Luxury Design, Past & Present
Circa 13th century, C14 tested to 1180 + 130years, sample # GX-32881
Wood with polychrome
33 x 16 in. (84 x 40.5 cm.)
In Vedic times, Indra was the supreme ruler of the gods. He was the leader of the Devas, the god of war, the god of thunder and storms, the greatest of all warriors, the strongest of all beings. He was the defender of gods and mankind against the forces of evil. He had early aspects of a sun-god, riding in a golden chariot across the heavens, but he is more often known as the god of thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightning bolt. He also employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle. He shows aspects of being a creator god, having set order to the cosmos, and since he was the one who brought water to earth, he was a fertility god as well. He also had the power to revive slain warriors who had fallen in battle.
Indra is described as being very powerful, with a reddish complexion, and with either two or four very long arms. His parents were the sky god Dyaus Pita and the earth goddess Prthivi; he was born fully grown and fully armed from his mother's side. More hymns in the Rig Veda (about 250) are dedicated to him than any other god by a sizable amount. He was known as a great drinker of Soma; sometimes he did this to draw strength, and when he did he grew to gigantic proportions to battle his enemies, but more often he merely wanted to get drunk. When not in his chariot, Indra rode on the great white elephant
Airavata, who was always victorious, and who had four tusks which resembled a sacred mountain. He was given numerous titles including Śakra ("Powerful"), Vajra ("the Thunderer"), Purandara ("Destroyer of Cities"), Meghavahana ("Rider of the Clouds"), and Svargapati ("the Lord of Heaven").