“This delineation of Indra in the Mahābhārata matches with the Vedic descriptions of Indra. Indra is conceived as the highest entity who encompasses all other forces and is the object of all adoration. Though he is being adored for the sake of rain, he is indeed said to be the force behind all activity. He is the Supreme.”
–Usha Choudhuri, from Indra and Varuṇa in Indian Mythology, p. 128.
(That book, by the way, is a joy to read: astute, well-organised and -written, with an almost devotional tone. Choudhuri’s thesis contains invaluable information to aid the reader who seeks an understanding of Indra.)
“I bow to thee, thou Lord of all the deities!
I bow to thee, thou slayer of Vṛtra!
I bow to thee, thou slayer of Namucī!
O thou of a thousand eyes, consort of Śacī!
By thy showers, be thou the protector of the snakes scorched by the sun!
O thou best of the deities, thou art our great protector.
O Purandara, thou art able to grant rain in torrents!
Thou art Vāyu, the clouds, Agni, and Vidyuta in the sky.
Thou art the propeller of the clouds, and hast been called the Great Cloud*!
Thou art the fierce and incomparable thunder and the roaring cloud.
Thou art the Creator of the Worlds and their Destroyer!
Thou art unconquered.
Thou art the light of all creatures, Āditya, Vibhāvasu, and the wonderful elements.
Thou art the ruler of all the deities.
Thou art Viṣṇu.
Thou hast a thousand eyes.
Thou art a god and the final resource!
Thou art, O deity, all Amṛta and the most adored Soma!
Thou art the moment, the lunar day, the minute,
Thou art the (moment) kṣaṇa.
Thou art the lighted fortnight, and also the dark fortnight.
Thou art kāla, thou kāsṭhā, and thou truṭi**.
Thou art the year, the seasons, the months, the nights, and the days!
Thou art the fair Earth with her mountains and forests.
Thou art also the firmament resplendent with the sun.
Thou art the great Ocean with heaving billows and abounding with whales, swallowers of whales, makaras, and various fishes.
Thou art of great renown, always adored by the wise and by the great Ṛṣis with minds rapt in contemplation.
Thou drinkest, for the good of all creatures, the Soma-juice in sacrifices and the clarified butter offered with sacred invocation.
Thou art always worshipped at sacrifices by Brāhmaṇas, moved by desire of fruit.
O Thou of incomparable strength, thou art sung in the Vedas and Vedāngas.
It is for that reason that the learned Brāhmaṇas, bent upon performing sacrifices, study the Vedas with every care.”
—Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva 25.14-17.
*That which will darken the universe at the end of the Yuga.
**Indicating divisions of time.