I read the extract as shown in the image below from Vayuviya Samhita Chapter 14 of Shiva Purana:

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In the verse # 9 (the highlighted one), it is said that:

He (Lord Rudra) is brilliant holding the skulls of asura Jalandhara, Brahma and Indra, his tawny hair, mustache and beard are drenched in the surging waves of Ganga.

This line is said in the praise of Lord Rudra (popularly known as Lord Shiva). I am aware that Jalandhara was a demon killed by him. Lord Brahma's one head was also cut by Lord Rudra/Shiva but I don't know of any incident where Indra's head was being cut by Lord Rudra/Shiva. Do we have any scriptures that store some story behind this?

  • 4
    This is probably the head of some previous Indra, not like the story of Shiva temporarily killing Surya discussed in your question here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/3704/36 I don't know of any stories of of Shiva killing a previous Indra, but he did imprison five Indras in a cave, as I discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/6682/36 So it's entirely possible that he killed some other Indra. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 24 '15 at 3:56
  • @KeshavSrinivasan I read your linked question once again and it said that the five Indras that were imprisoned were born as Pandavas, so there is a possibility that they (Indras) died and then they were born as Pandavas and later after being dead again as Pandavas, have gone back to the realms of Indra as per the boon. Btw, can you put it as an answer. I'll wait for sometime for more answers else will mark yours as accepted answer. – Aby Nov 24 '15 at 10:11
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Also, this way it will answer your question as well, as they were the Indras not mentioned in the Manvantara cycle, so they must have died and might be replaced by the ones whom we are aware of. – Aby Nov 24 '15 at 10:13
  • @Aby: We all know that the five Pandavas were sons of different Devas. How come then they were previous Indras? – Indu Bhusan Nath Jun 24 '16 at 10:46
  • @InduBhusanNath the Indras reincarnating as Pandavas is discussed in this link. This is described in the Adi Parva of Mahabharata and these Indras were previous Indras who were later incarnated as sons of different Devas. – Aby Jun 26 '16 at 12:25

This skull could be probably skull of a previous Indra. Rudra at Prakrta Pralaya (dissolution after death of Creator Brahma) burns entire Universe to ashes and wears skulls of Devas as Ornaments. So, there could be a chance that this skull belongs to some previous Indra.

Chapter 46, Uttara Bhaga of Kurma Purana mentions Prakrta Pralaya in detail and says Rudra wears skulls of all Gods as ornaments.

स दग्ध्वा सकलं विश्वमस्त्र ब्रह्मशिरो महत्।
देवतानां शरीरेषु क्षिपत्यखिलदाहकम्॥६॥

Reducing to ashes the entire universe, Mahesvara then shoots a terrific weapon called Brahmasiras, which can even burn the bodies of the gods.

दग्धेष्वशेषदेवेषु देवी गिरिवरात्मजा।
एषा सा साक्षिणी शम्भोस्तिष्ठते वैदिकी श्रुतिः॥७॥

When all the gods were reduced to ashes, Parvati, the excellent daughter of Himalaya, stands by Siva as the only witness of his performance. This has been ordained by the Vedic Srutis.

शिरं कपालैर्देवानां कृतस्रग्वरभूषणः
आदित्यचन्द्रादिगणैः पूरयन्व्योममण्डलम्॥८॥

Lord Siva, wears a garland of skulls of the gods, as an ornament. He fills the sky with the multitudes of suns and the moons.

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