Saturday 11 March 2017

Why are Rudra and Indra Are Seen As The Same in Vedas ?


Image above : Digital painting of Anirudh Sainath

Rudra and Indra - two Vedic deities prominently found along the Vedas.In fact,the Vedas describe Indra and Rudra as One with two names. 

Foremostly,let's analyse these two deities.Before that,we must understand that in the Vedic culture, everything has different dimensions of expressions to it.You cannot limit anything to a single form of understanding.For example, Shiva is seen as a deity, yet He is also the formless aspect of the cosmos in the form of Linga.Like this,different dimensions exists.When we talk about Rudra or Indra,we may be talking about different dimensions - more than just limiting them as beings with a form and role - as how Puranas commonly portray.


 Rudra is the fierce ( ghora ) aspect of Shiva 

Rudra,is very often associated with storm,thunder,rain,weapons and terror.

The Vedas also adore the mind as Rudra.


Indra is the King of Devatas of the heavens - this is what we commonly know of. We often see Indra seated on His elephant ( Airavata ) whilst holding his Vajra - thunderbolt weapon - going for war with the Asuras.

Yet, Indra in a different dimension is said to be the master of senses.Indra is known as a Bhogi ( dwelling in pleasure ).We often see Puranas depicting Him as a King,always pleasured by drinks and entertainment.

The underlying meaning is that,we perceive pleasure only through the 5 senses.Indra is depicted as these very sensory functions themselves.

Not just that,Indra is the indwelling God who is the real master of senses. This dimension of Indra explains why Indra is given much importance in the Vedas.

The Rig Veda would collapse without Indra.

 Thiruvalluvar has beautifully put this in his teachings ( kural ) as such : 

(1) ஐந்தவித்தான் ஆற்றல் அகல்விசும்பு ளார்கோமான்
இந்திரனே சாலுங் கரி

Aindhaviththaan Aatral Akalvisumpu Laarkomaan
Indhirane Saalung Kari

The king of gods Indra the great, is the prime example for the power that one can acquire by conquering his senses.

(2) பொறிவாயில் ஐந்தவித்தான் பொய்தீர் ஒழுக்க

நெறிநின்றார் நீடுவாழ் வார்

Porivaayil Aindhaviththaan Poidheer Ozhukka
Nerinindraar Neetuvaazh Vaar

Those shall long prosper who abide in the faultless way of Him who has destroyed the five desires of the senses

Chamakam from Yajur Veda,has an entire chapter attributed to Indra.In fact,one chapter from Chamakam denotes Indra as Brahman ( Absolute Consciousness ) : 

Now let's analyze. Seeing them as beings, Rudra and Indra are both associated with thunder and storm. Both appear warrior-like.

In another dimension,the mind is adored as Rudra in the Vedas.The mind perceives the outer world and experiences it through the function of the five senses.This aspect of the Mind is Indra.As we had seen, Indra is also said to be the  master of senses.

The Indra aspect of the Mind can master the senses.When this is done,one realises that the entire creation is the play of 5 elements through maya.A common consciousness is the onyl real thing.The outer world is simply a hologram that is projected as a matrix. This aspect of the Mind is designated as Rudra.

To put it in a nutshell :

(1) The dimension of the mind which perceives the outer world through the five senses is Indra

(2) The dimension of the mind that can master the senses and help one attain enlightenment is Rudra

One who masters his senses is Indra.

This is why the Vedas describe Indra and Rudra as the One with two names.It also teaches us a lesson that Puranas are to be realised in deeper dimensions.

 A comic displaying how Indra replaces the position of Shiva in His absence...Interesting...very interesting.
Over a cup of coffee talk ...

I had always associated the thunder-related and stormy representation of Indra and Rudra to resemble the neuronal activity in our brains. Since the mind is associated with brain functionality - and the mind is verily associated with these deities,It could be possible that the thunder and roary emphasis of Rudra and Indra denote the haphazard 'thundering' of neuronal impulses in our brain ?

By the same token, isn't it wise to calm down the mind so that it is in samadhi - so as to experience Shiva ? - Just like how Rudra is pled to calm down His fierce form into a calmer and auspicious Shiva form in Shri Rudram ( Yajur Veda )

When we go beyond the mind and body,we experience divinity.


(1) The Glory of Indra as per Vedas

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