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Indra

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INDRA, in Vedic Hindu mythology god of the clear sky and greatest and best of deities; he is lauded in some 300 hymns (or quite a fourth of the Rig-Veda). Unquestionably of Zoroastrian origin, the Boghaz Keui inscription (c. 5400 in Asia Minor) men tions Indra with Varuna and Asvins, but in the Avesta he appears as a demon. In the Vedas however his paternity is ascribed to Dyaus, the Sky, and he is almost the national god of the invading Aryans. Represented as having four arms and hands, in two he holds a spear and in a third a thunderbolt, his body is depicted as Sahasrakhsha, "with 1,000 eyes." In the epic age Indra survives as one of the eight great Devas, but is gradually subordinated to Brahma, Siva and Vishnu, and in modern Hinduism he is merely vicegerent of Swarga the heaven of the gods.

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