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Indra is considered as the Greek equivalent of Zeus in Indian Mythology. As per Hinduism, he is the king of gods, locates at Amaravati, the capital of Indraloka in Swarga, in Mount Meru. Indra is the child of Sage Kashyapa & Aditi. He is the husband of Shachi & father to Arjuna, Devasena, Jayanta, Jayanti & Vail.
On the other hand, Zeus is considered as the counterpart of Indra in Greek Mythology. He locates at Mount Olympus, child of Cronus & Rhea, siblings to Chiron, Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia & Poseidon, and father to Aeacus, Agditis, Aphrodite, Angelos, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Artemis, Ersa, Enyo, Dionysus, Epaphus Eris, Helen of Troy, Hermes, Pandia, Rhadamanthus, The Muses, The Graces, The Moirai, Hephaestus, Perseus, and Hebe.
In this article, we will discuss a few similarities between Indra & Zeus.
Kings of Gods
Indra is called the king of gods, the ruler of heaven in sacred Vedas in Hindu Mythology. God Indra was mentioned in the Rigveda more than any other Gods. Sage Gautama had cursed Indra that he would have female marks on all over his body & those marks became eyes. Later, Indra had been bestowed the title ‘the thousand-eyed god”. That represented that no god could kill him but only himself. Eventually, he became the kings of gods, ruler of swarga.
On the other hand, Zeus is also considered as the king of gods according to Greek Mythology. His other siblings, Hades was given the world of dead folks, Poseidon was given seas & oceans, whereas, Zeus was given the skies. As the sky is above everything else, he is considered the king of Gods.
Gods of Lightning & Thunder
Indra, the most powerful god in Hindu mythology, the ruler of Swarga, is the god of sky, lightning & thunder. In Indian mythology, thunders are considered as the equivalent of divine cattle. The thunderstorms represent that God Indra is fighting with the demons who try to steal his divine cattle.
Similarly, Zeus is also the god of thunder & lightning in Greek Mythology. Zeus is also the god of the sky similar to God Indra and hurls lightning bolts that wreak havoc on earth when he becomes angry & ferocious to harness his power as the king of gods.
Thunderbolt as Weapon
Indra uses ‘Vajra’ or Thunderbolt as his weapon to kill or punish the sinners. The Vajra is invincible due to the sacrifice of sage Dadhichi & is made by the maker of instruments Tvastar. God Indra used his Vajra to kill a serpent who is asura Vritra. The thunderbolt of Indra is called Bhaudara.
Zeus is considered the most powerful god in Greek mythology for his ability to throw lightning using his thunderbolt. His weapon was made by the mythical creature the Cyclops. Zeus can control the weather by using his bolts that cause storms & rain. His horse Pegasus & an Eagle are trained to carry the lightning bolts & retrieve them respectively. Zeus also killed a multi-headed dragon Typhon, which is considered as the counterpart of Asura Vritra, with his weapon.
Indra, the king of gods, is called & considered a Womanizer. He was often infamous for his adultery. He was always unfaithful to his wife & had several kids with other women. He had to pay heavy prices because of his nature. Once, he was cursed to cut into pieces by an outraged husband Sage Gautam for tried enticing his wife Ahalya, in such a way that even all gods had struggled to get every piece back together.
On the other hand, Zeus was also noted for his virility. He also had several kids with several women apart from his wife Hera. And his wife Hera often tried punishing him for his infidelity. A similar incidence happened to Zeus as happened to Indra, when Zeus tried enticing the devoted wife of Amphitryon, Alcmene.
Gods of Gods & Men
Indra was considered as the gods of gods as well as of men. Despite being immortal, he has striking similarities to mortal men, like wearing tawny, having a mustache & beard, and well-formed jaws. He has several emotions similar to men, like, jealousy, anger & love. Indra had many wives that include immortal & mortal women. One of the mortal offspring of God Indra is Arjuna and Vali.
In the Greek Sculptures, we can find that Zeus had these physical & emotional similarities too as mortal men have. Zeus is worshipped by men for his courageous & valiant deeds that rescued many. He had relationships with many Greek Goddesses, like, Metis, Demeter, Themis, Mnemosyne, and with many mortal women, like, Europa, Leda, Ganymede, Alcmene, Lo, Danae, Leto, and Ganymede. Zeus is the father of his mortal children, i.e., Perseus & Theseus.
Hungry for Power
Indra was considered to be hungry for power in Hindu Mythology. It is believed that Indra had killed his father Tvashta to overpower him. And his mother Aditi had helped him to achieve his goal.
Similarly, Zeus had also killed his father Cronos by swallowing him right after his birth. And his mother Rhea had helped him in this. Zeus had also
Punishers to the Sinners
Indra is believed to be the great punisher to the sinners. He used his thunderbolt Vajra to punish the men & other gods for their sins. He possesses the destructive quality when anything bad happens to mankind or in Swarga & he also possesses the quality to restore harmony to the entire universe.
Zeus was also a great punisher as was Indra. He also used his thunderbolt to punish those who committed sins. Zeus imprisoned the Titans & ordered Apollo and Poseidon to build the walls of Troy, which later became useful in the Trojan War. Zeus also killed Asclepius because of his power to give life to the dead that created an imbalance between god & men.
Indra & Zeus can be depicted in different mythologies but they are the counterparts of each other. Hindu mythology & Greek mythology are incomplete without the roles of these two gods.