History of Hinduism
History of Hinduism denotes a wide variety of related religious traditions native to the Indian subcontinent. Its history overlaps or coincides with the development of religion in Indian subcontinent since the Iron Age, with some of its traditions tracing back to prehistoric religions such as those of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization, it has thus been called the "oldest religion" in the world. Scholars regard Hinduism as a synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no single founder; the history of Hinduism is divided into periods of development. The first period is the pre-Vedic period, which includes the Indus Valley Civilisation and local pre-historic religions, ending at about 1750 BCE; this period was followed in northern India by the Vedic period, which saw the introduction of the historical Vedic religion with the Indo-Aryan migrations, starting somewhere between 1900 BCE to 1400 BCE. The subsequent period, between 800 BCE and 200 BCE, is "a turning point between the Vedic religion and Hindu religions", a formative period for Hinduism and Buddhism.
The Epic and Early Puranic period, from c. 200 BCE to 500 CE, saw the classical "Golden Age" of Hinduism, which coincides with the Gupta Empire. In this period the six branches of Hindu philosophy evolved, namely Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mīmāṃsā, Vedanta. Monotheistic sects like Shaivism and Vaishnavism developed during this same period through the Bhakti movement; the period from 650 to 1100 CE forms the late Classical period or early Middle Ages, in which classical Puranic Hinduism is established, Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta, which incorporated Buddhist thought into Vedanta, marking a shift from realistic to idealistic thought. Hinduism under both Hindu and Islamic rulers from c. 1200 to 1750 CE, saw the increasing prominence of the Bhakti movement, which remains influential today. The colonial period saw the emergence of various Hindu reform movements inspired by western movements, such as Unitarianism and Theosophy; the Partition of India in 1947 was along religious lines, with the Republic of India emerging with a Hindu majority.
During the 20th century, due to the Indian diaspora, Hindu minorities have formed in all continents, with the largest communities in absolute numbers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Western scholars regard Hinduism as a synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions. Among its roots are the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age northern India itself the product of "a composite of the Indo-Aryan and Harappan cultures and civilizations", but the Sramana or renouncer traditions of northeast India, mesolithic and neolithic cultures of India, such as the religions of the Indus Valley Civilisation, Dravidian traditions, the local traditions and tribal religions. After the Vedic period, between 500-200 BCE and c. 300 CE, at the beginning of the "Epic and Puranic" c.q. "Preclassical" period, the "Hindu synthesis" emerged, which incorporated śramaṇic and Buddhist influences and the emerging bhakti tradition into the Brahmanical fold via the smriti literature. This synthesis emerged under the pressure of the success of Jainism.
During the Gupta reign the first Puranas were written, which were used to disseminate "mainstream religious ideology amongst pre-literate and tribal groups undergoing acculturation." The resulting Puranic Hinduism differed markedly from the earlier Brahmanism of the Dharmaśāstras and the smritis. Hinduism co-existed for several centuries with Buddhism, to gain the upper hand at all levels in the 8th century. From northern India this "Hindu synthesis", its societal divisions, spread to southern India and parts of Southeast Asia, it was aided by the settlement of Brahmins on land granted by local rulers, the incorporation and assimilation of popular non-Vedic gods, the process of Sanskritization, in which "people from many strata of society throughout the subcontinent tended to adapt their religious and social life to Brahmanic norms". This process of assimilation explains the wide diversity of local cultures in India "half shrouded in a taddered cloak of conceptual unity." James Mill, in his The History of British India, distinguished three phases in the history of India, namely Hindu and British civilisations.
This periodisation has been criticised, for the misconceptions. Another periodisation is the division into "ancient, classical and modern periods", although this periodization has received criticism. Romila Thapar notes that the division of Hindu-Muslim-British periods of Indian history gives too much weight to "ruling dynasties and foreign invasions," neglecting the social-economic history which showed a strong continuity; the division in Ancient-Medieval-Modern overlooks the fact that the Muslim-conquests took place between the eight and the fourteenth century, while the south was never conquered. According to Thapar, a periodisation could be based on "significant social and economic changes," which are not related to a change of ruling powers. Smart and Michaels seem to follow Mill's periodisation, while Flood and Muesse follow the "ancient, classical and modern periods" periodisation. An elaborate periodisation may be as follows: Indus Valley Civilisation; the earliest prehistoric religion in India tha
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, art and learning. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma and Shiva to create and regenerate-recycle the Universe, respectively; the earliest known mention of Saraswati as a goddess is in the Rigveda. She has remained significant as a goddess from the Vedic period through modern times of Hindu traditions; some Hindus celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami in her honour, mark the day by helping young children learn how to write the letters of the alphabet on that day. The Goddess is revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India, as well as some Buddhist sects. Saraswati, is a Sanskrit fusion word of saras meaning "pooling water", but sometimes translated as "speech". Associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination therefore means "she who has ponds and pooling water" or "she who possesses speech", it is a Sanskrit composite word of surasa-vati which means "one with plenty of water".
The word Saraswati appears both as a significant deity in the Rigveda. In initial passages, the word refers to the Sarasvati River and is mentioned as one among several northwestern Indian rivers such as the Drishadvati. Saraswati connotes a river deity. In Book 2, the Rigveda describes Saraswati as the best of mothers, of rivers, of goddesses. अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति — Rigveda 2.41.16Best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses, Sarasvatī. Saraswati is celebrated as a feminine deity with healing and purifying powers of abundant, flowing waters in Book 10 of the Rigveda, as follows: अपो अस्मान मातरः शुन्धयन्तु घर्तेन नो घर्तप्वः पुनन्तु | विश्वं हि रिप्रं परवहन्ति देविरुदिदाभ्यः शुचिरापूत एमि || — Rigveda 10.17May the waters, the mothers, cleanse us, may they who purify with butter, purify us with butter, for these goddesses bear away defilement, I come up out of them pure and cleansed. — translated by John Muir In Vedic literature, Saraswati acquires the same significance for early Indians as that accredited to the river Ganges by their modern descendants.
In hymns of Book 10 of Rigveda, she is declared to be the "possessor of knowledge". Her importance grows in Vedas composed after Rigveda and in Brahmanas, the word evolves in its meaning from "waters that purify", to "that which purifies", to "vach that purifies", to "knowledge that purifies", into a spiritual concept of a goddess that embodies knowledge, music, muse, rhetoric, creative work and anything whose flow purifies the essence and self of a person. In Upanishads and Dharma Sastras, Saraswati is invoked to remind the reader to meditate on virtue, virtuous emoluments, the meaning and the essence of one's activity, one's action. Saraswati is known by many names in ancient Hindu literature; some examples of synonyms for Saraswati include Brahmani, Bharadi and Vachi, Kavijihvagravasini. Goddess Saraswati is known as Vidyadatri, Pustakdharini, Veenapani and Vagdevi. In the Hindi language, her name is written Hindi: सरस्वती. In the Telugu, Sarasvati is known as Chaduvula Thalli and Shārada.
In Konkani, she is referred to as Shārada, Pustakadhārini, Vidyadāyini. In Kannada, variants of her name include Sharade, Sharadamba, Vāni, Veenapani in the famous Sringeri temple. In Tamil, she is known as Kalaimagal, Kalaivāni, Vāni and Bharathi, she is addressed as Sāradā, Shāradā, Veenā-pustaka-dhārini, Vāgdevi, Vāgishvari, Vāni, Varadhanāyaki, Sāvitri, Gāyatri. In India, she is locally spelled as ￼￼Assamese_language:সৰস্বতী,Saraswati, Bengali: সরস্বতী, Saraswati?, Malayalam: സരസ്വതി, Saraswati?, Tamil: சரஸ்வதி, Sarasvatī?. In Odia as ସରସ୍ଵତୀ Saraswati. Outside Nepal and India, she is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, in Chinese as Biàncáitiān, in Japanese as Benzaiten and in Thai as Suratsawadi or Saratsawadi. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati has retained her significance as a goddess from the Vedic age up to the present day. In Shanti Parva of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Saraswati is called the mother of the Vedas, as the celestial creative symphony who appeared when Brahma created the universe.
In Book 2 of Taittiriya Brahmana, she is called “the mother of eloquent speech and melodious music”. Saraswati is the active power of Brahma, she is mentioned in many minor Sanskrit publications such as Sarada Tilaka of 8th century CE as follows, May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible eloquence, she who wears on her locks a young mo
Celosia is a small genus of edible and ornamental plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. The generic name is derived from the Ancient Greek word κήλεος, meaning "burning," and refers to the flame-like flower heads. Species are known as woolflowers, or, if the flower heads are crested by fasciation, cockscombs; the plants are used under their Swahili name, mfungu. The plant is an annual. Seed production in these species can be high, 200–700 kg per hectare. One ounce of seed may contain up to 43,000 seeds. One thousand seeds can weigh 1.0-1.2 grams. Depending upon the location and fertility of the soil, blossoms can last 8–10 weeks. C. argentea and C. cristata are common garden ornamental plants. Celosia argentea var. argentea or Lagos spinach is a broadleaf annual leaf vegetable. It grows widespread across Mexico, where it is known as "Velvet flower", northern South America, tropical Africa, the West Indies, South and Southeast Asia where it is grown as a native or naturalized wildflower, is cultivated as a nutritious leafy green vegetable.
It is traditional fare in the countries of Central and West Africa, is one of the leading leafy green vegetables in Nigeria, where it is known as ‘soko yokoto’, meaning "make husbands fat and happy". In Spain it is known as "Rooster comb" because of its appearance; as a grain, Cockscomb is a pseudo-cereal, not a true cereal. These leaves, young stems and young inflorescences are used for stew, as they soften up in cooking; the leaves have a soft texture and a mild spinach-like taste. They are pepped up with such things as hot pepper, fresh lime, red palm oil and eaten as a side dish. Despite its African origin, celosia is known as a foodstuff in India. Moreover, in the future it might become more eaten in the hot and malnourished regions of the equatorial zone. In that regard, it has been hailed as the often-wished-for vegetable that “grows like a weed without demanding all the tender loving care that other vegetables seem to need” says Martin Price of Florida, he continues" "Every place I have tried it grows with no work.
We have had no disease problems and little insect damage. It reseeds itself abundantly and new plants have come up in the immediate vicinity.”Works well in humid areas and is the most-used leafy plant in Nigeria. It grows in the wet season and grows well while other plants succumb to mold and other diseases like mildew. Though a simple plant, Celosia does need moderate soil moisture. Celosia argentea L. Celosia cristata L. Celosia floribunda A. Gray Celosia isertii C. C. Towns. Celosia leptostachya Benth. Celosia nitida Vahl Celosia odorata T. Cooke Celosia palmeri S. Watson Celosia spicata L. Celosia trigyna L. Celosia virgata Jacq. Chamissoa altissima Kunth Deeringia amaranthoides Merr. Deeringia polysperma Moq. Iresine diffusa Humb. & Bonpl. Ex Willd. Uses and Growth of Celosia spp. Virtual Flowers Celosia Information
Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. The term has been used as a geographical and religious identifier for people indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; the historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims; the historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars.
A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma and contrasted it with Turaka dharma; the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Muslims.
The vast majority of Hindus 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom and Myanmar; these together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010. The word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means "a large body of water", covering "river, ocean", it was used as the name of the Indus river and referred to its tributaries. The actual term'hindu' first occurs, states Gavin Flood, as "a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhu in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, referring to northwestern India; the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama.
The term'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang. Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious" according to Arvind Sharma. While Xuanzang suggested that the term refers to the country named after the moon, another Buddhist scholar I-tsing contradicted the conclusion saying that In-tu was not a common name for the country. Al-Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, the texts of the Delhi Sultanate period use the term'Hindu', where it includes all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists, retains the ambiguity of being "a region or a religion". The'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to Romila Thapar.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially:'Indian','indigenous, local', virtually'native'. The Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves and their "traditional ways" from those of the invaders; the text Prithviraj Raso, by Chanda Baradai, about the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori, is full of references to "Hindus" and "Turks", at one stage, says "both the religions have drawn their curved swords. In Islamic literature,'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350, uses the word'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word'hindu' to mean'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion"; the poet Vidyapati's poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes "The Hindus and the Turks live close together. One of the earliest uses of word'Hindu' in religious context in a European language, was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.
Other prominent mentions of'Hindu' include the epigraphical inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim dynasties in the 14th century, where the word'Hindu' implies a religious identity in contrast to'Turks' or Islam
A mangala sutra is a necklace that the groom ties around the bride's neck in the Indian subcontinent, in a ceremony called Mangalya Dharanam, which identifies her as a married woman. This is a social practice widespread in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal; this practice is an integral part of a marriage ceremony as prescribed by Manusmriti. Mangala sutram means "an auspicious thread", knotted around the bride's neck, it is a necklace with black beads strung from a black or yellow thread prepared with turmeric. Sometimes gold, white or red beads are added to the mangala sutram, depending on regional variation, it is a symbol of marriage worn by women. The significance of the mangala sutra was re-iterated by Adi Shankara in his famous book Soundarya Lahari. According to Hindu tradition, the mangala sutra is worn for the long life of the husband. Dictated by religious customs and social expectations, married women have to wear mangala sutra throughout their life as it is believed that the practice enhances the well-being of her husband.
It is called, maangalyam in Tamil, mangal sutra in Marathi, thaali in Kannada, thaali, mangalasutramu or pustelu in Telugu, thaali in Malayalam. Konkanis wear three necklaces around their necks, referred to as dhaaremani or muhurtmani, mangalasutra with one or two gold discs and kasithaali with gold and coral beads. In Kerala, a Christian version of the mangalsutra is called a "minnu". In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions, the two coin-sized gold discs are separated by 2-3 beads of different kinds. By tradition, one disc comes from another from the groom's side. Mangala sutras are made in a variety of designs; the common ones are the Lakshmi thaali, pustelu worn by the Telugus, ela thaali or minnu worn by the Malayalees and the kumbha thaali worn by the tamilians of the Kshatriya caste. The design is chosen by the groom's family according to prevalent customs. Gujaratis and Marwaris use a diamond pendant in a gold chain, ornamental in nature and is not a substitute to the mangala sutra in the traditional sense.
Maharashtrians wear a pendant of two vati ornaments. The mangalya, thaali or mangala sutra of Kannidagas is similar to that of the Maharashtrians, except that it has two vatis. Nowadays many fashion conscious families opt for lighter versions, with a single vati or more contemporary style. Vivaaha Sindoor Karva Chauth Pativrata "An Ornament of Beauty," by Ganesh Joshi published in Woman's Era, January 2007
Karimnagar is a city in the Indian state of Telangana. Karimnagar is a major urban agglomeration and fifth largest city in the state, it is governed by municipal corporation and is the headquarters of the Karimnagar district It is situated on the banks of Manair River, a tributary of the Godavari River. It is the fourth largest and fastest growing urban settlement in the state, according to 2011 census, it has registered a population growth rate of 45.46% and 38.87% over the past two decades between 1991 and 2011, highest growth rate among major cities of Telangana. It serves as a major educational and health hub for the northern districts of Telangana, it is a major business center and known for Granite and Agro-based industries. It is called as "City of Granites"It has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission. During the Nizam era, the name Karimnagar was named for a village by an Elgandala Qiladar, Syed Karimuddin.
Kotilingala now in Jagtial district was the first capital of the Satavahana Kingdom. Known as Sabbinadu, inscriptions dating to the Kakatiya dynasty by kings Prola II and Prataparudra found at Karimnagar and Srisailam provide evidence of the area's rich history. Archaeological excavations in Pedda Bonkur and Kotilingalu show that the area was once ruled by the Satvahanas and Asaf Jahis, it was part of Hyderabad State before 1 November 1956, Andhra Pradesh state till 2 June 2014 and became the part of newly formed state of Telangana by Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Karimnagar has a population of 297,447 within its corporation limits, according to 2011 census, making it the fourth largest city in Telangana state. Karimnagar Urban Agglomeration comprising Municipal Corporation and Urban Development authority of 4,89,885. City out growths include Bommakal, Alugunur and Sitharampur. Besides these outgrowths, there are many sub-urban areas on the outskirts, which are merged into corporation limits.
It is the most densely populated city in Telangana, with a density of 11,114 persons per km2. Karimnagar city has a literacy rate of 85.82%, highest urban literacy rate in Telangana state. Karimnagar urban agglomeration has a literacy rate of 84.93%, equal to the National Urban average of 85%. The literacy rate for males and females for Karimnagar urban region stood at 91.06% and 78.69% respectively. Karimnagar experiences dry inland climatic conditions with cool winters; the city of Karimnagar gets most of its rainfall from the Southwest monsoon. The summer season is hot, but temperatures decline with the onset of the monsoons, the winter season is cool; the most popular tourist season is from November to February. The summer season can continue through early June. During this period temperatures range from a minimum of 27 °C to a maximum of 39 °C; the highest recorded temperature in the area is around 44 °C. Nights are much cooler, the humidity is around 50%. October and November experiences increased rainfall from the Northeast monsoon.
During this time, daytime temperatures average around 30 °C. The winter season lasts through February. During this time, temperatures range from a minimum of 20 °C to a maximum of 35 °C. Karimnagar Municipal Corporation is the civic body, it was constituted as a third grade municipality in the year 1952, as a second grade in 1959, first grade in 1984, special grade in 1996, selection grade in 1999 and upgraded to corporation in 2005. Despite of city growing in leaps and bounds, the area of the civic body remaining unaltered. Since the municipality was upgraded into corporation in 2005, the merger of adjoining villages on the outskirts with the Corporation was being met with wide opposition from local village authorities. Karimnagar has evolved into a major health centre at the beginning of the 21st century because it is centrally located to all the near by Districts and Talukas like Jagtial, Ramagundam,Peddapalli, Manthani, Jammikunta, Choppadandi and Gangadhara. Patients come from all over the surrounding districts.
Government Civil Hospital is the dominant medical institution. Telugu is the major language spoken in Karimnagar; the typical attire includes the traditional Chira and Pancha, modern dress styles. Karimnagar Silver Filigree is one of the local silverware handicrafts; the spring festival of Bathukamma is typical in this region. Other major Hindu festivals celebrated in the region include Ugadi, Sri Ramanavami, Vinayaka Chavithi, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Deepavali and Maha Sivaratri. Muslims in this area celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Laylat al-Qadr, Isra and Mi'raj, Shab-e-barat, Milad-un-Nabi and Muharram; these are greeted with great pomp and ceremony. Christians in this area celebrate Good Friday. Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple at Vemulawada, Narasimha Temple at Dharmapuri, Jagtial District, Anjaneya Temple at Kondagattu, Jagtial District, Veerabhadra Temple at Kothakonda and Swayambhu Narasimha Swamy Temple at Nustulapur are some of the prominent and famous religious destinations. Sakinalu is one of the many traditional snacks made in Karimnagar for the Sankranti festival.
They are made of rice flour and sesame seeds, fried in oil. Biryani is a common cuisine of the state. Sarvapindi is another traditional snack native to the T
Indra is a Vedic deity in Hinduism, a guardian deity in Buddhism, the king of the highest heaven called Saudharmakalpa in Jainism. His mythologies and powers are similar to other Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Taranis and Thor. In the Vedas, Indra is the king of Svarga and the Devas, he is the god of the heavens, thunder, rains, river flows, war. Indra is the most referred to deity in the Rigveda, he is celebrated for his powers, the one who kills the great symbolic evil named Vritra who obstructs human prosperity and happiness. Indra destroys Vritra and his "deceiving forces", thereby brings rains and the sunshine as the friend of mankind, his importance diminishes in the post-Vedic Indian literature where he is depicted as a powerful hero but one, getting in trouble with his drunken and adulterous ways, the god who disturbs Hindu monks as they meditate because he fears self-realized human beings may become more powerful than him. Indra rules over the much sought Devas realm of rebirth within the Samsara doctrine of Buddhist traditions.
However, like the Hindu texts, Indra is a subject of ridicule and reduced to a figurehead status in Buddhist texts, shown as a god that suffers rebirth and redeath. In the Jainism traditions, like Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra is the king of gods and a part of Jain rebirth cosmology, he is the god who appears with his wife Indrani to celebrate the auspicious moments in the life of a Jain Tirthankara, an iconography that suggests the king and queen of gods reverentially marking the spiritual journey of a Jina. Indra's iconography shows him wielding a lightning thunderbolt known as Vajra, riding on a white elephant known as Airavata. In Buddhist iconography the elephant sometimes features three heads, while Jaina icons sometimes show the elephant with five heads. Sometimes a single elephant is shown with four symbolic tusks. Indra's heavenly home is near Mount Meru; the etymological roots of Indra are unclear, it has been a contested topic among scholars since the 19th-century, one with many proposals.
The significant proposals have been: root ind-u, or "rain drop", based on the Vedic mythology that he conquered rain and brought it down to earth. Root ind, or "equipped with great power"; this was proposed by Vopadeva. Root idh or "kindle", ina or "strong". Root indha, or "igniter", for his ability to bring light and power that ignites the vital forces of life; this is based on Shatapatha Brahmana. Root idam-dra, or "It seeing", a reference to the one who first perceived the self-sufficient metaphysical Brahman; this is based on Aitareya Upanishad. Roots in ancient Indo-European, Indo-Aryan deities. For example, states John Colarusso, as a reflex of proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr-, Greek anēr, Sabine nerō, Avestan nar-, Umbrian nerus, Old Irish nert, Ossetic nart, others which all refer to "most manly" or "hero". Colonial era scholarship proposed that Indra shares etymological roots with Zend Andra derived from Old High German Antra, or Jedru of Old Slavonic, but Max Muller critiqued these proposals as untenable.
Scholarship has linked Vedic Indra to the European Aynar, Abaza and Innara of Hittite mythology. Colarusso suggests a Pontic origin and that both the phonology and the context of Indra in Indian religions is best explained from Indo-Aryan roots and a Circassian etymology, he is known in Burmese as သိကြားမင်း, pronounced. Indra has many epithets in the Indian religions, notably Śakra, Vṛṣan, Vṛtrahan, Meghavāhana, Devarāja, Surendra, Vajrapāṇī and Vāsava. Indra is of unclear origin. Aspects of Indra as a deity are cognate to other Indo-European gods; the similarities between Indra of Hindu mythologies and of Thor of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant, states Max Muller. Both Indra and Thor are storm gods, with powers over lightning and thunder, both carry hammer or equivalent, for both the weapon returns to their hand after they hurl it, both are associated with bulls in the earliest layer of respective texts, both use thunder as a battle-cry, both are heroic leaders, both protectors of mankind, both are described with legends about "milking the cloud-cows", both are benevolent giants, gods of strength, of life, of marriage and the healing gods, both are worshipped in respective texts on mountains and in forests.
Michael Janda suggests that Indra has origins in the Indo-European *trigw-welumos "smasher of the enclosure" and diye-snūtyos "impeller of streams". Brave and heroic Innara or Inra, which sounds like Indra, is mentioned among the gods of the Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking people of Hittite region. Indra as a deity had a presence in northeastern Asia minor, as evidenced by the inscriptions on the Boghaz-köi clay tablet