Indra

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Indra (/ˈɪndrə/), also known as Śakra in the Vedas, is the leader of the Devas and the lord of Svargaloka or heaven in Hinduism. He is the deva of rain and thunderstorms. He wields a lightning thunderbolt known as vajra and rides on a white elephant known as Airavata. Indra is the most important deity worshiped by the Rigvedic tribes and is the son of Dyaus and the goddess Savasi. His home is situated on Mount Meru in the heaven. He has many epithets, notably vṛṣan the mighty, and vṛtrahan, slayer of Vṛtra, Meghavahana "the one who rides the clouds" and Devapati or "Devaraj" "the lord of devas". Indra appears as the name of a daeva in Zoroastrianism (though 'Indra' can be used in a general sense for a leader, either of devatas or asuras), while his epithet, Verethragna, appears as a god of victory. Indra is also called Śakra frequently in the Vedas and in Buddhism (Pali: Sakka). He is known in Burmese as သိကြားမင်း, pronounced: ; in Thai as พระอินทร์ Phra In, in Khmer as ព្រះឥន្ទ្រា pronounced , in Malay as Indera,in Kannada as ಇಂದ್ರ Indra, in Telugu as ఇంద్రుడు Indrudu, in Tamil as இந்திரன் Inthiran, Chinese as 帝释天 Dìshìtiān, and in Japanese as 帝釈天 Taishakuten. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases Ushas (dawn) from the Vala cave, and slays Vṛtra; both latter actions are central to the Soma sacrifice. He is associated with Vajrapani - the Chief Dharmapala or Defender and Protector of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha who embodies the power of the Five Dhyani Buddhas. On the other hand, he also commits many kinds of mischief (kilbiṣa) for which he is sometimes punished. In the Puranas, Indra is bestowed with a heroic and almost brash and amorous character at times, even as his reputation and role diminished in later Hinduism with the rise of the Trimurti.