Today, I’m enjoined to discuss celebrations and times sacred to Śrī Indra.
Indra once had several great festivals – Indra Vizha and Indra Mahotsava prime among them – which were observed with ardent pageantry and delight; sadly, these grand occasions are no longer celebrated, and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when they took place. I do intend to eventually write an essay on these ancient rites, but have nowhere near enough data to tackle that project yet.
Fortunately, I’ve already done some work regarding Indra and Time, so this post will provide relevant links to answer the above request.
In previous entries, I’ve briefly summarised two major celebrations for Indra that take place outside of India: the Indra Jātrā of Nepal (here, in the sections marked “Lingaṃ/Yoshin” and “Pārijāta”) and the Perang Pandan of Bali (here, under “Ketaki”).
Underneath the gardenia flower, in this post, I’ve listed and explained the calendar days that belong to Him. I’ve previously mentioned that high noon is an important time for Indra – as the mid-day Soma offering was His alone – and now add that the moments of day/night transition have significance as well: dawn (when Indra was the lover of Ahalyā) and twilight (when He killed, through trickery, the demon Namuci).
Finally, I compiled the “Indra calendar” here after exhaustive inquiry into Hindu festivals. It’s my best attempt to offer a modern “liturgical calendar” for Lord Indra’s worship, and I hope it proves useful to other devotees, or at least provides a new way of thinking about familiar festivals.
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