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I'm asking from all four part of Vedas, was Indra ever changed?

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  • I don't know if this is discussed in any Vedic texts. Mahabharata discusses this. Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 12:04
  • By heart I can't recall. Indra is heavily revered in the Vedas.
    – Wikash_
    Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 18:13
  • 1
    @PradipGangopadhyay, technically, Mahabharatha is considered a 5th Veda
    – TheMatrix
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 1:46
  • 1
    @Anisha, Indra is a temporary post. There are multiple Indras, like there are multiple Vyasas. Indra is a title, not a person.
    – TheMatrix
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 1:47
  • 1
    @ram I think he already knows this. The question is is this described on the Vedas? I think that answer is no.
    – Wikash_
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 6:06

2 Answers 2

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No, according to the 4 vedas Lord Indra is the Param Brahman itself.

Let us 1st understand what tattva or who Indra is.:

Lord Indra, the name Indra itself means King like Surendra, devendra, king of devas/suras, Mahendra, the great king, dharmendra, the king of dharma (Yama), Gopendra (nandi), yogendra, munindra, bhupendra (king of earth), nagendra (sesa/vasukhi), khagendra (garur), gajendra (airavat), ravindra (surya) and so on.

Indra can also mean the Lord of senses (Indriyas). We have 5 senses taste, touch, hearing, vision, scent. Now, the one who has his Indriyas or 5 senses under control is Indra. Basically, the jeevatma who has realised Parmatma is Indra.

Atharva Shikha Upanishad.:

Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Indra are the creators of all beings, all organs and all causes. They are also able to control them. But Lord Shiva is present among (inside) them like akasha (soul) and is permanently fixed and stable. (2.2 Atharva Shika Upanishad).

According to the vedas,

1st point.:

  • Indra in our body also called as asani which is ahamkara or ego. Now, this aham or the “I" ness in us is nothing but our self or atman only. So, Indra is our atman means jeev atma which has realised the truth.

  • We have two atmas in our body one is jeevatma and othere is Paramatma. So, when jeevatma realises the Paramatma he becomes free from bondage (maya) and gets moksha. Thus, we say Aham Brahmasmi or I Am Brahman.

Let's see some verses to back my points up.:

Srimad Bhagwat Gita.:

उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ता भोक्ता महेश्वर: | परमात्मेति चाप्युक्तो देहेऽस्मिन्पुरुष: पर: || 13.23 ||

Within the body also resides the Supreme Lord Maheśhvaraḥ. He is said to be the Witness, the Permitter, the Supporter, Transcendental Enjoyer, the ultimate Controller, and the Paramātmā (Supreme Soul).

Mundaka Upanishad.:

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते । तयोरन्यः पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति ॥१॥

III-i-1: Two birds that are ever associated and have similar names, cling to the same tree. Of these, one eats the fruit of divergent tastes, and the other looks on without eating.

समाने वृक्षे पुरुषो निमग्नोऽनिशया शोचति मुह्यमानः । जुष्टं यदा पश्यत्यन्यमीशमस्य महिमानमिति वीतशोकः ॥२॥

III-i-2: On the same tree, the individual soul remains drowned (i.e. stuck), as it were; and so it moans, being worried by its impotence. When it sees thus the other, the adored Lord (Ishwara), and His glory, then it becomes liberated from sorrow.

Aitreya Upanishad.:

स जातो भूतान्यभिव्यैख्यत् किमिहान्यं वावदिषदिति ।स एतमेव पुरुषं ब्रह्म ततममपश्यत् । इदमदर्शनमिती ॥१३॥

I-iii-13: Being born, He (Purusha/Parmatma) manifested all the beings; for did He speak of (or know) anything else? He realised this very Purusha as Brahman, the most pervasive, thus: "I have realised this".

तस्मादिदन्द्रो नामेदन्द्रो ह वै नाम । तमिदन्द्रं सन्तमिंद्र इत्याचक्षते परोक्षेण । परोक्षप्रिया इव हि देवाः परोक्षप्रिया इव हि देवाः ॥१४॥

I-iii-14: Therefore His name is Idandra. He is verily known as Idandra. Although He is Idandra, they call Him indirectly Indra; for the gods are verily fond of indirect names, the gods are verily fond of indirect names.

2nd point.:

  • The 2nd point is similar to the 1st one only but its the only difference is its in outer universe.

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 Sri Shiva Maha Puranam. Prd..

So, Again by realising Brahman Indra became king himself.

3rd point.:

  • The story of Indra and Vritra. Where Indra slayed Vritra with his Vajra (lightning) and released the 7 streams of soma rivers. (Not going to give verses as its too long).

Now, this Vritra is nothing but our inner demons or avidya and the vajra is knowledge or vidya.

So, Self realised (Indra) with his knowledge (Vajra) killed the avidya (Vritra) and released 7 streames of soma rivers (awaking 7 kundalini chakra) and Vishnu's 3 steps are the crossing the 3 granthis or knots viz (Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra).

Thus, when a yogi (self) do yoga (manthan/churning) and put his senses (Indriyas/Vritra) under control through his gyana (vajra). Kundalini Shakti (Uma/Vishnu) rises from mooldhara chakra crossing 3 granthis and after awaking 7 chakras Shakti reaches Shiva in Sahasrara Chakra and the yogi (Indra) becomes immortal or gets moksha and basically becomes brahman himself.

Mundaka Upanishad.:

स यो ह वै तत् परमं ब्रह्म वेद ब्रह्मैव भवति नास्याब्रह्मवित्कुले भवति । तरति शोकं तरति पाप्मानं गुहाग्रन्थिभ्यो विमुक्तोऽमृतो भवति ॥९॥

III-ii-9: Anyone who knows that supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed. In his line is not born anyone who does not know Brahman. He overcomes grief, and rises above aberrations; and becoming freed from the knots of the heart, he attains immortality.

So, Lord Indra is a self realised Supreme Brahman. That's why rig veda specifically adds him in the following verse.:

इन्द्रं मित्रं वरुणमग्निमाहुरथो दिव्यः स सुपर्णो गरुत्मान | एकं सद विप्रा बहुधा वदन्त्यग्निं यमं मातरिश्वानमाहुः || (Rig-Veda 1:164:46).

They (The Enlightened Seers) call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, Divya, Suparna, Garutmaan, Yama and Maatarishvaa etc. Truth/Brahman is One, wise call him by many different names.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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To answer this question it is required to know the basics of the teaching of Vedanta properly. Here I'll give an answer according to the Vaishnava systems of Vedanta, specifically from the Gaudiya Vaishnava system.

Vedanta teaches that there are two fundamentally different types of entities or beings. One are independent entities, and the other are dependent entities.

The independent entities are all eternal, namely their position or post is eternal, or if you will we can say their life is eternal. Their post or life is not temporary, it never stops, it has no an end, they never die! The independent entities, for example, are Lord Vishnu also known as Narayana who is known to be Brahman or the Absolute of the Upanishads and his spouse goddess Lakshmi also known as Sri. We can say they never stop to be God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. They are eternal God and Goddess, they are eternal divine couple.

On the other hand the dependent entities can have either eternal or temporary life or post. The dependent entities are called living beings, jivas or jiva souls (jivatmas), they are different from Brahman, they are not Brahman or the Absolute of the Upanishads. Whether jivatmas' life is eternal or temporary depends on the world where they live. Thus the jivatmas live in two fundamentally distinctive worlds with their distinctive natures, namely the material world and spiritual world often called Vaikuntha or World of Brahman.

All the living beings in this material world whether they are plants, insects, animals, humans or the devas (gods) in heaven are the dependent entities, they are all jiva souls (jivatmas). All jivatmas in this material world have a temporary or transient post or life. Even a great devas (gods) in heaven are all temporary or transient, and their lives have a limited duration of time. This includes even the most important devas such as Brahma (the god creator), Shiva (also known as Rudra, the god destroyer), Indra (the king of heaven), Agni (god of fire), Vayu (god of wind), Surya (god of the sun), etc, they are all temporary gods with limited duration of life. They are all jivatmas with temporary or transient posts and life. They are not eternal gods, however they are eternal only in the sense that their soul or jivatma is eternal, but as soon as they die their soul has to be embodied again in the new body and thus they acquire new post or life.

On the other hand the jivatmas living in Vaikuntha or World of Brahman are all liberated souls with eternal life, namely their life or post does not change, they all live eternally, they never die.

Thus all jivatmas living in this material existence including devas Brahma, Shiva (Rudra), Indra, Agni, etc, are dependent entities and their characteristics are:

a) First of all they are dependent, and what "dependent" means is that their life depends on some other God who is superior to them and who governs ruling over their life and also sustains their life, namely that God provides them with power and everything they need for living. That God who is superior to them and who governs and sustains their life is Lord Vishnu, and it is also goddess Lakshmi. On the other hand Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi are independent which means that their life does not depend and is not governed or ruled over by some other God. Their life is completely under their own control and decision. We discussed how Lord Vishnu also known as Narayana is paramatma soul or the inner controller of all the other divinities, ie devas or gods, ruling over them from within them in What citations from non-sectarian Shruti and/or the Itihasas claim that Vishnu is the antaryami of all the other Gods? My answer (brahma jijnasa) is also there.

b) Since they are dependent they have to abide by the laws of Lord Vishnu, and they are responsible according to those laws, they have karma which is one of those laws and thus they are responsible for their actions or deeds. This point b) follows directly from the previous one, point a) above.

c) Since they are susceptible to the laws and karma specifically, they have merits and demerits, they have a temporary material body which is awarded to them according to their karma and thus their status is limited in all possible ways, namely they are subject to death, their life is limited in time, they are limited in abilities and power as well, they are bound in this world and hence they have to seek for liberation or moksha just like any other jivatma in material existence. They can get moksha if they become self-realized souls, ie if they realize Brahman.

I think that in Sruti for all devas Brahma, Shiva (Rudra), Indra, Agni, etc, at least some of those points are mentioned if not all the points with all their specifics and details. Now, specifically just for Indra there are some verses in Sruti that cover some of the points. I do not know many of them though, but here are those regarding his temporary post or status:

  1. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.11-12 says:
  1. Verily in the beginning this was Brahman, one only. That being one, was not strong enough. It created still further the most excellent Kshatra (power), viz. those Kshatras (powers) among the Devas,-- Indra, Varuna, Soma, Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, Mrityu, Isana. ...
    ...
  2. He was not strong enough. He created the Vis (people), the classes of Devas which in their different orders are called Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, Visve Devas, Maruts.

The verses say that at the beginning of the creation the only being who existed then was Brahman, and he created various gods including Indra. It tells us that all these gods are temporary, they are not eternal because they did not exist at the beginning at all.

  1. The Narayana Upanishad of Krishna-Yajurveda says:

nārāyaṇād brahma jāyate | nārāyaṇād rudro jāyate | nārāyaṇād indro jāyate | nārāyaṇāt prajāpatayaḥ prajāyante | nārāyaṇād dvādaśādityā rudrā vasavas sarvāṇi ca chandāguṃsi | nārāyaṇād eva samutpadyante | nārāyaṇe pravartante | nārāyaṇe pralīyante | etad ṛg veda śiro'dhite || oṃ atha nityo nārāyaṇaḥ |

From Narayana emanates Brahma. From Narayana emanates Rudra. From Narayana emanates Indra. From Narayana emanate the Prajapatis (The Divine Progenitors). From Narayana emanates the twelve Adityas, Rudras, Vasus and all the Vedic metres (chandas). From Narayana only do they proceed. Through Narayana do they prosper. In Narayana are they reabsorbed. This is taught as the head of the Rig Veda. Narayana is eternal.

From these verses we see that Indra, as well as other gods such as Brahma, Rudra, Prajapatis, Adityas, Rudras and Vasus, originate from Narayana. So at first the only Lord who existed was Narayana, who is stated in the last words of the quotation to be eternal God, namely "Narayana is eternal". This tells us that all these gods are temporary, they are not eternal because they were created by Lord Narayana who is stated to be the only eternal god among them. One more thing is important here to notice when it comes about the temporary and transient status of all those gods, it's the verse says nārāyaṇe pralīyante. The word pralīyante (pralī) means "reabsorbed, annihilated, to die, to perish". Thus it means that they will be absorbed back to Narayana who created them at first, and it also means that their material body will be destroyed. In the above Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Narayana Upanishad verses it is said that they were created or born and in the Narayana Upanishad it is said that they were "reabsorbed, annihilated". All those expressions "created" or "born" (jāyate) and "annihilated, to die, to perish" clearly indicate that all those gods have a material body which has to be born, live limited duration of time, and finally perish. So their life cannot be eternal, they are temporary and transient. And it also tells that they are all dependent beings and not independent, they are subject to the law of karma which clearly means that they are dependent. I explained those things above in points a) to c). They are dependent on Brahman, Lord Narayana, because he awarded them with the body according to their merits or karma, he assigned them their respective posts according to their merits or karma, according to what they deserve. The Narayana Upanishad even says "Through Narayana do they prosper" which also indicate their dependency on Lord Narayana.

There are some other verses in Sruti which also tell that Indra and other devas have a material body. Such verses also indicate that the devas are temporary and transient, as well as dependent beings.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 1:29
  • Dear downvoters my answer is consistent with Vedanta. If you study Vedanta you should know these things. Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 20:18
  • @brahmajijnasa is Rudra living entity? I don't think so
    – user16618
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 0:54
  • @RaRe what is he then? Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 0:57
  • @brahmajijnasa He is between jiva tattva and Vishnu tattva. Also he has 55 qualities unlike jiva with 50 qualities. One of the 5 extra qualities is eternal body.
    – user16618
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 1:04

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