Indra is the chief of the Good (deities) that reside in Indralok (abode of Indra).There are many different stories available in the ancient literature about the origin of Indra. In the Atharvaveda, Indra’s father’s name is said to be Som. In the “Shatpath Brahmin”, Indra is said to be a child of Prajapati and according to Puranas, he is said to be the son of Kashyap and Aditi.
Indra is said to be the protector of ancient Aryan Civilization. With this view only, in the Rigveda, at many places, Indra is prayed to destroy the city of Non- Aryans. He is believed to be the symbol of sky and clouds and also worshipped as the deity of rain. Indra is an important god in many Hindu mythological tales. He leads the Devas (the gods who form and maintain Heaven) and the elements, such as Agni (Fire), Varun(Water) and Surya (Sun), and constantly wages war against the demonic Evil of the netherworlds, or Paatal, who oppose morality and dharma. He thus fights in the timeless battle between good and evil. As the god of war, he is also regarded as one of the Guardians of the directions, representing the east Indra killed many demons in many wars of which the story of Vritasur is the most famous. The mention of this story is found in the Rigveda also. According to this story, the Saints and Sages were frightened with the atrocities of a demon named Vritasur. To kill this very strong demon, Indra attained Sage Dadhichi’s bones as donation and with these bones made a powerful weapon ‘Vajra’ with which he killed Vritasur.
The weakness of Indra’s character is also found at few instances. Indra duped Ahalya, the wife of Gautam Maharishi, into letting him have sex with her. He was punished by Gautam with a curse that one thousand vaginas would cover his body in a grotesque (absurd) and vulgar display, and that his reign as king of the gods would meet with disaster and catastrophe. Gautam later commuted the curse, upon the pleading of Brahma, to one thousand eyes instead. In the Dwapar Age, Indra became egoistic and thought him to be the protector of Krishna’s town Gokul. Lord Krishna picked up the Govardhan Mountain and protected Gokul from Indra’s anger and broke his ego. Later, Indra worshipped Lord Vishnu’s incarnation Krishna. There is also a mention that in Treta age, during the war between Ram and Raavan, Indra supported Ram by giving him his chariot. Indra’s name is the inevitable part of the ancient Indian Civilization.
Indra is more of a demi-god like and “King of the angels” in heaven. He is not above human-like errors and vices. Even when a soul attains a high spiritual level of a demi-god, the ego remains and it is very few souls who are able to overcome it. Indra and his Kingdom and subjects are constantly under threat from the Evil or Demons who want to usurp (take away wrongfully) his kingdom in heaven. Each time when the Good are not able to protect themselves they go to the higher forces for protection. Indra is an integral part of many a story in Hindu mythology.
Indra – Indian Mythology