indra mantra

This page is here to serve anyone who wants to learn Indra’s mantras for various occasions and concerns, or simply for the joy of bhakti.

(I am a devotee and not a scholar; my Sanskrit knowledge is very slight. If you find errors in this post, or any other, please do bring the mistake{s} to my attention.)

Page updated 1 July 2012 to correct the Indra sahasranāma. If you downloaded this document before today, please delete your copy and download the corrected version.

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Worship mantras
Indra Sahasranāma: Śrī Gaṇapati Muni (also known as Kāvyakaṇṭha) was a great scholar and a disciple of Śrī Ramana Mahaṛṣi, and he composed several devotional works devoted to Indra. The most well-known of these is the indrasahasranāmastotram.

The Indra Sahasranāma, the Thousand Names of Indra which Śrī Kāvyakaṇṭha compiled from Ṛgveda, may be downloaded here (with translation) or here (no translation).

Any, or all, of these names may be used for worship, by chanting each one with “oṃ” before and “namaḥ” after, e.g. oṃ indrāya namaḥ, oṃ devatamāya namaḥ, etc.

(The halting efforts at English translation are mine. I provided only very brief, general ideas for these names, so that the document didn’t get too long to be usable. It is a work in progress, as I’ve not been able to find every name – and as with everything else on my blog, I welcome corrections.)

Indra Bhagavan: The most well-known of the twelve-lettered “bhagavate” mantras is “oṃ namo bhagavate vasudevāya.” Variations of this mantra exist, two addressed to Indra:

      oṃ namo bhagavate mahārājāya
      Oṃ and salutations to the supreme lord of lords/king of kings.

      oṃ namo bhagavate rājadevāya
      Oṃ and salutations to the supreme king of Devas/divine ruler.

Indra Gāyatrī: One of the most sacred Hindu prayers/mantras is the Sāvitrī gāyatrī (Ṛgveda III.62.10 – tat savitur vareṇyam | bhargo devasya dhīmahi | dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt ||). Other mantras in the gāyatrī metre, similar in form to this well-known verse, are provided in later texts, each requesting a different Deva’s guidance and inspiration.

Indra Gāyatrī is recommended for those seeking protection and security, but may be used for general devotion as well. Here are a few versions of Indra Gāyatrī. First:

      oṃ devarājāya vidmahe |
      vajrahastāya dhīmahi |
      tannaḥ indraḥ prachodayāt ||

      “Oṃ, let us meditate upon the King of Devas. May that great God who holds the thunderbolt in his hand, inspire and illumine our mind and understanding.”

This version is chanted as track #6, “Indra Gayathri,” on the CD Zodiac Signs – Vrischika Rasi – Scorpio by Prof. Thiagarajan and Sanskrit Scholars. One may also chant the above mantra, replacing “devarājāya” with sahasranetrāya (“thousand-eyed one”). Another variant I have heard is to chant tatpuruṣāya (referring to the Puruṣa, the Cosmic or Universal Man) here. (This is chanted by Prakash Rao as track #27, “Indra Gayathri Manthram,” of the CD set Sakala Devatha Gayathri Manthravali.)

Another version is:
      oṃ devarājāya vidmahe |
      vajrahastāya dhīmahi |
      tannaḥ śakraḥ pracodayāt ||

      “Oṃ, let us meditate upon the King of Devas. May that mighty God, who holds the thunderbolt in his hand, inspire and illumine our understanding.” This mantra appears in the Linga Purāṇa, 2.48.18.

Indra-Stuti: This intriguing prayer is chanted by Utaṇka in the Pauṣya Parva, Adi Parva of the Mahābhārata. Here are its last two verses, with translation:

      vajrasya bhartā bhuvanasya goptā vṛtrasya hantā namucernihantā |
      kṛṣṇe vasāno vasane mahātmā satyānṛte yo vivinakti loke ||

      Oh wielder of the Vajra, protector of the universe, the slayer of Vṛtra and Namuci.
      Oh illustrious one, who wears the black cloth, and displays the truth and untruth of the universe.

      yo vājinaṃ garbham-apāṃ purāṇaṃ vaiśvānaraṃ vāhanam-abhyupetaḥ |
      namaḥ sadāsmai jagadīśvarāya lokatrayeśāya purandarāya ||

      Who has for your vehicle, the horse received from the ocean’s depths, the fiery Vaiśvānara,
      I salute you, supreme lord of the universe, lord of the three worlds, destroyer of strongholds.

Mantras for particular purposes
Gaṇeśa Pūjā: The Himalayan Academy’s Gaṇeśa pūjā invokes Indra’s protection and grace, near the end of the ritual.

After offering water and rice to Gaṇeśa, the devotee should circle a flower over the lamp flame three times, praying Indra with this mantra (from Āśvalāyana Śrauta Sūtra, 4.12.2c):

      indra stomena pañcadaśena
      madhyam idam vātena sagareṇa
      rakṣa rakṣāṃ dhārayāmi ||

The flower should be gently dropped towards the Deity in offering, the hands placed in namaskāraṃ, and then the lamp flame taken by all devotees present.

Marriage: To secure a harmonious marriage, and particularly in cases of delayed marriage, Indra and his wife Śacī are worshipped together with the mantras oṃ laṁ indrāya namaḥ and oṃ līṁ indrānyai namaḥ. (See also “bīja mantras” below for more information about seed-syllable “laṁ”.)

Another mantra to worship the Lord and his Śakti together comes from Śiva pūjā; it is oṃ śacīpuraṇdarābhyāṃ namaḥ.

Indra Dikpāla: Indra is worshipped, particularly in Tantric ritual, as a directional guardian (Dikpāla); the mantra to invoke him in the East is oṃ indrāya pūrvāyai namaḥ. The Svacchanda-tantra lists another invocation as oṃ indrāya vajrahastāya namaḥ.

Protection from nightmare and/or lightning-strike may be secured by gaining the aid of Indra. Praise his son Arjuna with the recitation of Arjuna’s ten names:

      Arjuna (bright, shining)
      Phālguna (one born under nakshatra Uttara Phālgunī)
      Jiṣṇu (unconquerable, leader of the heavenly host)
      Kirīti (who wears the shining diadem)
      Śvetavāhana (whose chariot is drawn by shining steeds)
      Bībhatsu (fair fighter, terrifying to behold in battle)
      Vijaya (victorious)
      Pārtha (scholar-student, son of Kuṃtī)
      Savyasāci (ambidextrous one)
      Dhanañjaya (winner of great wealth).

Bīja mantras
I have read in several sources that bīja mantra meditation may not be the ideal exercise for a beginner, as a bīja (seed) mantra is something like a pure distillation of the deity’s essence. If one is new to Lord Indra and/or mantra meditation, it may be better to start with a simple mantra (one of those given in Indra’s sahasranāma, for example) to understand Indra personally, before approaching a bīja mantra that will convey his subtle nuances, higher wisdom, and powerful energies.

These mantras and their meanings come from the works of Śrī Gaṇapati Muni and Paṇḍit Vāmadeva Śāstrī; relevant passages from the latter are taken from the article “The Mantric Approach of the Vedas” and the book Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound. All writings in quotation marks are the words of Vāmadeva.

Hīṃ
“Hīṃ refers to the power of the Vajra or the lightning bolt of pure perception that Indra, the deity of cosmic prana, wields.”

Hūm
“Hūm is more an Agni mantra as Hota, but can be used for Indra as Vidyut-Agni.”
It “is a mantra of the inner fire or thermogenic force. It both calls the divine down into us and offers our soul upward to the Divine for transformation in the sacred fire of awareness…It is used to destroy negativity and creates great passion and vitality. As a powerful mantra it should also be used carefully. Yet it can be used in a more gentle manner to invoke divine grace and protection. Through it we can offer ourselves or our afflictions into the Divine for purification and transformation.
“Hūm is a Vedic mantra of Agni or fire. It is the mantra used to make offerings into the sacred fire. It also is used to call or invoke the fire and to make it flame up more brilliantly. It represents the soul hidden the body, the Divine immanent in the world. It governs the earth and the material sphere in general.”

Īṃ
“Another important mantra for Indra is īṃ, as the lord of higher perception. That is what Ganapati and Daivarata call the Rigvedic Pranava.” (Pranava is “the Cosmic Word: through its power, the secret of all Vedic mantras can be revealed.”)
“It is the power of Divine light and seeing…It projects an energy and power of perception, the electrical force of seeing. It is the mantric sound of the eyes in the Mantra Purusha. The mantra īṃ allows for the awakening of the Shakti of any mantra, and also provides the vision behind the mantra, its knowledge component.”

Krīṃ
Krīṃ is “Vidyut Shakti, which is associated with Indra and the supreme Prana.”
It “is a mantra of Indra, the supreme deity of the Vedas, the Divine as the cosmic lord and enlightenment force. Krīṃ is the thunderbolt or Vajra that destroys the serpent of ignorance and releases the light of absolute truth. It represents the force of the atmosphere…and carries the supreme life force.”

Laṃ
Laṃ is “mainly a mantra for Indra as a directional deity, though [it] also relates to the Vajra.”
It is also the bīja mantra for the mūlādhāra (first/root) cakra.

Oṃ
It is the “power of divine prana and hearing.” It is also associated with Indra as “chhandasama rishibha, the bull of the chants.”

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38 thoughts on “indra mantra

  1. Thank you..
    I feel like copying this post and putting it as a child page under my Indra page….

    Will you let me?
    If you want I could just link(back) to this also..

  2. I’m placing my permission up here so that people will see it; of course the answer is yes. (And I’ve fixed a bit of the wonky Sanskrit since you copied/pasted – left out a few marks in the original post.)

  3. Pingback: Untranslated mantras. « ridiculously reverent

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  6. I am looking for an Indra Mantra which is for success for projects undertaken. It is just a two line mantra, I read it in a Tamil book but deeply suspicious of the contamination in the pronunciation on conversion for Sanskrit to Tamil. The lines are
    “Airavatham Gajarudum, swarana varna kiritinum
    Suhasranayanam chakram vajrapanim Vibavayeth”

    Would be helpful if you can post this mantra on your blog.

    Kind Regards,
    Ravi
    ravishankar.s@hotmail.com

    • Unfortunately, I’ve looked for this mantra and been unable to find it in Sanskrit. I’m grateful for your post that provides the Tamil words for everyone to read, and if I come across any other version, I will be sure to add it here!

    • The Verse is as follows

      Airaavatha Gajaarudam Swarnavarnam Kireetinam
      Sahasra Nayanam Shakram Vajrapanim Vibhavayeth

      This is the dhyana shloka for dikpalaka indra.

  7. thanks a lot Sir, this mantras will help me in my chaotic phase of life and for the research I doing.

  8. A mantra addressed to Indra the king of gods and guardian of east:

    Pitavarnam sahasraksham vajrapadmadharam vibhum
    Sarvalankara samyuktam naumindram dikpatiswaram.

    I bow to Indra the yellow coloured thousand eyed wielder of thunderbolt and lotus, full of all decorations and lord of all the guardians of directions.

    Please forgive me if you find any mistake in my translation. I am just a devotee of Lord Indra.

  9. Some avatars of Lord Indra:

    1. Savya (son of Angiras)
    2. Mesha (sheep)
    3. Mena (daughter of Vyushanaswa)
    4. King Shibi
    5. A fox
    6. Vali
    7. Arjuna

    Please give some other avatars also.
    Thank you.
    Jai Sree Ganesh
    Jai Indra Bhagavan
    Jai Suryanarayana

    • Kauśika (per Sāyaṇa, this name in ṚV 1.10.11 indicates that Indra took birth as Kuśika’s son)
      The hunter who appears to Uttaṅka in Mahābhārata

      And there are stories which tell of Indra’s appearance in the forms of quail, hawk or eagle (that’s what you mean by “King Shibi”, right?), horsetail, ant, leech, parrot, falcon, rooster, peacock, monkey, pig, cat, and even brick.

      • Yes Indra did appeared as a hawk before King Shibi. But King Shibi himself was an amshavatara of Lord Indra.

  10. I have heard that many of the Vaishnava temples like Guruvayoor sreekrishna temple were originally dedicated to Indra but now all worship is in the name of his brother Vishnu. Is there any temple in which Indra is still worshipped as the presiding deity?

    • While I’ve heard hints here and there, I have no evidence that Indra was worshipped as the main deity in any Hindu temple (at least, not in India). Most of the sources I’ve read agree that Vedic religious practice emphasized the yajña (and may have been aniconic as well), and ruined temples once believed to be His have since been identified as dedicated to other Devas.

      I’m going by the information written in books, since I live in Canada and don’t know anyone with knowledge of temples and their deities both past and present. So what you’ve heard may well be true! But I can only confirm that there are a few Indra shrines housed within other (modern) temples; I keep a small list of those here.

  11. I am planning to create a page for Vedic deities like Indra and Surya including their Mantras. Can I take some Mantras given here ?

    • Please don’t use the Indra sahasranāma; I typed out the names myself, so I’d prefer those files not be reproduced elsewhere, in case I’ve made a mistake. But you’re welcome to take any of the other mantras on this page. They came from books and other websites, so they should be correct. :)

    • Thank you very much for writing this; I hope that people who visit the area or live nearby will see this helpful message and go visit the temple for themselves. :)

  12. hey guys, i need snskrit translator (in sanskrit script of these mantras)i hope you can help me.

    1) oṃ devarājāya vidmahe | vajrahastāya dhīmahi | tannaḥ indraḥ prachodayāt ||

    2) vajrasya bhartā bhuvanasya goptā vṛtrasya hantā namucernihantā | kṛṣṇe vasāno vasane mahātmā satyānṛte yo vivinakti loke ||

    3) yo vājinaṃ garbham-apāṃ purāṇaṃ vaiśvānaraṃ vāhanam-abhyupetaḥ | namaḥ sadāsmai jagadīśvarāya lokatrayeśāya purandarāya || 4) oṃ indrāya pūrvāyai namaḥ

    • Several businesses online sell Indra yantra for the home; if you enter “Indra yantra” into a search engine, the first several matches will show you an image.

  13. This is really enlightening, I wanted to learn shlokas of lord Indra from a long time. And I found your document very informative.
    I just have one small thing to say. You have mentioned about Indra’s wife as sacī, but the spelling is actually Shachi.
    Thank you.

    • Oh dear! I see her named in the Marriage section as Śacī (the Ś signifying a “sh” sound in IAST), but might have spelled it with a plain “S” elsewhere, by mistake. Can you point out where I made the error? I’ve looked through this post twice and can’t find it!

      Thank you for the kind comment to my blog and this post in particular.

  14. Thanks for informative article..I want to know more about Lord Indra’s kingdom and hierarchy in his kingdom as well as tales of Lord Indra..What book or sources are available?
    Also off topic…can I know more about Devadoot (messangers of God) in Hinduism..
    Asking u Sir since u seem to be very knowledgeable..
    Many Thanks..

    • I’m afraid that I don’t know much about the hierarchy of Lord Indra’s kingdom, but for good sources about Indra, I can recommend the books Indra, Lord of Divine Mind by R.L. Kashyap and Indra and Varuna in Indian Mythology by Usha Choudhuri. Also, I have not heard of Devadoot in Hinduism, only in Buddhism (as in this text, for example).

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