Indra is a Vedic deity in Hinduism, a guardian deity in Buddhism, and the king of first heaven called Saudharmakalpa in Jainism. His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical to those of the Indo-European deities such as Zeus, Jupiter, Perun, Thor, in the Vedas, Indra is the king of Svarga and the Devas. He is the god of lightning, thunder, storms, rains, Indra is the most referred to deity in the Rigveda. He is celebrated for his powers, and the one who kills the great symbolic evil named Vritra who obstructs human prosperity, Indra destroys Vritra and his deceiving forces, and thereby brings rains and the sunshine as the friend of mankind. In Buddhism, Indra has been a popular deity, referred by many names and he is featured in Buddhism somewhat differently than Hinduism, such as being shown as less war oriented and one paying homage to the Buddha. Indra rules over the much sought Devas realm of rebirth within the Samsara doctrine of Buddhist traditions, however, like the Hindu texts, Indra also 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, Indras 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. Indras heavenly home is on or near Mount Meru, the etymological roots of Indra are unclear, 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, root ind, or equipped with great power. Root idh or kindle, and 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 which is 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. Later scholarship has linked Vedic Indra to the European Aynar, Abaza, Ubykh, 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. Indra is also called Śakra frequently in the Vedas and in Buddhism, Indra has many epithets in the Indian religions, notably Śakra, Vṛṣan, Vṛtrahan, Meghavāhana, Devarāja, Devendra, Surendra, Svargapati, Vajrapāṇī and Vāsava. Indra is of ancient but unclear origin, the similarities between Indra of Hindu mythologies and of Thor of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant states Max Muller. Michael Janda suggests that Indra has origins in the Indo-European *trigw-welumos smasher of the enclosure, 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 and this tablet mentions a treaty, but its significance is in four names it includes reverentially as Mi-it-ra, U-ru-w-na, In-da-ra and Na-sa-at-ti-ia
Painting of Indra on his elephant mount, Airavata.
Indra is typically featured as a guardian deity on the east side of a Hindu temple.