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Inda

1. Inda.– Given in the Āṭānāṭiya Sutta as the name of the ninety-one sons of Dhataraṭṭha, king of the Gandhabbā. They are represented as being of great strength and followers of the Buddha (D.iii.197).

The name is also given as that of the ninety-one sons of Virūḷha, king of the Kumbhaṇḍā (D.iii.198); of Virūpakkha, king of the Nāgā (p.199); and of Kuvera, king of the Yakkhā (p.202). Further on in the same sutta, Inda is mentioned with Soma, Varuṇa and others as a yakkha, to whom appeal should be made by disciples of the Buddha when needing protection (p.204).

In the Mahāsamaya Sutta (D.ii.257 f), also, Inda is mentioned as the name of the Sons of the Regent Gods of the Four Quarters.

2. Inda.– The Pāḷi equivalent of the Vedic Indra. He is referred to only very seldom in the Nikāyas. In one such passage (D.i.244‑5) he is mentioned with Soma, Varuṇa, Isāna, Pajāpati, Brahmā, Mahiddhi, and Yama, as a god whom brahmins invoke and pray to, for union with Brahma after death. In another place, he is described as being seated in the company of Pajāpati and other gods in the Assembly Hall, named Sudhamma. Two of his companions, having listened to the admonition of Gopaka, became disciples of the Buddha and, as a result, far surpassed in glory Inda and his other companion devas. In the same context, Vāsava, ruler of the gods, identified with Sakka, is addressed by Gopaka as “Indra.” (Ibid., ii.274; in M.i.140; J.v.411 and vi.568, he is mentioned with Brahmā and Pajāpati; in J.iv.568, 571 is a list in which Inda appears with Brahmā, Pajāpati, Soma, Yama and Vessavaṇa).

By the time of the compilation of the Nikāyas, the hold of the Vedic god Indra on the mind of the people seems to have become greatly weakened and Indra has been merged in Sakka, although, strictly speaking, Indra and Sakka are quite different conceptions. (See Sakka).

In the later literature, however, particularly in the Jātakaṭṭhakathā, Indra’s name occurs frequently, but always as identified or identifiable with Sakka. In one place at least (J.v.115) the scholiast says, “Sakko’ti Indo.”

In the Ayakūṭa Jātaka (J.iii.146), for example, Indra is called king of the gods (devārājā) in one verse, and in the next he is identified with Maghavā, husband of Sujā, and described as “devānaṃ indo.” Indra is most revered of the gods (Sn.vs.316). He is free from old age and death, and is, therefore, the happiest type of king (Sn.vs.515), a condition that could be attained by sacrifice (Sn.vs.517). Alone he conquered the Asurā (J.iv.347; he is therefore called Asurinda and Asurādhipa ; see Asura). He is spoken of, as the lord of victors (jayataṃ pati) (J.v.322), and he is the embodiment of the greatest valour (Mhv.xxx.10).

Sometimes he visits the earth in disguise (J.v.33). He is also represented as punishing people guilty of heinous crimes; with his thunderbolt he smites them (DhA.iv.105).

The scene of his pleasures is in the Nandanavana pleasure grove (J.v.158), and his is the ideal enjoyment of pleasure, surrounded by friends (J.v.506; Sn.v.679) and by adoring wives (J.vi.240). The gods of Tāvatiṃsa are called Inda-purohitā, because, with Inda as their chief, they seek to promote the welfare of gods and men (J.vi.127; the Tāvatiṃsa gods are also described as being Sa-Indakā, ibid., 568). Inda is called Tidivapuravara and Suravaratara (D.iii.176). His capital is Masakkasāra (J.vi.271; but see Amaravatī).

In the sacrifice the Butea shoot (palāsayaṭṭhi), used by the sacrificing priest, is described as Indra’s right hand (J.vi.212).

Indra’s clan (gotta) is the Kosiya (J.vi.501); he is called Vatrabhū in reference to his victory over Vatra (Skt. Vṛtra) (J.v.153), and mention is made of his thunderbolt, the Indavajira (J.i.354) ; thus he is called Vajirahattha (D.ii.259; DA.ii.689). The sound of Indra’s thunderbolt striking its victim, surpasses all other sounds by its intensity, its volume and its fearfulness (UdA.67); no obstruction can stop the progress of Indra’s Vajira and it never misses its mark; it is avirajjhanaka (VibhA.333).

After his victory over the Asurā, images of him were made (Indapaṭimā) and placed round Cittakūṭa to frighten the Asurā away, in case they attempted to retrieve their lost honour (J.vi.125‑6; see also J.i.203‑4; DhA.i.280).

To be born into the company of Indra (Indasahavyatā) is considered very fortunate (e.g., J.v.411).

A species of coral red insect (kimi), noticeable after rain, are called Indagopakā. The reason for this name is not clear. (See Brethren, p.18 n., and N.P.D ).

The Udāna Commentary (p.75, n.12) seems to give Viḍojā as an epithet of Indra; but this is probably a wrong reading, the correct one being, as in some MSS., “Visamucchājapaṃ japanti.”

Inda was a special protector of cows, and when men began to kill these creatures he visited his wrath on them. Sn.v.310.

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