhyadravattamabhyavadatko'siti vayurva ahamasmityabravinmatarishva va ahamasmiti

Parameswara asked him: "Who are you?"

Vayu replied : "I am known as Vayu; I am also called Matarisva."

tasmimstvayi kim viryamityapidam sarvamadadiya yadidam prithivyamiti

Lord shiva said: "What power is in you, who are so well known?"

Vayu replied: "I can carry off all— whatever there is on earth."

tasmai trinam nidadhavetadadatsveti tadupapreyaya sarvajavena tanna shashakadatum sa tata eva nivavrite naitadashakam vijnatum yadetadyakshamiti

Brahman put a straw before him and said: "Carry this." He rushed toward it with all his ardour but could not move it. Then he returned from the Spirit and said to the gods: "I could not find out who this Spirit is,"

athendramabruvanmaghavannetadvijanihi kimetadyakshamiti tatheti tadabhyadravattasmattirodadhe

Then the gods said to Indra: "O Maghavan! Find out who this great Spirit is."

Indra said: "Yes," and hastened to It.

sa tasminnevakashe striyamajagama bahushobhamanamuma haimavatim tamhovaca kimetadyakshamiti

But the Lord shiva disappeared from him. Then Indra beheld in that very region of the sky a Woman highly adorned. She was Uma, the daughter of the Himalayas. In order to marry Lord shiva, she was doing severe penance. Uma knew the supreme nature of Lord Shiva.

Uma devi, The Daughter of Himalayas

Indra approached her and said: "Who is this great Spirit?"

sa brahmeti hovaca brahmano va etadvijaye mahiyadhvamiti tato haiva vidancakara brahmeti

tasmadva ete deva atitaramivanyandevanyadagnirvayurindraste hyenannedishtham pasparshuste hyenatprathamo vidancakara brahmeti

Parvati replied : "It is, indeed,Absolute Brahman Shiva . Through the victory of Brahman alone have you attained glory." Later, she taught Indra about the supreme nature of Lord Shiva. After that Indra understood that It was Brahman (Lord Shiva).

tasmadva indro'titaramivanyandevansa hyenannedishtham pasparsha sa hyenatprathamo vidancakara brahmeti

Since they approached very near in comprehending the Supreme nature of Lord Shiva and were the first to know that the Yaksha was Brahman (Shiva) , these devas, namely, Agni, Vayu and Indra, excelled the other gods. And since Indra was the one got the knowledge of Brahman from maa uma he became the king of the devtas.

This story can be found in Kena Upanishad and purnas like Shiva Maha Puranam, etc.

Everyone got their Position and Powers by the grace of Bhagawan Mahadeva only by worshipping him.

He, the omniscient Rudra, the Creator of the Gods and the Bestower of their powers and positions, the Support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha -may He endow us with clear intellect! (Svet Up. 3.4).

Mahābhārat — Anūśāsan Parva- Chapter —18 , Verse-64.:

Vasudeva said., "...If Rudra be gratified with a person, he can confer upon him the states of eIther Brahma or of Kesava or of Sakra with all the deities under him, or the sovereignty of the three worlds. Those men, O sire, who worship Bhava even mentally, succeed in freeing themselves from all sins and attain to a residence in heaven with all the gods..."

~ Mahābhārata Anushāsana Parva Sec. XVIII.

Skanda Purāṇam — Kaśi Khaṅda, 1st section —(13:9).:

Putātmā said: 9. O Great lord, O Lord of the Devas, O bestower of freedom from fear unto the Devas, O bestower of the positions to all the Devas including Brahmā, Nārāyaṇa, Indra and others!

Parāśar Ūpa Purāṇam — Chapter-16.:

Viṣṇu attains Viṣṇu Position, Bramhā attains Bramhā Position and Indra attains Indra's Position by doing Śiva Bhakti.,

Matsya Purāṇam — Chapter —154.:

kings, Siddhas, Yakṣas and Gandharvas, Rākṣasas, Bhūtas and Pisacas, besides other acheived their respective positions by adoring Śiva. All the gods achieved god-hoods, with the same process. Brahma achieved Brahmattva, Visņu achieved the position of Vişņu, Rudra got Rudratva, and Indra got the position of Indra. Gaṇeśa was bestowed Gaṇeśahood with the same process. Bathing Siva-linga with the white sandal paste it should be adored with the white lotus flowers. The salutation should be offered thereafter.

Śrī śivānanda Laharī ||18.:

It means Viṣṇu, Bramhā , Indra all attain their positions by mere grace of Śiva and they always worship Śiva.

Skanda Purana/Khanda. 8 (Ambika Khanda), Chapter 21.:

13-14. Pleased with Nandi’s devotion, Lord Shiva offers him boons: Ask whether you want Brahmatva, Vishnutva, Indratva, or something else – Aditya or Rudra.

46-48. Nandi replied: I don’t want Brahmatva Vishnutva Indratva, I want to be near you as one of your servants. Please grant me this boons.

Skanda Purana 5:1:38.:

Sanatkumāra said:

  1. Even as a hundred years elapsed while he was eulogizing thus, Lord Śaṅkara, the trident-bearing Lord, with a bull as his emblem, was pleased and he spoke thus:

  2. “Son, welfare unto you. I am pleased with you. Now you have become free from impurities. I shall give you divine vision. Look at me without mental affliction.

  3. O excellent Dānava, tell me whatever benefit has been desired mentally by you; I shall grant you.

The Dānava Andhaka said:

  1. The position of Brahmā, Viṣṇu or Indra is characterized by coming and going (i.e. impermanence). All this is known to me. I do not desire it at all.

  2. O Lord of Devas, if you are pleased, grant me Gāṇapatya—lordship of the Gaṇas. That is something especially pure and everlasting.

Mahabali in his previous birth became Indra and due to his devotion was born as grandson of Prahlada due to the grace of Bhagawan Mahadeva as mentioned here.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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