S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Fri Feb 19 07:19:53 UTC 1999

> >Would anybody know why Indra is sometimes called Khadira?
> >Bruno Lo Turco
> >Universita' di Roma  'La Sapienza'
> Most probably because Indra is associated with water and so is Khadir
> (or Khidr/Khwaja Khizr in Coomaraswamy's writings). He is a legendary
> immortal character (prophet) very well known in the Islamic tradition,
> particularly to sufis.
> By the way, would you please also share where is it exactly that Indra
> is called Khadira? Thanks.
> Arif
> Temple University

I have elsewhere argued (Indian Alchemy: Soma in the Veda, Delhi, Munshiram
Manoharlal--in press) that Rigveda is an allegorical document, expounding
metallurgy, general and processing of electrum from a pyrite ore--ma_ks.ika_,
in particular, as the bronze-age evolved. 'Indra' is relatable to 'indha' or
fire-wood. The weapon of Indra is 'vajra', which is a gum-resin. Acacia
Catechu (called khadira in RV. iii.53.19) is a hard wood, the resin of which
is also used in ayurveda; it is also called khayar, terra japonica. The
phrase, khadira-van.ika in Pali  (Lalitavistara) is a clear indication of its
commercial importance.

It will be interesting to trace the early textual references which led to the
interpretation of khadira as an attribute of Indra in lexicons.


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