Indra is highly extolled in Vedas. From various stories, including Brahmana we find his various illicit relationships with other's wife. These stories make me to think why Vedas or scriptures giving respect to him? Or why he should be worshipped? Do any scriptures explain why we should accept him even after knowing his deeds?

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    The post is worshiped. Whenever Indra did something wrong he was punished and even removed from the post of Indra, Yayati also happened to be Indra for time being due to this reason. Due to Ahalya's episode he was defeated by Meghnadh and as directed by Lord Bhrahma he performed few rituals and came out from that sin. In short, if he did something wrong he was punished and after sometime again attained the post of Indra..
    – YDS
    Jan 4 '18 at 4:18
  • If one wanna judge a person then he has to judge him by seeing his both side. If one only sees someone's evil side but ingnore his good side then this is not a good judgement. To judge Indra we have to see his good deeds and his work as king too. He is managing universe under his order with perfection. No one ever dare to put question on his works as king coz he is perfectionist. He did fullful all his dharma as king with great manner. First need to see both side of Indra and then judge Indra by overall character of him, not only by his evil side. He is great King without any doubt.
    – Vishvam
    Jan 4 '18 at 4:40
  • We worship Indra for his capacity to sustain the world as its administrator. The character of Indra in the scriptures is confusing - inspite of all his wealth and power, he has his phobias and weaknesses. One does not become Indra, just by chance. The accumulated punya of many janmas make one eligible to be an Indra in some Manvatara. Hence Indra is worthy of worship. As a piece of information, Srimad Bhagavatam mentions that due to his good deeds and charity - Bali Chakravarty - grandson of Prahalada - would be the Indra of Sauvarni Manvatara. He was pressed down to Sutla Loka by Vamana. Jan 4 '18 at 7:02
  • But why do you believe in puranic stories ? Do you think it's more authentic than vedas ? When both texts contradict then you know what to do right ? Jan 4 '18 at 9:43
  • What wrong deeds has Indra done? It is only one Ahalya episode. And another is killing of Trishira. Even Chandra and Brihaspati abducted wives of others. You know, we have a bad image of Indra as Indra is shown cruel and bad in TV shows, whereas while reading Scriptures, Indra looks very gentle, calm and of sobre composure.
    – user12826
    Jan 5 '18 at 5:16

Indra should be worshipped because the Vedas ask us to worship him. That is reason enough. What more reasons do you want?

The Vedas, not only praise Indra as worship-worthy, but also ask us to make him the exclusive object of our worship.

Indram vo vishvatah pari,
HavAmahe janebhyah,
AsmAkam astu kevalah ||

Indra, standing above all, is called by the seekers. May he be the exclusive object of our worship.

Rig Veda 1.7.10

And, why only Indra, even Agni, who is the chief among Vedic Gods, is also described as having committed illicit crimes, as did Indra. And, we find the stories in the Vedas themselves.

The waters were the wives of Varuna; Agni longed for them, he had union with them; his seed fell away, it became this (earth); what second fell away became yonder (sky); this is the Viraj, yonder the Svaraj; in that he puts down two Viraj (bricks) he puts down these two (worlds).

Yajur Veda Book5, Part5.

But, Agni is still considered as the foremost among all the PAvamanas (purifying principles) of the Vedas. And, for him we have such verses as given below:

Agnim dutam vrnimahe, hotAram vishva vedasam, Asya yajnAsya sukratum ||

We choose Agni, the all-knower who, as our envoy, invites the Gods. He is the auspicious performer of yajna.

Rig Veda 1.12.1

Agnir murdhA divah kakut, patih prthivyA ||

Agni is the Head and Peak of Heaven and the Lord of this Earth.

Rig Veda 8.44.16


So, Vedas, themselves say that Agni committed such and such crimes, but yet they mention him as supremely worship-worthy. So, so be it. That is reason enough why Indra, Agni etc are to be worshipped.

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    The wives or maidens not to be taken literally but symbolic. Jan 4 '18 at 9:42
  • May he be the exclusive object of our worship.---- Why?? Jan 4 '18 at 10:17
  • What kind of reasons do u want? "It is so said in the Vedas", that should be enough of a reason IMO. @Tamas.
    – Rickross
    Jan 4 '18 at 12:18
  • But bro, we can worship any god. not exclusively him. Jan 4 '18 at 12:33
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    During marriage there are mantras like let agni take the maiden first and then the girl is married to the groom.this dont mean that agni literally comes and takes the bride as a wife. Its symbolic and purification process Jan 4 '18 at 21:10

It's important to remember many hindu scriptures tend to be highly metaphorical. Ancient sages used stories as instruments to convey a moral story.

It can be argued that the word 'indra' is widely understood as 1) king of gods in heaven 2) the senses of the body (viz eyes, ears etc)

Now "indra chasing other's wives" could also be interpreted as an ordinary man's affairs with others women because his sense inspire him so .

Indra being extolled could also be understood as human senses being extolled . These sense , while they can be used to do bad, such as chasing other's wives, can also be used for productive purposes, including spiritual reasons. Hence the extollation

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