For example, it is shown in this answer- How did Vishnu help Indra in killing Vritra? that indra was defeated and also shamed and also in the last line 'and later Nahusha becoming the new Indra and getting cursed by Agastya etc.' we see that Indra's also change.

However in Vedic hymns described in Which Vedic verses describe Indra as Brahman? tell us otherwise. It shows that Indra could have single handedly defeated any demon. Then why is there such a contradiction?

EDIT: This question is not a duplicate of Why is the Vedic Indra so different from the Puranic Indra? . Although the examples I gave were about Indra, my major doubt was if Purana are important religious scriptures, then why is their such a huge difference between Vedas and Purana. On one hand Vedas calling Indra Dev as supreme Brahman, while on the other hand Purana saying that a human can become Indra Dev in next birth by doing certain things. The difference is HUGE in my opinion and that is why I gave this example.

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    you need to go through all the purnaic scripture, uphanishad and vedic scripture, niruktha, siksha, kalpa, vakyarana and chandas and joythisa to determine exactly what is being said, for you question,
    – Prasanna R
    Jun 12, 2019 at 6:21
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    Indras keep changing every manvantra.. Mahabali will become indra in next manvantra.. Indra is also name of Lord Narayana... Narayana himself was indra in one of the manvantra... i dont know.. so that indra was indeed lord Narayana himself.. eytmologically Indra -> one who is lord of indriyas -> Sriman Narayana.. Since he his lord of lord Indra means one whose is antaryami of every one he is indra.. all vedas says about only one God even if its name are different..
    – Prasanna R
    Jun 12, 2019 at 6:25
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    @Shashwat: The answer to this question could be very lengthy, related mainly to shift from SPIRITUAL thinking to RITUALISTIC thinking. This shift itself was the cause of the birth of Buddhism and consequent writing of Puranas, purportedly authored by Sage Vyasa. Jun 13, 2019 at 0:16
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    Yes you are right some puranas show Lord Indra in that way there is a reason for this,if see valmiki ramayana and mahabharata they respect Indra and he is portrayed as supreme lord there,even in valmiki ramayana Indra dev is said to slay vritra single handedly but puranas mention that to show there diety superior like Vishnu puran mentions Vishnu helping Indra to show Lorf vishnu supreme I think these are interpolated verses.In vedas Every diety is praised supreme including Lord Rudra(shiva)n,Lord vishnu,Lord Indra,Lord agni etc. Jun 13, 2019 at 16:33
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    Many scriptures are contradicting. It is not clear why this is the case.
    – Wikash_
    Jun 14, 2019 at 9:09

2 Answers 2



Sri Desiraju Hanumanta Rao & Sri K.M.K.Murthy prepared the e-text on Valmiki Ramayana and made available at http://www.valmikiramayan.net/. In the Footnotes below Sloka 28 & others of Sarge 3 of Kishkinda Kanda, the above authors explain the importance of remembrance power, vyaakarana, nirukta, sikhsha,chandas, while understanding the phonetic Rig Veda.

The following is from their analysis in the Kishkinda kanda. (https://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/kish/sarga3/kishkindha_3_frame.htm)

In Rig Veda every letter has too many phonetically deflected variations, in many ways to mean many things. It is practically impossible to contain that knowledge, unless the recitalist has complete control over it. Hence the word, viniita , 'well trained' is used. In Yajurveda many anuvaaka-s or passages occur recursively, with different utilisation. Remembering not to mix one with the other is a difficult process. Hence the recitalist has to have enormous remembrance. In Saamaveda the pitch and duration of the rendering is of high importance, as such it requires a scholarly bent to control vocal notes.

According to my understanding, if we omit interpolations like "Purusha Sukata", the Rig Veda contains pure spiritual aspects of of that era. Apparently, those hymns from Rig Veda might be referring to Indra (Over a quarter of the 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda mention Indra, making him the most referred to deity than any other), Agni, Vishnu, etc, but to the seers, who heard from within, they might have gave deep SPIRITUAL INSIGHTS.

In Rig Veda, the Almighty God was described in different names like Indra, Agni, Vayu, Vishnu, etc, according to the form, the Almighty's power was perceived.

a) The God was described as Indra, when he was praised as the saviour.

b) Vishnu indicates the all pervasiveness of the God. In Rig Veda, it was described as Vishnu made space by taking 3 great strides, for Indra for wielding him his Vijra, for eliminating Vritra.


Similarly, with Agni, Vayu, etc.

c) The allegorical stories of Indra's slaying of Vritra, etc, have deep SPIRITUAL meaning, but understood by later day generations in too literal ways. This resulted in evolving of ritualistic concepts like Yagna, sacrifices, etc, in Yajurvedic era.

This lead to converting allegorical stories of/epithets like Prajapati used in Rig Vedic era into deifying different Gods like Brahma, Indra, Vishnu, into fixed forms and stories like Varaha, attributing to Prajapati Brahma, etc, were woven.

स वराहः ततो भूत्वा प्रोज्जहार वसुंधराम् | असृजच् च जगत् सर्वम् सह पुत्रैः कृत आत्मभिः || २-११०-४

"Thereafter, that Brahma, assuming the form of boar, caused the earth to rise from water and with his sons of pure soul, created the entire world."

Ayodhya Kanda, Ramayana

d) This decline in the capacity of successive generations in comprehending the pure SPIRITUAL concepts and consequential development of ritualistic ways, deviated the people from the pure SPIRITUAL CONCEPTS, further deteriorating the system into fixed ritualistic society.

Even in Ramayana, importance was given to rituals and Sri Rama was described as expert in Yajurveda (यजुः वेद विनीतः - 35th Sarga 14th Sloka of Sundara Kanda).

It does not mean to say that Ramayana occurred at that point of time, but was composed in that ritualistic Yajurvedic period.

e) It was in that chaotic period, Gautama, the Buddha was born. The teachers of ritualistic generation could not offer proper answers to the Buddha. Hence, he discarded the ritualistic methods and found his own way of SELF REALISATION.

f) His methods may be different, but the ultimate goal is the same as the seers of Rig Vedic visualised. However, the successive followers of Buddha could not fully comprehend his ABSTRACT concepts, and they also got degenerated and split into groups.

g) Finally, Sri Sankara was forced to held arguments at length with various scholars of his time for bringing back many of them in to the fold of SANAATANA DHARMA and purging of Buddhism from India.

However, due to his shorter life span, he could not rejuvenate the Rig vedic concepts to original place. Perhaps, due to this vaccum created by his departure, the 6 methods of worship, writing of Puranas, etc, were taken place.


In SPIRITUAL concepts, irrespective of understanding of the scriptures, one should have been gifted with INTUITION, without which the real meaning of the SPIRITUAL CONCEPTS, can NEVER be understood.

1) INDRA, the Chief of Gods in Rig Vedic Period, was degraded in the later part of literature and was attributed with so many vices and avarice, viz., his misadventure with Ahalya, etc.

2) Prajapati (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prajapati) appears late in the Vedic layer of texts, and the hymns that mention him provide different cosmological theories in different chapters. His role peaked in the Brahmanas layer of Vedic text, then declined to being a group of helpers in the creation process.

The earliest versions of the Varaha legend are found in the Taittiriya Aranyaka and the Shatapatha Brahmana. They narrate that the universe was primordial waters. The earth was the size of a hand and was trapped in it. The god Prajapati (Brahma) in the form of a boar (varaha) plunges into the waters and brings the earth out.

Later this Varaha form was converted into an incarnation of Vishnu in Puranas.


This prajapati concept was converted into Brahma in later stages and 6 Prajapatis were stated to have been created by Brahma. Brahma was temporarily elevated to the status of Creator of all in Ramayana, but later degraded and placed next to Vishnu and Shiva. Further, he was attributed with various vices, like his lust towards Parvati.

3) We do not find Shakti, Shiva, Ganapati, etc, in Vedic Era. Even in Bhavad Gita we do not find mention of Shakti, Ganapati.

4) In Puranas, Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, etc , were elevated to the level of SUPREME GODS, and Indra was defamed, while attributing various vices.

There was a clear shift, in my view, from Pure SPIRITUAL CONCEPTS of Rig Vedic era to ritualistic Yajurveda period. This shift was more pronounced in Puranas.

  • But Sri Rudram (Yajurveda) describes Rudra as Sadashiv & mahadev & also describes five syllable mantra (namah shivay). Yajurveda mentions ganesh as danti,parvati was mentioned as Uma many times in Vedas specially in gayatri's & Shakti was mentioned in Durga suktam.
    – user17603
    Jul 28, 2019 at 15:36
  • @aniketkumarsingh: Yajurveda is somewhat diluted version of Rig Veda. Purushasukta itself an interpolation(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purusha_Sukta#Authenticity). It was further diluted in Yajurveda and some more mantras were added in Yajurvedic version (sacred-texts.com/hin/wyv/wyvbk31.htm ). Many more interpolations are there. Basically Yajurveda is ritualistic and that is what I had mentioned in my answer. Many people may not like this version, but still it is a fact. :-) Jul 29, 2019 at 8:55
  • But the rituals in YajurVeda are true right? Or are you saying all the rituals in Vedas are actually allegories and have deep spiritua meaning?
    – user17858
    Aug 17, 2019 at 2:47
  • @Random-15: Rig veda contains spiritual concepts only. It was in the later date the rituals had been initiated by those who could not understand the deep spiritual meanings of Rig vedic verses. Aug 17, 2019 at 3:13

The vedas are sruti literature. They are the foremost authority on sanatana dharma.Except the veda samhitas everything else is smriti I.e-composed by rishis.Now these smritis maybe adulterated over time. Anything that goes against vedas goes against dharma.The puranas are allegorical not to be taken as itihasa(history).Basically I'm trying to say anything that contradicts the Vedas are adulteration of texts and the vedas should be followed

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    Don't u think even the Vedas could've been modified over time? They were supposedly learnt by listening, which leaves room for error, and you might chant a little differently, then your disciple learns that version, he chants a bit diffrently, his disciple learns that version, etc etc etc
    – Apps 247
    May 7, 2021 at 3:31

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