From the beginning to the end of this existence, Indra is there.
Before the child’s first breath, Indra protects the unborn one in the womb. He helps both mother and child both through the difficult and painful separation and birth into this world. For long has he been sung petitions of growth, strength, and health.
He is the guardian of youth, particularly young girls. Once in Cambodia maidens were called the brides of Indra, held in Indra’s trust until they married young mortal men. It is from Indra’s curse, and blessing, that blood comes to women. Men bleed for war, and death; women bleed for life, my once-teacher told me, and Indra is battle and life both.
He too is the wife-giver; he guides the young woman as bride to the one who seeks her, and is called to the marriage-fire to bless and give increase. Though divider he is also the joiner of two into one; it is known that Indra and Indrāṇī are two halves of each other: Śakra and Śacī, the primordial Śiva-Śakti.
To the wedded wife then he comes: to heal the rejected one, to make the barren flow with milk, to bring children to the childless, to grant release from despair. Because he respects no ties, he destroys all bonds, and so exposes the truth of love.
And it is Indra in the end who hears the mumblings of an old woman on the indifference of immortal to mortal, and rights her wrongs, and it is Indra’s heaven – not a place, but light and boundless freedom – to which he as psychopomp may bring the weary spirit.
Indra is so much a part of a woman’s life unseen, his only friends I have known have been female, and of course this would be so; He is intimate to women, binding and freeing, accepting alike prayers for delight in this world and austerities for knowledge beyond. He is tender strength and lightning joy and a thousand eyes that see what others do not, and how could a woman not love?
Kind God to those who sing thy praise,
O Soma-drinker, Thunder-armed, Friend of our lovely-featured dames…
What mortal, O immortal Dawn, enjoyeth thee? Where lovest thou? To whom, O radiant, dost thou go?
For we have had thee in our thoughts whether anear or far away.
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