Mythology and Symbolism of Indra

Mahinda Palihawadana mahipal at LANKA.CCOM.LK
Sun May 28 08:18:47 UTC 2000

At 10:55 05/28/2000 -0800, David Lawrence wrote:
>I am trying to put together some bibliography which would provide as
>comprehensive as possible an overview of the mythology and symbolism of
>the God Indra--

I have been interested in this subject ever since my Ph D dissertation
(Secular Leadership in the Rgveda Period- unpublished) submitted to the
University of Ceylon in 1966. The following  have been published:

(1) A New Approach to the Interpretation of Rgvedic Ari, O H de A
Wijesekera Felicitation Vol. Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 1970 . Pp 88-98
(2) The Indra Cult as Ideology: A Clue to Power Struggle in an Ancient
Society (including a discussion of the semantics of Rgvedic ari and its
socio-political background), Vidyodaya Jnl of Arts, Scc. and Letters,
Volume 9 (1981) pp 37 - 112 and Vol 10 (1982) pp 1 - 59
(3)Ideological Religion, An Example from Early India, KALYANI, Jnl of
Humanities & Social Scc, Kelaniya U of Sri Lanka, Vol I, Nos. 1 & 2, Oct
1982 pp 1 -23
(4) The God of War and Lavishness, State Printing Corporation, Panaluwa,
Padukka, Sri Lanka 1996 (ISBN 955-610-115-2).

All these deal essentially with the depiction of Indra as god of lavishness
and protege of the suuris (who imitate his conduct and resist the ari who
has become a hoarder of wealth). It is my belief that understanding of this
depiction opens a new vista for the interpretation of the term ari which in
turn is crucial to the understanding of the sociology of the RV. I find it
difficult to accept that ari means der Fremdling.

Mahinda Palihawadana

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