I’m skipping ahead in this project; today’s intended topic is a complex subject and a question I’m not yet prepared to answer. But the topic for Day 23 – your own composition: a piece of writing about or for this deity – made me giggle. A piece of writing for Indra? Really? As opposed to, oh, I don’t know…this entire blog?
But in all seriousness, and reverence, I do have some unposted work lingering around my computer. Here’s one poem, an untitled, unpolished verse.
“When, with flame all around him aspirant,
Stood flushed, as a harp-player stands,
The implacable beautiful tyrant,
Rose-crowned, having death in his hands;
And a sound as the sound of loud water
Smote far through the flight of the fires,
And mixed with the lightning of slaughter
A thunder of lyres.”
“Veis-tu l’s écllaers, os-tu l’tounère?
Lé vent érage et la née a tché!
Les douits saont g’laïs, la gnièt est nère –
Ah, s’tu m’ôimes ouvre l’hus – ch’est mé!”
Do you see the lightning, do you hear the thunder?
The wind is raging and the snow has fallen!
The brooks are frozen, the night is dark –
Ah, if you love me open the door – it’s me!
Yajña. Japa. Judicial summons, even.(1) When the rain is scarce and predictions bleak, Indra is again remembered, and petitioned in many ways, to fulfill his duty and end the blight of drought.
Yet, though Indra is a god of rain, he is not only – or even primarily – the rain-god.
In Veda Indra is sung as protective strength and triumphant power; he is the flash and force of the storm, less often its bounteous result. He is part of the rains, but natural processes – which, in the Vedic view, are gross manifestations of subtle, universal phenomena – are not simple and clearly-delineated. Ṛgveda hymned no single “rain god,” but recognised and honoured the interplays by which life was nourished and maintained.
I can’t really re-commend a book that I’ve never commended in the first place, but here is some expansive, effusive commendation for my current reading, along with some long blocks of quotation that will allow you all to share in the fun.
Poem beneath the cut. Written by Anne Lynch Botta, published in 1848.